Black Voices brings prayers, joy to Tallahassee

Stage set up for Wednesday’s Black Voices Tour. Photo courtesy: Kennedy Patton

The Black Voices Tour returned to Tallahassee’s Engage Church Wednesday for a night of worship and fellowship.

The tour travels to different HBCUs and inner-city communities with a message of empowerment through the gospel.

Missionary Bijou Taylor was excited to encourage and pray with those at the event.

“Black Voices Tour is a movement that exists that empowers young Black leaders into their Christ-centered calling,” Taylor said. “We host events, outreaches, and evangelism training.”

Jonathan Stamper took the stage to kick off the evening. Worship leaders engaged the crowd with empowering lyrics, “What the enemy meant for evil. They turned it for my good.”

Black history is currently under attack in the state of Florida and the timelines of the event do not seem like a coincidence to  Taylor.

“We believe every time we go to another city there have been different things that have been happening,” Taylor said. “This is why it is important to gather as believers to bring change to different environments you’re in.”

Relating the Bible to what is going on in the world, is a prevalent theme in their teachings.

Pastor Jonathan Stamper’s message to the crowd was centered on people in society always being tired. Stamper started his message with a question: “When was the last time you rested?”

The faces of college students in the crowd showed that they were taken aback by his question.

About 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes have sleep-related problems.

Stamper addressed the grind culture that Americans have adopted and how tiredness isn’t always a physical feeling. “Your soul is tired from a life based on performance,” Stamper said.

The feeling of continuing to try to outdo yourself or not feeling like you’re good enough is something that young millennials and adults often deal with. In this age of social media, the consistent reminder of what other people are doing can be a lot.

College students often talk about their mental health, knowing that suicide is the number two leading cause of death among college students. Discussions like this are critical, Stamper said.

After Stamper gave his sermon, worship leaders joined the stage to sing and rejoice in their happiness. People in the crowd danced, sang and cried with one another. Chelseala France, who is a member of Engage Church, has attended Black Voices events in California, Atlanta and the one they hosted last year in Tallahassee.

“God moved me tonight and I hope other people get what they’re looking for as well,” France said.

The event closed out with people coming to the stage to commit their lives to Christ. The next Black Voices Tour event will take place Tuesday at Savannah State University.