This is the day the Lord has made…” and with a shout of glory, congregants at Israel Baptist Church were ready to begin the Praise and Worship phase of the service. It was Saturday, September 26, 2015 and the church, located at 1201 N. Washington Street, was filled to capacity—including the balcony. Family, friends, supporters and well-wishers had gathered on a Saturday evening for the second live recording of Eric Waddell and the Abundant Life Singers.
Prior to the start of the concert, producer Rev. Franklin Fann, from New Jersey, came out to review a few preliminary guidelines. Cellphones and videotaping were taboo along with tambourines, which might interfere with the professional sound quality they desired. A prayer of consecration and anointing was given after the group had taken its place front and center, arrayed in flowing black and red robes.Accompanied by the dance ministry, the concert was under way.
The 60+ member group, which has been in existence for five years, was recording its second CD and it was truly live. The program was hosted by Philadelphia’s own Simone Malone. The music selected for the concert had been composed by various writers, including Pastor Eric Scott, James Glover, David Frasier from Houston and Malcolm Williams from Chicago. Gospel artists, from both local and distant places, were brought in to touch the souls of the audience members by way of their vocal talents.
The music rendered ranged from uptempo to majestic to mellow and back to uptempo. There were songs of purpose, praise, encouragement, adoration and patience. The repertoire included: “We Came toPraise Thy Name, “Lift Up Your Heads”, “We Will Make Your Name Great”, “Jesus, You Are My Everything”, “I Will Wait On You”, and “The Word Works”, to name a few. The audience enjoyed the performance and people could be seen standing with hands uplifted in anticipation of blessings, some swaying from side to side, others touching in agreement.
Under the direction of Eric Waddell, the choir sang, rocked and clapped to each tune before taking a break, while enjoying themselves as well as the audience’s response. The group’s blend of voices evoked very pleasant sounding tones, whether in a crescendo or decrescendo, whether piannissimo or forte. Vendors were also on hand to sell their wares, which included jewelry, pocketbooks, purses, hair products, and other merchandise.In addition, audience members could pre-order the CD prior to its release.
This group is no stranger to the Baltimore area. Their first live recording was held in 2012 at the same church. Waddell hails from the Baltimore area. He graduated from Carver Vocational Technical School and attended the Peabody Conservatory, where he received vocal training. He has served the city for many years, touching those with whom he has had the opportunity to minister.
This recording is sure to be a hit. Eric Waddell and the Abundant Life Singers can be reached on Facebook.