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The Finest Day - Zion’s Finest: An A.M.E. Zion Singing Showcase Finale Taping


Rev. Dierdre’ Parker - Rowson

Entertainment & Arts Editor, The Star of Zion

Email: Entertainment_Arts@StarofZion.org

Photographer: Dr. Vincent Howell

April 18, 2023

Winston Salem, NC - I love TV singing competition shows. It’s the human drama for me. Not only do you get to discover amazing unknown talent, but you learn the stories behind the person. You learn what music means to them, and how they use it to overcome the pitfalls of life. In these competitions, the competitors use their God-given gifts to beautify the world around them. If you are like me, then you have probably watched every singing competition show that there is.

There is a new singing competition show whose inaugural season has had me on the edge of my seat for weeks. Zion’s Finest: An A.M.E. Zion Singing Showcase. It features singers from all over the A.M.E. Zion Church, and is viewable on all the Star of Zion, and A.M.E. Zion streaming platforms. Each week we have watched as the competitors have auditioned before a cadre of distinguished judges who offer suggestions and feedback.

And can we talk about the judges? Dr. Tony McNeill sought-after workshop clinician, lecturer consultant, mentor, and guest choral conductor, throughout the country. Dr. David Scott Cunningham, Pastor of China Grove AME Zion Church Pineville, NC, sought after for his A.M.E. Zion Connectional ministry and national recording artist Ms. Ashia Bello (Anthony Brown & Group Therapy). These judges guide and mentor the contestants, week after week as we make our way to the series finale where only one will be crowned Zion’s Finest and receive a $1000 cash prize as well as a recorded song that will be featured on the Zion’s Finest Compilation album.

After watching for weeks, I had the privilege of being present at the live taping of the finale. For someone who loves TV Singing competition shows, I was as happy as a hog in a mud wallow. It wasn’t just the singing; it was the entire experience. Goler Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, in Winston Salem NC, is such a beautiful facility perfectly equipped for such an undertaking as the finale of a singing competition show. Since I am not tech savvy, I won’t be able to wow you with all of the built in media friendly features that made this place perfect. What I can tell you, is that the hosts, from the pastor (Rev. Dr. George Banks) to the person who greeted us at the door and all points in between, were generous, helpful and operated in the spirit of love.

My first experience of being a part of an audience for a live taping of a show was stellar. It was made so by the professionalism of the media team. From start to finish, even with start-overs; they kept the audience engaged and the performing finalists calm. It wasn’t long before this went from being the taping of a show to a spiritual encounter. As each of the three finalists took their turn on the stage, it was obvious that, for them, this was not a competition, but an opportunity to lift up their voices in praise and adoration to the Great I Am. With their voices they led us into their secret place with God. We, the audience, went willingly with them. As I opened my eyes, I realized that I wasn’t the only one with my hands in the air and I wasn’t the only one with tears streaming down my face because these voices didn’t just entertain us, they ushered us into worship. In that moment we became one people, with one goal in mind. Praise and adoration to God.

These shows have been wonderfully produced by the Communications Department of the A.M.E. Zion Church with its main sponsors, The Star of Zion and The A.M.E. Zion Publishing House and the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Zion Church. This inaugural season has been produced by Mr. Darin Kent, directed by Mrs. Dana Radcliffe, musically supervised by Mr. Ramon Shelton, and hosted by Pastor R.J. Chandler Sr.

If you haven’t been following this season’s episodes, you still have time to catch them before the finale airs. You will even have the opportunity to vote live during the finale, so it's important to catch up on the entire series available by searching for Zion’s Finest on Facebook, and YouTube. Take a minute to subscribe, like, comment and share Zion’s Finest to your virtual following. Trust me you don’t want to miss a minute of it! Zion’s Finest airs Thursday nights at 8pm on all Star of Zion and A.M.E. Zion streaming platforms with the finale airing in the beginning of May 2023.

Watch and Subscribe to our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@ZionsFinest

Watch and Follow our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/amezionsfinest


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