Award-winning, Vincentian-born, Caribbean gospel diva, Evangelist Bridget Blucher, two Saturdays ago brought the House of the Lord down in a major gospel concert drive aimed at installing an air conditioning system at one of the larger United Methodist churches in Brooklyn.
For the second year, Blucher flew from her residence in Port St. Lucie, Florida to render her mellifluous, enthralling voice to a worthy cause, at St. Marks United Methodist Church, in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to do something for Rev. (Glyger) Beach (the church’s Vincentian-born pastor),” Blucher told Caribbean Life after the four-hour-long event. “It owes us to rally around him until they get the air conditioning because St. Marks is a haven for Vincentians and Caribbean people on a whole.
“To my knowledge, it’s a church where everyone reaches out in times of disaster or death,” she added. “We want to be able to do this project (fundraisers) until the AC (air conditioning) is up and running.”
Blucher, who, clearly, was the highlight of the concert, enwrapped congregants with a several hits from her wide repertoire, including “Be Still,” “Burdens are Lifted,” “Greatly Blessed,” “I’m Saved,” “O, How Marvellous,” “God’s not Dead,” and “Send a Light.”
“I want to give thanks to the Rev. Dr. Beach,” said Blucher before belching out her numbers. “I am hoping that, by next year, this mission (of installing the AC) will be accomplished.”
St. Mark’s United Methodist Church has been without an AC system since its construction over 125 years ago.
With increasing complaints from parishioners and visitors about the sweltering heat, particularly in summer months, one congregant, Laverne Munro, a registered nurse, decided to spearhead a committee to raise funds for the installation of the unit.
“We really have to get AC in that place,” Munro also told Caribbean Life. “I’m not going to stop until this thing finishes (AC is installed). We ain’t stopping now.”
She disclosed that her committee is contemplating planning a major fund-raising dinner banquet next year.
Rev. Beach said it will cost in the region of US$260,000 for the church’s sanctuary to be fully air-conditioned.
“It’s going to be very expensive for us, because we have to put it (AC unit) on the roof in order to get it (cool air) in the sanctuary,” he said. “It’ll involve electrical wiring, etc.”
Rev. Beach said about US$60,000 has been raised to date, primarily through gospel concerts headlined by Blucher.
Vincentian Dunn Joseph, Trinidadian Ms. Sanchez, Middle School 354 steel band, as well as St. Mark’s United Methodist Church Praise Worship Team, were featured, among others, at the concert.
“One thing we can say is that Vincentians up here (in the United States) really support us,” Rev. Beach said.