Gospel on Independence

Event Description

Join the powerful 100-voice choir as they collaborate with the Philadelphia Men’s Fellowship Choir in front of Independence Hall for an unforgettable Gospel performance. The experience will also include an inspiring performance by “The Sisterly Love” choir. This entertaining event follows the Historic District Block Party and is the perfect way to end an evening. Gospel on Independence is presented in partnership with the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Participating Churches: 10th Memorial Baptist Church, 1st United Baptist Church, Beloved St. John Evangelistic Church, Berachah Church, Bethel Deliverance International Church, Bible Way Baptist Church, BSUEC, Calvary Baptist of West Philadelphia, Calvary Presbyterian – Wyncote, Careview Community Church, Christian Stronghold, Christian Tabernacle Church, Christlike PGF Baptist Church, Christlike Pleasant Green Church, Christlike Pleasant Green F.B., Community Baptist Church, Dare To Imagine Church, Deliverance Evangelistic Church, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, First African Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Crestmont, First Corinthian Baptist Church, Freedom Christian Bible Fellowship Church, GMWA – Philadelphia Chapter, Hickman Temple AME Church, Holy Light Baptist Church, Jones Tabernacle AME Church, Liberty Baptist Church, Love Fellowship Tabernacle, Love Zion Baptist Church, Metropolitan Baptist Church, Morris Brown AME Church, Mt Airy Baptist Church, Mt Olivet Tabernacle Baptist Church, Mt Zion Baptist Church, Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, New Bethel Germantown, New Hope Church, Oxford Presbyterian Church, Pentecostal Experience Church, Prince of Peace Baptist Church, Resurrection Church, Resurrection Community Church, Rome Emanuel Church, Sharon Baptist Church, St. Matthews Baptist – NJ, The Church of Christian Compassion, The Storehouse Church, Triumphant Faith International Worship Center, Triumph Baptist Church, True Worship Apostolic Church, West Philadelphia Assembly for Christ, Wister Baptist Church.

In partnership with Visit Philadelphia & Kimmel Center of Performing Arts

Know before you go:

Bring your own chair/blanket!

Text “America” to 888-777 for updated event information and helpful tips! 

Rev. Dr. Janet Jenkins Sturdivant

The Rev. Dr. Janet Jenkins Sturdivant is a woman of many firsts. She is the first woman to ever preach the Annual Sermon in the Mother Conference of African Methodism since its organization in 1817. The sermon title was ‘Who’s report will you believe’, Numbers 13:26-33. This historic event took place at Mt. Pisgah AME Church, Philadelphia, PA. (May 1998). Rev. Dr. Sturdivant was the pastor of St. John AME Church—Wayne, Pa., her first pastorate.
Rev. Dr. Sturdivant, was the first woman to pastor Asbury AME Church, Chester, PA. She was assigned to Asbury in June 2003 by the Rt. Rev. Zedekiah L. Grady and served faithfully until her promotion on June 15, 2013.

Rev. Dr. Sturdivant was the first woman to host the Delaware Annual Conference in the First Episcopal District of the AME Church (2005), again in 2007 and again in 2012.
On Saturday, June 15, 2013 Rev. Dr. Sturdivant was promoted to the office of Presiding Elder of the South District of the Philadelphia Annual Conference by Bishop Gregory G. M. Ingram of the First Episcopal District. Her appointment as Presiding Elder makes it the first time that any Annual Conference in the AME Church has two female Presiding Elders serving in it, at the same time. She is the first woman to superintend the South District. Elder Sturdivant is the first Presiding Elder to lead a Presiding Elder District—(The South District) in hosting the Philadelphia Annual Conference in its 201st year history. This was the very first time any Presiding Elder District hosted the Annual conference in the Philadelphia Conference’s history. Presiding Elder Sturdivant graduate from Medialle College in Buffalo, New York with a B.S. (May 1986). She graduated with a M.Div. from Lutheran Theological Seminary-Philadelphia (May 1993). She also received her D.Min. at Lutheran Theological Seminary-Philadelphia (May 2008). Her project topic is ‘The Woman’s Journey to the Pastorate in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.’

Treena Ferebee

Treena Ferebee, a Philadelphia native, was born the youngest of 4 daughters to Linda and William Ferebee. As a child her mother would have all 4 daughters sing faithfully every week at their home church in North Philadelphia They were known as the Philadelphia version of the “Clark Sisters”. When Treena was just 9 she and her sisters were signed under the management of the Iconic Legend Teddy Pendergrass. At the age of 19 Treena began to tour the world as a background vocalist for many recording artists including Musiq soulchild, Vivian Green of which Treena was the first female background vocalist musical director, VV Brown, Kindred the family soul and many others. Treena has also shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Shirley Caesar, India Arie, Donnie McClurkin, Prince, and the list goes on. She has also had the pleasure while off the road to perform in many of Philadelphia’s Parades under the direction of John best and Brenda Goldsmith and also to become Musical director for many churches in the city. Currently Treena is honored to be the first female Director for Music Arts and Multimedia at Sharon Baptist Church. Annually she teams up with Andre Houser to perform with a full orchestra directed by the living legend Mr. Benjamin Wright who has created symphonies and arrangements for Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight just to name a few. More importantly, Treena enjoys using her experiences and influence to give young people in all communities opportunities to shine and grow together in love and unity! Whether it’s a Thanksgiving day parade or musical events and production at the Kimmel Center or at Church, Treena is always finding a way to extend an opportunity to young aspiring performers in all aspects of the creative arts. “It is a great honor to be chosen to use music as a common language to reach audiences all around the world.” Treena Ferebee is proud to be in her hometown to celebrate and be a part of another exciting year of the Wawa Welcome America Festival!

Men’s Fellowship Choir

Min. Alex Ingram and the late Deacon Bob Washington wanted to have a city wide male choir for the 2010 Annual Deliverance Evangelistic Church Men’s Conference. We reached out to Rev. Frederick Bowers IV, Waltier Blocker, Shawn Bradley, Gerald Wesson, John “Puff” Drayton, Willie Phillips, and others from around the city… We had such a great fellowship the men decided to support each other during their Men’s Day Service.


Carolyn Amaradio

Carolyn Amaradio, a South Philadelphia native, is a classically trained professional vocalist, actor, dancer and performance coach. Ms. Amaradio has been invited to perform and teach across the U.S. and abroad. She is known for her stage presence and versatility ranging from opera singing to hip-hop dance. Ms. Amaradio studied at prestigious institutions including Interlochen Center for the Arts and The Manhattan School of Music with world-renowned mezzo soprano Mignon Dunn. She has also studied voice and acting privately with Tony Award winner Victoria Clark and JoAnna Beckson. Ms. Amaradio’s favorite performance venues include: Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center (NYC), The Town Hall (NYC), The Academy of Music (PHL), The Walnut Street Theatre (PHL) and The Kimmel Center(PHL). She also enjoys singing masses, special events, and weddings in Churches throughout Philadelphia. She is an active Member of Actor’s Equity Association (AEA) and American Guild of Musical Artists. Ms. Amaradio is currently a graduate student and an employee of The University of Pennsylvania.


Justin Gonzalez

Justin Gonzalez is an independent musician based in Philadelphia who travels throughout the tri-state area and beyond. Justin performs a mix of classical, big band, Broadway, and operatic repertoire. He has been compared to incredible artists such as Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo. Jerry Blavat (Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Broadcasting Pioneer) has affectionately called him “the son of Mario Lanza.”

In concert, Justin has excited audiences with his renditions of opera arias, musical theater standards and interpretations of the American songbook. He has also performed as a soloist in numerous oratorios and cantatas across the region.

Dr. Cassandra Jones

Cassandra W. Jones, Ed. D., is a visionary leader with 45 years of experience leading organizations to achieve their mission, improve performance and manage financial and human resources effectively.  Fueled by a belief that education is perhaps the greatest way to improve quality-of-life for all citizens, she set about on a journey that would ultimately lead to serving in two of the nation’s most challenging and promising urban school districts.  She served as the Chief Academic Officer for the Baltimore City Public School System and as the Interim Chief Academic Officer for the School District of Philadelphia. Her core values of integrity and service are grounded in her spiritual formation that was birthed in Mt. Sinai Holy Churches of America, Inc.  These core values have been further refined under her pastor, The Reverend Dr. Alyn E. Waller, Senior Pastor, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church.  She currently serves as the Senior Directress and Administrator, Music and Arts, at Enon. Cassandra has been married to Doyt M. Jones, Jr. for 38 years, and they are blessed with two children,  Doyt M. Jones, III (Crystal) and Jasmine E. Sessoms (Jammar).  They have five granddaughters:  Natalie, Audrey, Jae, Jace and Sydney.

Alex Ingram

A native of Philadelphia Pa, Alex began playing for the church choir at the Refuge Deliverance Worship Center with his grandmother, the late Reverend Henrietta Betrand, Pastor, and Founder. Later, The School Band under the direction of Cecil DuValle and The Gospel Singers at Strawberry Mansion Jr. High School under the direction of Gabriel Hardeman Jr., Served as the Musical Director for the Gabriel Hardeman Delegation for many years. Served as the Music Minister for the Fellowship Tabernacle Church of Philadelphia under the leadership of Bishop Robert Taylor Sr., Served as Assistant Music Director at the Zion Baptist Church in Ambler, Pa. under the leadership of Rev. Gerald Chapman Sr. Presently, the Minister of Sacred Music at the Deliverance Evangelistic Church of Philadelphia, Pa under the leadership of Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Glen Spaulding.

Sisterly Love

Three families joined as one through the Ministry of Song. Sisters with a passion and anointing to sing God’s Praises. All of these ladies are recording artist and have sang with a “who’s who” list of recording artist. Gabriel Hardeman Delegations, Philadelphia Mass Choir, Philadelphia Youth Mass Choir, First Choice, The Lee Specials, and Imani.