Student Events Team and African American Affairs teamed up to bring gospel music artist, Jovonta Patton, to Minnesota State University, Mankato. Patton’s music has landed him five number one Billboard topping songs, and last Friday, brought him to Mankato.
Student Events Team concert company chair William Keebler played a large role in planning the event and how the partnership between the organizations brought gospel music to MSU.
“[The concert] was a part of the African American Affairs Black History Month programming. Most of our events don’t really feature this type of music typically, so when African American Affairs had this idea, we wanted to be involved,” said Keebler.
Gospel music has a connective component that a lot of other music doesn’t. Lindi Ruhamah Johnson is a member of a Christian Fellowship group on campus and attended the concert, and felt moved by the performance.
“The songs were really interactive, so you really feel seen when you’re worshiping and singing together with people who know the Lord,” said Johnson. “There’s a connection there where even if you don’t know each other personally, there’s something there. We have the same spirit.”
Patton himself agreed with the sentiment. He shared that his favorite part of performing for Mankato was the diversity of the students who worshiped with him.
“There was one student with a hijab on and she was worshiping with us. It touched my heart, because worshiping goes beyond creeds and nations and differences, and I feel like we can all worship God,” said Patton. “Just to see that was very moving.”
For Patton, his relationship with music is not just therapeutic, but also a passion.
“[Music] is a lifeline for me and it’s also a piece of my identity,” said Patton. “Whether I’m alone or in public, that’s what I do.”
He was more than happy to be a part of MSU celebrating Black History Month. To him, the month allows him to connect with not only his heritage, but also his faith simultaneously.
“[Black History Month] is so amazing because it gives us the opportunity to know what the Black future looks like. I try to make sure I am celebratory with my fashion, with everything. I can’t be nothing but black all year round, but I try to go above and beyond in February,” said Patton.
He continued, “It looks like a cool career, but I really don’t have a choice but to do it. I love that God planted me here on the Earth for a call to help people and encourage people at their lowest moments and be the soundtrack at their highest moments.”
Patton encourages people to attend The Wave Church in Big Lake Minnesota, where Patton performs. The pop church holds services on Sundays at 1:45 p.m.
Header Photo: Billboard artist Jovonta Patton performed at Maverick Gospel Night Feb. 18. Patton performed as a part of the African American Affairs Black History Month programming. (Courtesy photo)
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