BY: Wesley Martin
As they sat backstage, one could tell that the children were eager to perform. But they really weren’t performing: they were using their gifts to minister to God’s children.
Last Saturday evening, the Pensacola Community Arts and Recreation Association held its 12th annual Youth Gospel Extravaganza at Pensacola High School’s auditorium.
A plethora of acts danced, sang, rapped and even performed thought-provoking spoken-word to the audience.
“I am having a marvelous time,” said Patricia Keeby, an attendee at Saturday’s event. “I am enjoying myself to the utmost. [The dance group] Morning Glory rocked the house – they set if off.”
Leroy Williams, founder and president of PCARA, says the extravaganza gives the local youth a chance to refine their talent.
“It gives them a touch of professionalism,” Williams said. “We work with the kids for five weeks to enhance their stage presence and to give them tools that they’ll need.”
Local gospel rap artist Alvin “Sausby” Saulsberry says he decided to perform on Saturday to tell God’s message to the multitudes.
“You can serve [God] at any age, but be led by the spirit and get into God’s word,” Saulsberry said.
The 21-year-old, Pine Forest High alumn believes events like these strengthen our communities.
“It’s very important to have community because you can’t do everything by yourself. It’s very important to have a community with brothers and sisters you can fellowship with,” Saulsberry said.
PCARA has been in existence since June of 1987. It was formed to assist in the prevention of illegal drugs use, pregnancy, and violence among the youth throughout the Pensacola community. PCARA is a community based organization composed entirely of volunteers.
This year the organization is celebrating its 25th anniversary. For more information on PCARA, please visit their website at: www.pcaraonline.com