The Soul Lifters Gospel Choir and The Acting on Faith Praise Dance Ministry both won first place at the National Baptist Student Union Retreat this past weekend. The retreat brings together schools such as Prairie View A&M, Fort Valley State, Henderson State University and Sam Houston State University for seminars, fellowship and growth in Christ.
The Soul Lifters Gospel Choir was established in 1971 by Sam Houston State University students who wanted to grow closer to Christ through music. Acting on Faith is a branch of Soul Lifters that was added later in 1995 to further spiritual growth through movement and dance.
The Soul Lifters Choir and Acting on Faith performs at many events on campus and competes annually at the National Baptist Student Union Retreat. They both received first place at the retreat, a recognition they have won several times before.
“We weren’t really focused on the competition part,” said Nicole Simpson, director for the Acting on Faith organization. “We just wanted to minister to those that were in attendance.”
Senior Syreeta Brownlow is a dancer for Acting on Faith and agrees with the attitude that the competition is not the most important thing about the group.
“We try not to go with the mindset that it is a competition,” said Brownlow. “We are just ministering. People express their Christianity in different ways; we just minister through our dancing and enter the contest at the retreat because they offer it.”
Acting on Faith has 23 members and features “praise dancing,” which is composed of several different kinds of dancing including lyrical and dancing with sign language. The group dances mainly to slow Christian and Gospel music.
Soul Lifters Choir and Acting on Faith usually travel together and perform at colleges and churches in the area. They will be performing at the anniversary of their church in a few weeks.