For the first time in years, Community Christian Reformed Church in Los Angeles, Calif., opened up its balcony.
The reason? A packed-out concert for surrounding churches and the community featuring Dorian Holley, lead singer of Jay Leno’s “The Tonight Show” band, and Glenn Bulthuis, an experienced church music director and concert performer.
“We felt honored to host this concert featuring an outstanding group of talented musicians and gifted vocalists,” said Richard Jones, the church’s pastor. “It was a blessing to see the church filled with a multiethnic group of people.”
Bulthuis said he hoped to feature gospel music in the concert in order to reach out to cross-cultural groups in the Los Angeles area.
More than 250 people attended the concert, forcing the church to add rows of chairs in the back and fill the balcony.
Attendees included members of the Michael Jackson band, members of Smokey Robinson’s band, and American Idol vocalists as well as Christian producers and actors.
“I believe the concert provided an opportunity for the surrounding community to see what can occur when God's people come together,” said Jones. “Several people from the community commented on how much the concert was a blessing.”
The concert also included a suggested donation, the proceeds of which were given to the church. Bulthuis said he was able to give double what he originally intended.
Lead performers Holley and Bulthuis grew up together as next-door neighbors in Los Angeles in the 1960s. Having been involved in the professional music industry for many years, both wanted to give back to their home community.
“Pastor Jones had never seen the church so full,” said Bulthuis. “[The concert] made a strong gospel presentation to all in attendance.”
He said that organizers are already talking about possibly repeating the event next year.