2016 Merge Summit Opening Gala honorees include Courtney B. Vance

The three-day 2016 Merge Summit kicked off in Los Angeles, with the 2016 Merge Summit Opening Gala. which honored Emmy Award-nominated actor Courtney B. Vance, Mikki Taylor (Author/Essence Magazine Editor at Large), Dorinda Walker (Prudential Financial Senior Vice President of Marketing), and Dr. Bill Winston (Founder & Senior Pastor of Living Word Christian Center).

Dr. Bill Winston at Merge Summit

Hosted by Sherri Shepherd, the 2016 Merge Summit Opening Gala was held August 25th, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The performances included Grammy-nominated recording artist Jonathan McReynolds and Ezekiel (The Poet). Attendees included Merge Summit Co-Founders/Co-Chairs Dr. Holly Carter, Robi Reed, and Co-Chair Traci Blackwell, actor Derek Luke, actress Brely Evans, American Idol finalist La’Porsha Renae, and more.

Sherri Shepherd at Gala

For more information on The Merge Summit, visit

Sarah Hearn
the authorSarah Hearn
Sarah Hearn is Editor-in-Chief of, founded in 2011. The site was recently named among Feedspot's Top Gospel and Christian Music Websites.  Sarah is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Gospel Music Association.
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