Their name says it all—they ripped the place apart to its mere “remnants.” The Remnant Concert Choir of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church rode out of our nation’s capital with two checks worth $15,000 Sept. 24 at the “How Sweet the Sound” Gospel Music Competition presented by Verizon Wireless.

They were selected as the overall winner of the regional competition as they beat out four other choirs in the large choir division.

“To be honest, I am still numb about the whole thing,” said Trini Massie, choral director of the Remnant Concert Choir. “I am left humble and (ecstatic), really a multitude of emotions.”

They ministered in front of an audience of more than 11,000 at the Verizon Center in Downtown D.C. The selection of song was plain and simple as they went with the classic hymn, “Blessed Assurance.”

Lisa Kimmey-Winans, a blogger for the competition, described their performance in a blog on the “How Sweet the Sound” website:

“They sang and the choir director had them do this swell, and that was it. The whole audience was shouting! They had it all…Dynamics, personality, choreography and drama! They pulled out all the tricks and it was like nothing I’d ever seen. What I loved the most was their sincerity; they really communicated and told ‘their story’ to the audience. It was quite amazing.”

The program is slated to air in the future on BET and is currently on an 11-city tour in search of the next gospel choir. Two of the gospel industry’s finest; Donald Lawrence (show’s host) and Marvin Sapp (judge) performed as a part of the festivities. Washington, D.C., is one of 11 regional cities in which the competition makes stops in route to its finale in Detroit Nov. 7. These cities include Houston, St. Louis, Newark, Philadelphia, Chicago, Memphis, Los Angeles and Oakland.

“It was ministry first and competition second,” said Massie. “Our town is known for so many other things, now it can be known for Jesus. I’d like to give a special thanks to Pastor William H. Curtis and Min. Dwayne Fulton for all of their help, love and support.”

If you’d like to see for yourself the ins and outs of the competition, log on to it’s website at

(D.W. Howze can be reached at

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