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James Fortune, Deon Kipping perform as part of Black History celebration

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Deon Kipping


POSTED January 21, 2012 2:17 a.m.

STOCKTON – James Fortune and Deon Kipping, two nationally known gospel music artists, will headline this year’s Gospelfest, an annual concert University of the Pacific puts on as part of its Black History Month celebration.

Co-sponsored by Delta College, the event is Saturday, Feb. 4 in the Warren Atherton Auditorium at Delta College, 5151 Pacific Ave.

Gospelfest 2012: Reach Out and Praise starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance ($15 at the door) and can be purchased online at or at the Box Office on Delta’s campus. The Stockton-based group the Tipping Point, which includes current and former Pacific students, will open the concert.

Attendees are encouraged to bring items such as diapers (sizes 4 & 5), feminine hygiene products, bras and undergarments to the concert to donate to the Gospel Center Rescue Mission, a local shelter for the homeless and families in need. The items will be collected and delivered to girls and women served by the shelter. 

Known for using music and dance to minister to the youth, Fortune will perform with the ensemble FIYA (Faith in Yahweh Anointed). The Houston native leads the group during their performances in the tradition of gospel music legend Kirk Franklin. Fortune’s song “I Trust You,” was named Gospel Song of the Year and was the longest running number one gospel single on Billboard’s charts in 2009. He recently released his latest album “Identity.”

For Kipping, this will be his third time performing in Pacific’s Gospelfest. The Bridgeport, Conn. artist is known for his lead vocals on  “Incredible God” and  hit single “Praise Him in Advance” performed by Marvin Sapp. His latest work, “I Just Want to Hear You,” is scheduled for release on Verity Records.

“This year’s concert includes talented and inspirational artists who have developed a strong connection with younger generations of gospel music lovers,” said Randall Ogans, the event’s lead organizer and co-chair of the Black History Month planning committee. “Their performances are sure to honor the true intent of gospel music, which is to provide a pathway towards hope amidst everyday struggles that we all encounter.”

 Gospelfest started in 2000 as part of the University’s celebration of African-American history and heritage. Over the years, the concert has featured a number of local and nationally-known artists, from Sacramento-based The Carnies to Sapp, winner of gospel music’s most prestigious award, the Dove, and whose single “Never Would Have Made It” became the longest running No. 1 gospel single in Billboard’s history at 42 weeks.

The concert is one of many events planned throughout February for Pacific’s celebration of Black History Month. Other events include a financial aid workshop, poetry reading, round-table discussions and guest lecturers. This year’s keynote speaker is Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter India.Arie. She will give a lecture and performance on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Bob Hope Theatre, 242 E. Main St., in downtown Stockton. The celebration of this year’s theme is “Black Women in American History and Culture.”

For more information call 209.946.7361. To purchase general admission tickets log on to

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