While the world may recognize “8-Mile Road” for it’s negative imagery, on Friday, May 12, 2006, the many in attendance at First Baptist World Changers on 8-Mile bore witness to many bright lights shining in the darkness. At this elegant edifice, known in Detroit for the conveniently placed billboard that sits directly above it and points the way for those seeking a vibrant church home, The Whitfield Music Group celebrated their 10th Anniversary in grand style.
The Whitfield Music Group was founded by Larry and David Whitfield, brothers of the late “Maestro” Thomas A. Whitfield Jr. The unifying theme throughout their 10th Anniversary Celebration was the living legacy left by this legendary musician and man of God. Larry and David shared with the audience that just prior to Thomas’s passing in 1992, the three brothers were planning to do a project together. While this was not to be, the Lord put it on Larry’s heart to carry out this vision through The Whitfield Music Group.
The First Baptist World Changers Praise Team started off the evening (ON TIME!) by giving visitors to their church a taste of what Sunday morning must feel like there. They left no room for doubt that World Changers’ music ministry is serious about getting their praise on while ushering in the presence of the Lord.
Great music continued to fill the evening. Following the praise team, David Whitfield, Sr. took great pleasure in introducing his son and namesake as David Whitfield Productions presented the sound of the next generation of the Whitfield legacy. Next, Larry Whitfield brought his sister-in-law and renowned soloist, Lisa Scott-Bailey to the stage.
While The Whitfield Music Group has achieved their 10-year milestone, Thomas Whitfield’s The Whitfield Company has been going strong for 30 years. This evening marked the first time that The Whitfield Company and The Whitfield Music Group had come together in music ministry. Many of The Whitfield Company’s members have been with the group from its inception and the group easily proved that they are only getting better with time.
Special guests Mark Holly & 1-A-Chord continued the evening of musical artistry and ministry with several selections from their new project including the title song and radio-favorite, “What A Friend.” Next, The Whitfield Music Group took the praise even higher, singing several songs from their project, “This Time,” including “Backslider,” “Intimacy (into-me-see),” and my personal favorite, the title song, “This Time.”
In a wonderful use of multi-media, Thomas Whitfield was included in the evening through a video clip of a local television interview with “The Maestro” from the 1980’s. The clip highlighted the impact that Whitfield was having on the gospel music scene at the time. Several Whitfield Company members who were present at the Anniversary that evening could be seen singing in the video.
Closing out the evening was the momentous combined Whitfield Music Group, Whitfield Company, and Whitfield Productions choirs, or as Larry Whitfield called them, “The Whitfield Legacy.” The many in attendance were truly blessed to be witnesses to this truly historical event in Detroit’s gospel music legacy.