Dorothy Norwood

Source: Flava/The Belle Report / Flava/The Belle Report

TBR — Richmond, VA – One of the biggest Gospel Weekends on the East Coast proved to be successful once again as it returned to Richmond, VA on Saturday, July 11th and Sunday, July 12th 2015.

Visionary and Founder Sheilah Belle “The Belle” first created the East Coast Gospel Music Summer Fest in July 2013. “The idea behind this Summer Fest is to create a positive networking environment and worship experience that would help empower, inspire, motivate and educate music lovers, newcomers to the Gospel community, and industry executives with a platform that would give them an opportunity to further grow their ministry and understand the commitment to God and what is necessary to change lives for the good. This is our third year hosting the East Coast Gospel Music Summer Fest and with the increase of participants in our day classes and the growing attendance with our concert at night, we are happy to say that our numbers continue to steadily increase each year,” says Belle.

Kicking off on Saturday July 11th the 3rd Annual East Coast Gospel Music Summer Fest (ECGM), returned to 5th Baptist Church, 1415 West Cary Street, Richmond, VA, with sessions that included a Leadership Workshop, M.I.C. Check, a Master Class with Stu Gardner, The Digital Social Outlook and the East Coast Gospel Music Summer Fest Praise Party.

Participants in the morning sessions including Ayo Morton, Pastor Julius White, C. Goss, Stu Gardner and The Belle as the Facilitator for the Leadership Round Table Discussion. Their topic was “The Seven Mountains of Influence” and discussing which one currently stands in the top position.

Dr. Larry Reid served as the Facilitator for MIC Check with guest panelists Bryan Andrew Wilson, Bil Carpenter and Vincent Hill.

Following their session, guests were served a light lunch, followed by a Master Class by Music Guru Stu Gardner.

Wrapping up the Morning session was “How to Write a Hit Song” with special guest panelists, AsOne, Manger Paul Wright and Alexis Spight.

The evening wrapped up with the 3rd Annual East Coast Gospel Music Summer Fest Praise Party from 6p.m.- 9:30p.m. Special guests included Pure-N-Heart, Pastor Larry Miles, Alexis Spight, Peggy Britt & Unison, Almeta Ingram, Lisa Winn, Chiquita Cross, AsOne, Donte’ McCutchen, Dr. Larry D. Reid, Zion’s Voice, No Chains and The Bishop Quartet.

Co-hosting the evening were Kim Robinson and The Belle.

On Sunday, July 12, 2015, The Belle along with her crew, “B Kore Crew” celebrated the 6th Annual “Gospel Music Fest with The Belle” at Dogwood Dell at 5p.m. The annual outdoor event returned to Richmond, a city that has long been known for its mixture of Traditional and Quartet sounds and that hasn’t changed much with guest headliners Dorothy Norwood, the Brooklyn Allstars and the Virginiaires.

Additionally, The “Gospel Music Fest with The Belle” was also recently listed as one of the largest outdoor Gospel Concerts on the East Coast.

Before the first guest of the evening was introduced two special awards and presentations were presented to The Belle.

The first presentation was for an idea The Belle came up with, by introducing a specialty entre’ to a local restaurant. The dish, the Bellelalicious (pronounced Belle-la-li-cious) Meatloaf includes special ingredients and a specialty sauce topping created by “The Belle.” Accepting her idea was the popular Soul Food Restaurant “Mama J’s” who is now also considering giving others an opportunity to do the same thing once a month or once a Quarter. Belle’s Bellelalicious Meatloaf will be served through the remainder of the summer.

The second presentation for the evening was presented by Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones office. It was a special Proclamation that recognized all of Ms. Belle’s accomplishments and contributions to the Richmond and surrounding area. Feeling a bit emotional, The Belle’s brother, Max, joined her on stage. It was really a touching and proud moment for The Belle family!

This year’s featured guests included James Johnson and the Voices of Cedar Street, Gospel Music Legend Dorothy Norwood, the Brooklyn Allstars, The Virginia Aires, AsOne, Petula Beckles, Minister Earl Bynum and Larry Bland and the Volunteer Choir Reunited, featuring Promise and Almeta Ingram and a special performance by C. Goss.

Emceeing the special evening was WKJS 105.7 KISS FM, Philly Phil and Praise 104.7FM and The Belle Reports own Sheilah Belle, The Belle.

Helping to make the BIG Gospel Weekend a success was the City of Richmond, The Belle Report, Max Belle, C.L. Belle Autos, Monica Lucas, Bishop Joel Brown; Senior Pastor of New Jerusalem Internal Ministries, Ernest Wright; State Farm Agent, Mama J’s, Four Deep, J. T. Logan, Radio One and Praise 104.7.

Also a special “THANK YOU” to Saint Paul’s Baptist Church Security Team, Anita Pouncy, Cheryl Robinson, Trina Berry, Tosha, Sharon Gilbert, NayNay, Hype Man, Shelia J., C Goss, Gwen Douglas and our entire “B Kore Crew” team, Paulette Singleton and Flava. This weekend COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED without you!

The “Big Gospel Weekend” Attracts Thousands of Gospel Music Lovers to Richmond, VA  was originally published on

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