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Enjoy a “Celebration of the Black Church,” February 26-27 at Bluefield State College

  • Created
    Friday, February 11 2011
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103

(Bluefield)—A “Celebration of the Black Church,” February 26-27 at Bluefield State College features Dr. Ethel Caffie-Austin (The “First Lady of Gospel Music”), District Elder Samuel Moore, a music workshop, and a tribute to local African-American pastors.

The two-day program will take place in the Hebert Gallery/Othello Harris-Jefferson Student Center on the BSC campus.  It starts with registration, refreshments, and fellowship at 9 a.m., Saturday, February 26 with a Gospel Music Workshop beginning at 10 a.m., under the direction of Dr. Ethel Caffie-Austin.  Dr. Caffie-Austin is in high demand as a music clinician and often presents gospel workshops in conjunction with the Vandalia Gathering in Charleston.  She also founded the Black Sacred Music Festival at West Virginia State University.  In 2006, she received the “Vandalia Award,” West Virginia’s highest folklife honor, from the State Division of Culture and History.

On Sunday, February 27, the “Celebration of the Black Church” continues with a program at 3 p.m. in the Hebert Gallery, with District Elder Samuel Moore bringing the featured message.  A graduate of Graham High School and Bluefield State College, Bishop Moore is pastor of the Full Gospel Assembly in Huntington, WV.  He is also a professional educator and was one of only 50 persons from throughout the United States to be awarded the prestigious Milken Foundation Award for excellence in teaching in 2001.  Music will be provided by the Gospel Music Workshop Choir, under the direction of Dr. Caffie-Austin.  Additionally, local pastors will be honored for their leadership and service to the community.

Interested individuals and organizations are encouraged to take part in this celebration, which is open to the public, free of charge.  “Everyone is invited to join us as we commemorate the significance of the Church in African American history,” noted Dr. Felica Wooten Williams, BSC’s Executive Director of Academic Outreach Programs.  “Both events offer a wonderful opportunity for us to experience the Spirit of joy through the richness of Gospel music.”

“The public is cordially invited to attend this celebration,” Dr. Wooten Williams added.  Additional information can be obtained by contacting Dr. Wooten Williams at Bluefield State College (304-327-4211) or by e-mail request to (