Stories of triumph through song

Jul. 02, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Vance County youth heard stories of triumph Tuesday through song, dance and testimony.

About 300 gathered at Vance-Granville Community College’s civic center — including Henderson Mayor Pete O’Geary — to hear Eddie James, a nationally known gospel singer from Arizona, and his road crew of 31 young people.

James and his group travel across the country ministering to troubled teens who suffer from drug addiction, gang violence and broken homes through the Eddie James Ministry.

Brenda Rice, coordinator for the event, said she brought James and his crew to Henderson for that reason.

She began planning the concert seven years ago after seeing them on television and attending one of their shows in Cary.

“The testimonies were phenomenal,” she said. “They were crying and remorseful because a lot of them had been delivered from drugs and homelessness.”

James Alexander, a student at

see Uplifted/page a9


Northern Vance High School, and Joshua Kurrin, of Southern Vance, said they were excited for the show.

“I am just looking forward to building more passion for God and a stronger bond with God,” Kurrin said.

Amani Parker, a student at Henderson Collegiate, said she got involved working the concession stand.

She said it was important to be uplifted every now and then.

“It really helps the community, the churches and the surrounding community,” she said. “It takes energy to make it through crisis and tough times.”

Every member of James’ crew is someone he took in off the streets.

Antonio Cavazos, aka “BBoy Spin,” said he was delivered from homelessness after running away from home at 18 years old. He found James after reaching out to him on MySpace.

Now, he is a youth minister and aspiring DJ. Cavazos said he considers James a father figure.

“We are just like everyone sitting in those seats,” he said. “It’s just like our dad says, ‘Look at the relationship I have with God.’ ”

Cavazos led the crew’s daily devotion during lunch time and prayed that God would lead their program.

“Honestly, we don’t know,” he said when asked about the show’s lineup. “We just allow the holy spirit to move.”

The event stretched until after 10 p.m. with energetic songs and emotional life experiences.

“We want you to leave with your deliverance,” James said.

The program opened with a praise dance-off and worship service before James took the stage. Churches from across the region arrived at 5:30 p.m. and worshipped with raised hands and shouts throughout the night.

As James was introduced, more than 100 rushed to the edge of the stage for a closer worship experience.

“Everyone, even adults, are just excited across the board,” Rice said. “We usually have to go outside the county for something like this, but we brought something to our county.”


Contact the writer at