By Sheilah Belle
Bridgetown, Barbados (August 29, 2017) — Imagine flying into the islands to fellowship with brothers and sisters by the crystal blue beach waters of the Atlantic Ocean to talk about the goodness of Jesus Christ, while also learning how to navigate through social media and how to take your ministries beyond your comfort zone.
Sheilah Belle and Gozzy the Visionary of EKCOnation
Thanks to EKCOnation that is exactly what was accomplished during a week long conference in Barbados at the Accra Beach Hotel, as conference organizers helped to create a new wave of evangelism that is now sweeping the Caribbean with Music, Media and the Arts.
The Conference included several different components including powerful networking session, workshops and a Prison Concert with artists ministering in song before 140 prisoners and officers. However before the night was over 50 prisoner and guards accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior and received the Holy Spirit.
The Caribbean Ekconation also kicked off its Awakening Music Conference & Workshop with guest speakers that focused on music, arts and entertainment. This year’s special guest speakers included Ted Bruun, Joel McGill, Apostle Veryl Howard, David Rowe, Selwyn Brathwaithe, Ronald “Ronnie” Clarke and Sheilah Belle “The Belle,” who presented a special workshop on Digital Social Media.
Sheilah Belle “The Belle’s Digital Social Media Connect” Class in Bridgetown, Barbados
However it was the impressive long list of performers and attendees from other countries who gave this conference it’s authentic international flair including the visionary behind this event, Gozzy, John Yarde, Nicovia, Shawn J., Larix, Sirrah, Redbwoy, Pastor Paul Leacock, Gabrielle Denae, Durhams Boys & Crew, Tracee, Malak and Keann Walters.
Additional performers representing their native land included:
Jason Mighty – Reggae, Dancehall
Trinidad & Tobago
Curtis Jordan – Contemporary, Reggae, Soca
Blessed Messenger – Soca, Calypso, Reggae, Dancehall
Sharon Fraser – Calypso, Traditional
Shawn J – Contemporary, Reggae
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Tracee – Traditional, Contemporary
Gabrielle Denae – Contemporary, Traditional
Samuel Medas – Reggae, Dancehall, Contemporary
John Yarde – Contemporary, Soca, Pop
Nicovia – Contemporary, Soca
Gozzy – Reggae, Contemporary
Sirrah – Pop, Contemporary
Larix – Contemporary
Sherry-ann Maughan – Soca, Pop
Malak – Spoken Word
Durham Boys & Crew – Soca
Richard Antonio & KFL Band – Soca
Shanice Lashley – Pop, Contemporary
Redbwoy – Reggae, Dancehall
Keann Walters – Soca, Contemporary
First Baptist Chorale – Soca, Reggae, Traditional
Kingdom Spinning DJs – Djs
Powr Towrz – Djs
The rundown of the week included lectures, panel discussions, workshops and great Gospel music. Pastor Selwyn Brathwaithe delivered the featured address on the Conference title “Awakening”. Pastor Selwyn, is a former speaker at the Gospelfest Joseph Niles Legacy lecture and has a deep passion to see music and the arts being used to address issues and challenges facing society from a biblical world view.
Joel McGill of Impact World discussed his global mission’s movement of using music and arts to evangelize the current generation. He also discussed the ins and outs of ministry on the road in addition to engaging artistes on how to get involved with the Impact World movement in the Caribbean and the possibilities of taking a Caribbean Music and Cultural showcase team with the global teams to perform across the world.
Also sharing about taking your ministry on the road was Ted Brunn. He is the founder of Extreme Tours. He challenged artists, musicians and song writers on how to use their music and arts to impact various cultures globally.
Discussing radio and the challenges of getting played on radio was Ronald Clarke. Clarke is a Radio Director and he shared insight and led discussions into strategies for impacting the Gospel industry and secular radio on what would be needed to penetrate secular spheres in their target markets.
Apostle Veryl Howard who was instrumental in helping to organize the Awakening Music Conference & Workshop discussed several topics, including the challenges on being a musical vessel sold out for Christ. She asked the question, “Can a Christian artist, song-writer, musician or vocalist serve two kingdoms?” It was understood and agreed by all that the answer to that question is No. She was also the guest minister for the closing weekend Sunday service.
Psalmist David Rowe delivered a very informative session on the power of music and its ability to heal the body and to shape minds, culture and nations. Gail Callender shared her expertise and years of experience working with COSCAP, on copyright, related rights, royalties and understanding their benefits in making music work for you. This was an extremely help session.
Sheilah Belle “The Belle”, CEO of The Belle Report gave attendees an inside look into social media with her “Digital Social Media Connect” workshop. The Belle discussed effective ways to market and promote on everything from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Periscope. This also included the importance of understanding how to build your audience, Goals on Social Media, Event Promotions, Social Media Strongholds and how to make money on Social Media just to name a few.
On Saturday, Ekco hosted it’s “Release Da Soundz” Caribbean Worship Experience. John Yarde and Samuel Medas gave the saints a tremendous Worship Expereince, which took place at New Dimensions Ministries along with other Caribbean Worship leaders and artists with special guests Jason Mighty, Samuel Medas, Blessed Messenger, Nicovia, Gozzy, and many more Caribbean artists. The night was filled with an immeasurable Caribbean Worship by Caribbean songwriters and musicians. This was truly a blessed night to remember.
Event Organizer Gozzy says, “We are already planning and looking forward to growing this event and returning next year.”
EKCOnation is a movement formed to counteract the negative culture in our society by endorsing music, arts, entertainment and people that positively impact our nation based on the culture of the Kingdom of God. We are committed to highlighting artists, people and organizations that are using their resources, talents or simply sharing their story to help youth make positive life choices. EKCO is an acronym for Endorsing Kingdom Culture Only; and we seek to do this via mediums that engage young people: radio, internet, music and entertainment. Our mission is to Change the Culture, Change the Future.