Standing-room-only crowd packs church

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

Evangelist Tangelia Harrington believes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream not only for people of color but for all races, “coming together as one and pushing forward in equality.”

Harrington sang “I give myself away” in front of a standing room only crowd at the 2014 MLK Gospel Extravaganza, which was held Sunday at Throne of Grace Fellowship Church in Lake Charles.

There were a variety of performances at the annual event including dance, poetry, song and testimony.

The theme for the service was “The dream, the future and me.”

“As far as aspirations, I always tell people to go for your dreams,” said Lake Charles native Trish Thierry, who sang “Praise is what I do.”

“I’m going to praise God through the good, through the bad. No matter if I’m happy or whether I’m sad — just give God all praise.”

The annual fellowship was a time for Larry Robinson to reflect on Dr. King’s dream.

“At the end of the day I believe that he inspired a culture to have their own dream,” he said. “We should look inside ourselves and understand why we’re created and what we’re created to do and how to express that for humanity ... for all people.”

Fourteen-year-old Renee Simien worshiped through dance with other girls from Christian Baptist Church.

“It’s more of a spiritual thing for me. It moves me in a way that I can’t explain,” Simien said. “It gives me a chance to look back at all the sacrifices others have made for me and gives me a chance to give back. It makes me feel alive to praise.”