Bishop Andrew Merritt, pastor of Detroit's Straight Gate International Church, launches "The Forces of Faith: 7 Days of Faith" conference this week that runs from Sunday, April 10th through Saturday, April 16th at the church's headquarters: 10100 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, MI 48204. Aside from Bishop and First Lady Viveca Merritt, there will be an array of dynamic speakers. Among them are Pastor Jonathan Merritt, Pastor David Merritt, Bishop Tudor Bismark, Pastor Anthony Ramsey, Pastor Brad Trask, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Pastor Dominic Russo, Bishop Marvin L. Winans, Sister Barbara Littles and Dr. Bill Winston.
Meanwhile, Bishop Merritt and his renowned Straight Gate Mass Choir are making headlines with their fourth album "Saturate Us" (Bajada Records) that recently debuted at #9 on Billboard Magazine's Top Gospel Albums sales chart. Producer Noel Hall, who has worked with artists such as Fred Hammond and CeCe Winans, produced the ten-song set that was recorded live at the Straight Gate International Church. The beautiful title song "Saturate Us" is an uplifting cry for spiritual rain by seasoned praise and worship leader Jaye Thomas. His booming baritone has a warm rasp that wraps the listener in the passionate appeal of the song that was written by LaDon Ford and Noel Hall. Performance link:
Bishop Merritt founded Detroit, Michigan's Straight Gate Church in 1978. The first service was held in a storefront building with three members: Bishop Merritt; his wife, Viveca and daughter, Rachelle. Under the powerful preaching and expository teachings of Bishop Merritt, the church roll swelled from three members in 1978 (and eight church moves) to more than 6,000 members today. The first Straight Gate Mass Choir album "Faith in the House" (Integrity Media) sold over 150,000 copies in 2000. It peaked at #2 on the Billboard Gospel Album sales chart and the sophomore album "Expectations: I'll Praise" and was another Top 5 bestseller. The third set "The Holy One" (2007) was also a Top 20 hit. Visit www.saturateus.com for more information on the music and http://bishopmerrittministries.org/conferences for more information on the conference.