Despite its name, Gospel Choir Ministries (GCM) is about more than just singing. The group, which has been active on campus for 35 years, devotes many hours to community service activities.
“We realized that to be better servants to the community, we should do more than just sing and pray,” said Jason Smith ’08, GCM president.
For the last 20 years, this call to serve has manifested itself in the group’s Spring Break service missions. This past break, GCM members traveled to San Antonio, TX, and New Orleans, LA, where they worked in homeless shelters and nursing homes, helped clean public parks, and helped children with their homework at an after-school program.
While in New Orleans, GCM members were filmed by ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. “We sang a number of songs to provide encouragement to the workers,” said GCM Vice President Elisa Torres ’08. “Many of the [on-site] workers were touched that we took the time to come sing for them.”
The episode aired on ABC on May 18, but GCM members do not participate in ministry for their proverbial 15 minutes of on-camera fame. “We sincerely enjoy serving God and our TCNJ family to the best of our ability,” said Torres.
Besides the Spring Break service trips, GCM hosts several events and concerts throughout the academic year. In addition, the group is routinely asked to perform at churches in the surrounding communities, Torres said.
Looking forward, this small “family” wants to expand its membership, record a CD, and increase its community service—perhaps to locations abroad, said Smith. That takes money, though, so in addition to the service events, the group spends a great deal of time fund-raising, trying to make these dreams a reality.
“We believe GCM has left a legacy over the last 35 years, and look forward to continuing to bless the campus and surrounding communities,” said Torres.