In 2008, the US Congress recognized September as Gospel Music Heritage Month, while the Arkansas General Assembly unanimously recognized September as Arkansas Gospel Heritage Month (AGMHM) in 2011. Since then, the AGMHM has organized yearly events to celebrate the proud tradition with a mission to “Empower Faith Based Communities to cross racial, ethnic, religious and geographical boundaries in gospel music and emerge as one body.”


This year’s event, Keep the Fire Burning, will be held at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Antioch Full Gospel Baptist Church at 3824 Antioch Blvd. in Little Rock. Performing artists include Charles Patterson & the Chosen Generation, D’ellis & the Levites Chorale and Patrick Bean & the Bonafide Worshippers. 


Dedric Jones is the state coordinator for AGMHM, and at this year’s event, Sharon “Shay” Franklin; Evangelist Marcia E. Smith; Pastor Cedric Hayes; Master Musician Andre Criswell; and Pastor Sheree’ Evans will be recognized as “Living Legends.”


(Graphic courtesy of Arkansas Gospel Heritage Month)


All gospel choirs in Arkansas are invited to participate in the celebration by joining the AGMHM Mass Choir. Any interested can also join a Zoom call on Monday, Sept. 12, to learn more. For further information and details, visit the AGMHM’s Facebook page. 


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