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Benefit Concert To Lift Well-Known Musical Pastor To ‘Higher Ground’

By ALESHA CADET

Tribune Features Reporter

acadet@tribunemedia.net

After years of spreading hope and encouraging others to stay strong, Pastor Simeon Outten is himself being shown support by a group of Bahamian music artists who will host a benefit concert in his honour this Sunday.

Three months ago, the Grand Bahama clergyman lost his home in Hurricane Dorian. It was the second time his home destroyed in a hurricane; the first time in 2005 when Category 5 Hurricane Wilma wreaked havoc in Eight Mile Rock.

Despite this second major setback, Pastor Outten remained steadfast in his beliefs. In fact, he said his faith has never been stronger, and he is encouraging those who lost homes and loved ones in Dorian to also keep the faith in God during these trying times.

After Dorian had passed and an all-clear was given, Pastor Outten visited his house in the area known as “Over the Bridge” to find only an empty shell left. In a video posted to Facebook, Pastor Outten can be seen collecting valuables and mementos and were still salvageable.

The senior pastor at New Life Worship Centre shared with viewers: “This is it. It is a total devastation and thank God I am alive. The whole house is completely gone. I am just trying to pick up some plates, whatever I can get, and carry for the wife. Our island is completely devastated, you see my home, this is actually the second loss, but to God be the glory.”

This Sunday, Bahamas Faith Ministries on Carmichael Road here in Nassau will host a benefit concert for Pastor Outten and his family. The event will bring together a diverse mix of local gospel artists representing a cross section of styles, including traditional gospel, “down home” Bahamian gospel styles infused with Junkanoo and rake n’ scrape, contemporary gospel and modern worship music.

The line-up of artists scheduled to perform includes Bishop Denczil Rolle and Friends, Karrington McKenzie, Edison Sumner and Voices of Praise, Tamika Taylor, The Rahming Brothers, DJ Godson, Shaback, Ricardo Clarke, Bishop Lawrence Rolle, Kenyatta Taylor, DJ Counsellor, Latasha Taylor, Oslien Jadorte, V-Mac, Mr J, and multiple Marlin Award winner Nigel Lewis.

According Kevin “Minister K” Harris, one of the members of a special organising committee formed to coordinate and host this concert, the goal is to raise funds to assist Pastor Outten and his family as hurricane survivors so that they can begin to rebuild their lives and their home.

“Pastor Simeon Outten is a veteran in Bahamian gospel music, having served as the lead singer for the award-winning ensemble Decision from Freeport, Grand Bahama, for many years before leaving to embark on a solo career. He has recorded a number of successful albums that yielded a number of hit singles, including ‘Give Me Some of that Holy Ghost’, ‘Blame it on the Music’, ‘I am Free’ and ‘Higher Ground’ – the song that served as the inspiration for the title of the planned tribute and benefit concert. He is also well-known for his ‘down home’, rake n’ scrape renditions of a number of popular church hymns,” said Minister Harris.

He said Pastor Outten’s church, the New Life Worship Centre in Freeport, served as one of the shelters that housed a number of people who sought refuge from the ravages of Hurricane Dorian. A number of pastors and national leaders, he said, are also expected to be in attendance, including the Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson, who is confirmed to bring remarks.

“Several churches and businesses have come on board as sponsors, including Bahamas Faith Ministries, Digi Print, Elevation Media, Bahamas Harvest Church, Consumers Choice Auto Parts and several others. And even though the concert is a tribute to Pastor Simeon Outten, one of the highlights of the event will be a special live performance from Simeon Outten himself. Persons attending can look forward to a dynamic time of ministry from Pastor Outten, who we expect will perform some of his most popular songs from his extensive catalogue of music,” said Minister Harris.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and children 12 years and under are $10. Ticket outlets include Logos Bookstore, The Oasis Book Store and The Bible Book and Gift Centre. For additional information, call 395-9984 or e-mail simeonouttentributeconcert@gmail.com.

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