Tears flowed freely, some persons’ arms were spread wide, palms facing upwards, while others chose to jump and dance abandoning all inhibitions and baring all emotions at the In His Presence (IHP) 9 gospel concert last weekend.
Hundreds of gospel music enthusiasts gathered at the Shaw Park Cultural Facility for the annual event, as the space was transformed into a place of worship.
In His Presence (IHP) holds its own as one of Tobago’s premier calendar events, attracting patrons from Trinidad and other Caribbean countries.
This year, the headline act Tasha Cobbs was forced out due to ill health but her replacement, Maranda Curtis, did not disappoint patrons.
Curtis’ soulful delivery of her many hits, including Be Glorified and Open Heaven, plucked on the emotions of many of her fans, bringing many of them to tears.
Reggae gospel artist Papa San, from Jamaica, brought a different vibe to the concert. He was equally as good.
In his presentation, he referred to the period in his life when he was “living in the world” and exposed to many secular things. His delivery was relatable and passionate and he openly spoke about the “walk with Christ.”
Patrons sang along lustily with one of his song’s lyrics, “Jesus made me smile again, Jesus make me scream again, Jesus make me walk again.”
Local artistes such as Positive and Blessed Messenger also held their own and represented Tobago well.
Blessed Messenger, who is known for his energy, gave the crowd a boost, while Joel “Positive” Murray matched that energy as he belted out hit after hit, including the crowd favourite “Blessing after Blessing.”
Promoter Verne Joseph described last weekend’s concert as a resounding success in comparison to recent years.
“This years’ event was amazing not only in terms of participation but also in terms of ministry.”
He said although he received reports of flight cancellations and the cancellations of the Cabo Star’s sailings on Thursday night and Friday afternoon, attendance at the concert exceeded expectations.