Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Apostolic Tabernacle

This past weekend I was once again a guest soloist for the Sunday Singsation at Apostolic Tabernacle in Merced, California. This church is pastored by my dear friends, Rev. Sam and Shirley Emory. You can visit their church website at www.upcmerced.org. Their music is under the direction of Pastor Mark Yandris who is one of the most phenomenal musicians I have ever known. He is a highly sought after organist/keyboardist especially amongst artists who perform Black gospel music. Mark eats, sleeps, drinks, music. It consumes his life! One of the things I so admire about him, is his willingness to share his talents. He encourages young people to develop musical talents and will push them out of their comfort zone to perform. This quickly causes them to perfect their skills. At the annual Sunday Singsation, there is always some young artists spotlighted who, far from perfect, are given the opportunity to perform under pressure. The concert was well over two hours but I wanted to share some of the highlights. If you will click on the below link, it will bring up the video of the concert. You can fast forward if you don't have time for all the selections. At approximately 20 minutes into the concert, Miss Natilee Abalos plays a violin solo accompanied by her mother. She was recently accepted into the Modesto Youth Symphony and she is also a member of WAY Choir. If you are curious about my singing, I am at 36 minutes. The youth sign team performed a number at 1 hour and 42 minutes. At 1 hour and 46 minutes, James Williams sings. I first met James about 10 years ago when we were both invited to work on a project together. He and his sister, Olivia, are dynamic singers. I hadn't seen James for a few years and it was great to visit with him. This year, Mark had not planned for the mass choir to sing. That was met with strong opposition! :) It just "ain't right" to be at Apostolic Tabernacle and not hear the mass choir! So, at the conclusion, Mark put the choir on the spot and had them come to the stage. I think that was 1 hour and 58 minutes. Then, catching James and I off guard, he asked us to return to the stage to join the choir for the chorus of "Goin' Up Yonder" (2 hrs. 22 min.) which was a fun finale. Saxophonist and recording artist Louis Lenzi was amongst the band adding the "whipped cream and cherry."

Now I have to add what was my favorite part of the entire night. At 1 hour, 14 minutes, the Men's Ensemble sang. They were full of energy and spirit and gave a rousing performance of "All My Help Comes From The Lord." I have to admit, I have been physically and mentally exhausted and wasn't even sure if I should accept the invitation to minister in song but felt compelled in my spirit. Apostolic Tabernacle thought I had come to minister to them but, what they didn't know, they ministered to me. I felt the Lord speak to me as the men sang, "...all of my help, comes from the Lord......thank you, Lord, I thank you, Lord..." Tears welled in my eyes and I lifted my hands and began to thank God for giving me the strength I need. The past few weeks have been stressful, but ALL my help does come from the Lord and I thank Him. Here is the link to the concert.
Singsation Sunday Concert
P.S. A very elder lady was among the worshippers and, if you watch the men sing, you might catch a glimpse of her dancing in the front of the church. She had on a gorgeous metallic gold hat that she danced right off her head. It was so encouraging to see elder saints still "ripping the carpet" in praise to God. In reference to the recent quote I posted, I thought about this elder lady and just imagine she "loves deeply" because she is really "young."


  1. Hi Jana,

    Thanks for posting the wonderful Singsation. I watched most of it. It was a blessing. I just love good singing, instrumentals & worship. Love to watch the musicians play their instruments. Ahh, wish I could have been there.

  2. You're way to nice Sister Jana! I have a lot of expectations to live up to now especially the "Pastor Mark" comment lol

    It was such a pleasure having you with us - I kinda felt bad even asking you to come knowing what your schedule has been like the last few months plus taking care of your mom! but you came through for us.

    Give Brain my regards and tell him I appreciate letting you come especially on your sunday service.

    All the best!

  3. I watched the service in Merced and this is what I think. You should definately make a Christmas CD!!!!!

  4. Linda - glas you enjoyed the video link. The church in Merced is like none other. It is my favorite place to visit.

    Mark - I meant every word I said. The world is enriched by your gifts. I feel honored any time I am invited to your church. Thanks for praying for my mom. I realize you know first-hand how difficult it can be to care for a parent. You will have a great reward in heaven just for all the care you have given to your mom.

    Anonymous - If I had the finances, I would plan a trip now to record a Christmas project. There are so many Christmas songs I love. I am especially drawn to songs that are from the perspective of Mary, mother of Jesus. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

  5. I enjoyed the Singsation! You did an outstanding job. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Tracie - glad you enjoyed the link and thanks for the compliment. There just isn't a church quite like Merced! They are one-of-a-kind!

  7. I received this comment via e-mail and felt I needed to share it with you. Bro. Kevin tore it up and put his whole heart into his ministry of singing. - Jana

    Thanks sister Jana for the compliments you made concerning the mens singing group at Apostolic Tabernacle in Merced. My name is Kevin and I was the lead singer in the mens group at singsation sunday. Im glad we could encourgage in a stressded time. God bless. Brother Kevin

  8. Thank you for posting that concert. What a treat!!Bro. James Williams has such a vibrance and all of the talent was amazing. There is something so moving when the anointing hits that talent. Goin up yonder is one of my favs and as usual you were outstanding. Lord Bless you as you continue to bless the work of God.
    Sis Noel

  9. This sounds wonderful. I will be watching the entire concert. Thanks for supplying the link.

    Love you--