For the first time in almost two years, we got the opportunity to be a part of a live audience. We were “outside” and not in any rush to go back in. The Waltham Park New Testament Church of God (NTCOG), in true “65 fashion”, came alive with praise, worship, dance and pure Godly vibes! The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) ‘s “More Precious than Diamonds, Reggae in the Sanctuary” is embedded forever in our hearts and minds.
Reverend Stevenson Samuels opened the show and did the welcome and opening prayer. We stood and bowed our heads in reverence as he graciously welcomed the presence of God in the Sanctuary. The night stood as evidence that JaRIA intricately planned this night. Not only did they get two of Jamaica’s best Emcees, but they also selected several esteemed recording artists. Emcees Mrs Basillia Barnarby-Cuff and Chaplain Nadine Blair kept the audience intrigued and in the mode of worship, all while ensuring that the vibes meter never fell below 100.
Reggae in the Sanctuary
The Waltham Park NTCOG dancers, ‘Vessels of Worship’, ministered in dance and set the bar high for the following acts. Their performance provided a great segue to Orville Sutherland’s eclectic performance. He performed hits such as “Sweet Feeling” and “Nothing but the Blood”. However, it wasn’t until he performed his hit single, “Mac 11”, that the crowd was really on their feet and asking for more. Up next was Flavia Beswick, who also ministered in song. Her melodious voice complimented the previous performers and set the tone for introducing the Diamond Family of Jamaican Gospel.
Diamond family of Jamaican Gospel
The Levy Family is renowned for producing anointed and talented musicians. The family is crowned the ‘Diamond Family of Gospel’ for their commitment, dedication and hard work in the industry. Notable names such as Lubert Levy, Sister Pat and Kevin Downswell all come from the same family. When Jamaica thought we saw it all, we met the second generation of Ministers, Levy’s Heritage. Levy’s Heritage has had over a decade of successful ministry and has no intentions of outing the flame any time soon.
We got the opportunity to talk with the family post-concert. Patriarch of the Levy’s Heritage, Lubert Levy, was ecstatic about the recognition:
Oshin Levy, the only female in the trio, spoke about the support and mentorship they received from their father. She talked about solidifying their footing while remaining connected as a unit:
To say this night was a special one would be an understatement. The event was a timely and well-received one. Supporters and attendees thought it was thoughtful that JaRIA included Gospel in the Reggae Month celebrations. Listen below to hear what Basillia Barnaby-Cuff and Oshin, and Oneil Levy had to say about the experience:
Reggae Month 2022 has been amazing! The wide range of activities has provided something for everyone. What has been your favourite event thus far? Let us know in the comments. “Come share, celebrate, boast and debate our Jamaican culture with us.”