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  In the early 70s, the desire for a Gospel choir at Michigan that would encourage the men and women of its membership while accomplishing the mission of the “Great Commission” was as real as the need was great. In 1972, the vision for this choir—which became known then as the University of Michigan Black Gospel Choir—was realized. Founded and originally directed by Ms. Tonya Moorman, a foundation was laid for a group that would impact the lives of students for some 2 generations and 3 decades.

In 1988, under the visionary leadership of Barbra Robinson of Minority Student Services and Michael Swanigan of the Trotter House, the vision for a more organizationally sound and stable group came to fruition. The organization would no longer have a director, but an entire executive board of appointed officers and would be offered as a class at the University for credit. And the organization would be adorned with a new all-inclusive name: The University of Michigan Gospel Chorale (UMGC).

The Bible declares that all things will be added unto those who above all things seek God and His Kingdom. It further asserts that our God can and will bless more than a person has room enough to receive…in overflow-like abundance. Throughout the 90s and early 2000s God proved himself in these truths, as the floodgates of opportunity opened wide. During this time period, UMGC ministered with Marvin Winans, Rev. John Resse, The Winans, Sounds of Blackness, Yolanda Adams, Rev. Bernice King, Jesse Norman, and Karen Clark-Sheard among others. Ministry opportunities also took UMGC to the Washtenaw Juvenile Center and Southern Christian Leadership Banquet. In the late 90s, UMGC resumed is student organization status in order to loose itself from some of the restrictions that would have put it out of step with what God had in store. The blessings weren’t through coming just yet.

In the Spring of 1998, under the visionary leadership and faith of then president Mr. Oscar Cobb, UMGC embarked upon its first ever nation-wide tour. From 1998 on, UMGC members would sacrifice their Spring Break to take their testimonies and the message of God’s love to the world. Tours have taken UMGC through the Midwest, up and down the East Coast, and as far South as Miami, FL. Ministry opportunities during these tours included Love Fellowship Tabernacle in NY with Pastor Hezekiah Walker and Kim Burrell, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church - Atlanta with Bishop Eddie L. Long, Darwin Hobbs, Judith McAllister, and William Murphy, New Birth – Miami with Bishop Victory Curry, Disney World, and many other places.

In 2001, under the visionary leadership of Mr. Adrian Reynolds, UMGC became a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, paving the way for donations and major corporate sponsorship opportunities to come, and changed the “official” name of the organization to the Michigan Gospel Chorale (MGC) in preparation of those opportunities. With the stage set, God blessed MGC in the Fall of 2003 to be the focus of the Christian documentary film ‘Radical!’, chronicling the struggles and successes of young men and women of God in college at Michigan. The film, set to debut in some 7 countries in the Spring of 2004 was expected to revolutionize the way people think about the future of the church and its young people across the world. Ten years after the first UMGC tour, in 2008, the choir was invited to participate in its first international endeavor, accompanying the UM President, Mary Sue-Coleman to Ghana, Africa. While on this amazing journey, the choir ministered at various churches and schools, as well as a packed house in the Ghanaian National Theater.

To tell the story of MGC is to tell a story of a group that started from humble beginnings some 3 decades ago to become a Michigan INSTITUTION. A movement that has not only impacted the countless souls that MGC’s ministry has gone before, but has also DEFINED the college experience of the thousands of members that have come through its doors.

And the legacy continues...
 
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