Newark’s Gospel Music Month Kick-Off Celebration

L-R: WGMA Exec. Curator Rev. Dr. Mark Exum, Baptist Ministers Conference of Newark and Vicinity Pres. Rev. Dr. Robert Coles, Newark South Ward Councilman Rev. Patrick Council, WGMA VP Dr. Lewis M. Collier, NJ
Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, and Newark Councilwoman Rev. Louise Rountree. Seated: WGMA Founder and Founding Father of Gospel Music Month in NJ and in Newark—NJ’s Gospel Music Capital—Dr. Albert J. Lewis Jr.

For 38 years, Gospel Music Month has been celebrated in Newark, NJ, the state’s Gospel Capital. Dr. Albert Lewis proposed the event to the late Mayor Kenneth Allen Gibson and later to the NJ Governor Richard Hughes in 1985.

On June 2, 2023, officials from Newark and the World Gospel Music Association (WGMA) gathered at Newark City Hall in the Municipal Council Chambers for the kick-off of the month-long celebration.