Concert Rundown| TFOP’s HOT Reunion w/ James Fortune, Micah Stampley, Nakitta Clegg-Foxx & Gary Mayes

The Fountain of Praise Church in Houston, TX has long had a reputation for having a good music ministry and legacy of fostering great artists. To celebrate this achievement, the church held a reunion concert that featured many of its past vocalists this weekend.

The night began with praise and worship led by Melanie Mitchell (Higher Dimension Church) and the praise team singing “Can’t Stop Praising His Name” and “The Latter Will Be Greater.” Mitchell’s powerhouse vocals roared across the capacity crowd. She served as praise & worship leader for the Fountain during the early 2000s.

Pastor Remus Wright took the stage and welcomed the audience with a gospelized version of the O’Jays’ “Family Reunion.”

Then,  a nameless female group took the stage. The group consisted of Liz Vaughn and Hope Luster to name a few, with a fiery rendition of the Clark Sisters’ legendary tune, “Living in Vain.” The set was so beastly (‘good,” for the slang challenged), the group went through the verses at least five times. For some reason at every concert, I sit by someone that is crazy. During this performance a woman began waving her hands so close to my face, I could smell the mayo from her roast beef sandwich.

I yet ignored it.

The Reunion Mass Choir’s set began with Rebecca Eaglin leading “Without God.” Gary Mayes joined the choir in a spirited version of Bishop Larry Trotter & Sweet Holy Spirit’s “Trouble Don’t Last Always.” Rodney Kennedy’s vocals soared on “Holy is the Lord.”

Micah Stampley joined the choir on “Lamb of God.“ James Fortune hyped the choir on “You’re Worthy to be Praised.” Stampley’s range was incredible on this song as he began a call and response with the choir on the song’s vamp. The Reunion Choir’s set completed with a well-anticipated praise break.

Kathy Taylor (Windsor Village UMC, where she serves as Min. of Music, is down the street and around the corner.) joined Pastor Wright on stage and was asked to sing, She began singing V. Michael McKay’s “Corinthian Song. “ As she was leaving the stage, she was encouraged to sing more and sang the end to “Oh How Precious.” Jesus! Jesus!

V. Michael McKay, Co-Pastor Mia Wright and Nikki Ross joined Pastor Wright on stage following the offering.

Nikki Ross offered a verse of Kirk Franklin’s “My Life is in Your Hands.”

Gary Mayes & Nu Era took the stage and sang an updated, hyped version of “Our God is an Awesome God.” They then showed their worship side with “We Worship” and ended with an upbeat/churchy “We made it!” Mayes was music director of Fountain during the early 2000s and featured the church’s young adult choir on his 2002 release, The N.E. X-perience Vol. 1.

Nakitta Clegg-Foxx took the stage following Mayes with Fountain’s “Cross” praise dancers. She is currently the church’s praise & worship director and also a member of the Grammy nominated Kurt Carr Singers. Her medley of songs showcased her jazz-inspired style. She began with Kirk Franklin’s “Love” then sent the crowd into worship blending in “Here I Am to Worship” and “More than Anything.”

People on my side of the building were waving and jumping as if they’d gotten their favorite present for Christmas during the skatting part of her performance.

Another crazy lady emerged. Someone in front of me began going in circles, showing her roll-on deodorant. lol I guess it’s okay to get crazy for Christ though. Praise him!

Micah Stampley began with his testimony of how the Wrights effected his career when he was hired as a worship leader for the church in 2001. This came after contacting former Fountain youth minister Brian Nelson (son of COGIC legend Bettye Nelson/Pastor of Jericho City COGIC) about job opportunities in Houston, during a homeless stage in his life.

Being connected to Fountain ultimately led to him taking part and winning a talent competition in 2004, held at the church that sent his career soaring and being signed a record deal with Dexterity/EMI Gospel. He has also been nominated for numerous Stellar Awards, gospel music’s highest honor. His set included “Great is thy Faithfulness” and the hit “Holiness,” which was introduced to Fountain before it was recorded and on the Billboard charts.

James Fortune took the stage with Nakitta Clegg-Foxx and sang “I Wouldn’t Know You Like I Do.”   Fortune’s wife, Cheryl offered a verse of  the hit song “You Survived,” which won a 2006 ASCAP Award for songwriting and was also produced by Fountain’s music director, Terrence Vaughn. They also sang “I’ll Trust You” and the hit “I Believe” with Shawn McLemore as guest vocalist. Fortune served as the first youth choir director for the Fountain during the late 90s.

The concert attendees included Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Ron Materre (GMWA) to name a few.

An event meant for just one church, turned into a celebration of how blessed Houston is to have such great talent.

If you missed this event; you missed a treat. YouTubers were shut down before the service began. There was an announcement to put all video devices away; but don’t be of dismay, Pastor Wright announced it will be broadcast later this year.

B. McCoy

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