Community members of the gospel choir. Photo courtesy of Keisha Frith.


By Keisha Frith


NETZABERG, Germany — The sound of music echoed from the Netzaberg Chapel as the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria community members and local nationals gathered for a Gospel concert. 


Called the “Gospel Explosion”, the event was held Nov. 15-17 as a choir workshop. It is an annual event.


This event — which brought on- and off-post community members together — began with the vision of two ministry of music directors and the support of the Gospel Service Pastor, Captain James Polk.


This is one of many events to pour back into the community, Polk said.


“This was the vision of a former Gospel Chapel Minister of Music and Minister of Music Director Cletis Reaves of the New Life Christian Center, I saw the vision of both of them and thought it was a great way to bring together the Bavarian Community.”


The workshop gave participants an opportunity to partake in different breathing exercises and learn new songs in preparation for the Gospel concert that concluded the workshop on Sunday Evening.


“This event does not only serve service chapel services and churches outside the gate, but a greater group of singers that love singing gospel music in the local area,” said Polk.  


“It’s a great opportunity for all of them to come together, and it doesn’t just impact those groups of churches, but it impacts the people of the community who come and experience the concert,” Polk said.


The attendees included Soldiers, family members and local nationals. Some of the local national singers spoke very little English but they sang following the direction of the music director. 


“I sang last year and I had a good time. I hope this continues,” said Ermi Ohla, a Grafenwohr resident and participant.


Reaves invited the audience to join in singing and clapping with the choir. During his meeting with the choir, he shared how the first year was more of a healing event for him as he was experiencing much hardship at that time.


“It’s good for brethren to come together in unity to worship,” Reaves said.


“This event, is a blessing because we have different groups coming together with one purpose and it’s multicultural. That’s a blessing as it looks a lot like the book of Acts.” said Chaplain Thomas Dyer of the Regimental Engineering Squadron in Grafenwohr.


Chaplains, facilitators, participants and attendees all clapped as the event ended with many expressing their desire to see this annual event continue. 


If you’re interested in future events, or you’d like to join the chapel community, visit the USAG Bavaria Facebook page at  

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