PositivelyGospel.com is proud to welcome Bonita V. White as a guest contributor. In the most eloquent way, Bonita recaps the birthday celebration of gospel music industry insider and this magazine’s long-time friend, Pastor Jerome Bell.
Fellowship DMV consisted of folks convening at Restoration Kingdom Ministries in Forestville, MD to give praise and honor to God for the gift of Jerome Bell. The service started with praise and worship by the Fellowship DMV Band, led by Ginger On Sax and Doc Martin Cornwell , who also gave a stirring rendition of “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Our Worship Leader, First Lady Tonita Bell did a fabulous job of keeping everything moving. Other musical tributes and testimonials were given by the anointed Jimmy Russellnboc, award-winning Psalmist Robert E. Person, soul-stirring Reggie Hardy & Body of Praise. We had a special treat with the surprise appearance of DMV Gospel Music icon Shirley Ables. Meghan Stevenson blessed the house with her dance tribute to Donald Lawrence’s “Seasons.”
There were plenty of laughs, tears and strolls down memory lane with folks who have known Pastor Bell through the years, including yours truly, Elder Kevin Hart, Bishop and First Lady Palmer, Bishop Keith Martin, Elder Richard Toye and one of the members of the Maryland Family Christian Center who expressed her gratitude for all she has learned with Pastor Bell as her Undershepherd. The common theme was Pastor Bell’s unique ability to support everyone, all of the time and the fact that he has helped innumerable people in innumerable ways not just in the DMV, but, all over the USA and, indeed, the world, without expecting anything in return. Tribute was also paid to Pastor Bell’s wonderful mother, Mrs. Brenda Bell Williams, who was in attendance, along with his devoted Aunt Angie and his beautiful daughter, Tramaine Ashley Bell.
The icing on the cake for the evening was a dynamic sermon from the Honoree in which Pastor Bell made it plain that there should be NO limits to our faith since there are NO limits to God’s blessings and ability to turn visions into reality. As always, The Fellowship DMV was a blessing, made even more special by celebrating such a great man of God, our dearly beloved Pastor Jerome Bell. Special thanks to Pastor Andre and Lady Kimberly McLeod at Restoration Kingdom Ministries for hosting Pastor Bell’s 55th Birthday Celebration.
Many thanks to contributing writer, Bonita V. White, a true scholar of African American History, especially in Washington, D.C. She is a member, and business manager of famed choir Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of of Music. Bonita was also a 2014 honoree at the annual pre-caucus arts reception, Melody of Art hosted by CAAPA – Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts.
Photo Gallery (Photo credit: Ginger Cornwell)