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53rd National Convention C O V E R A G E Stay Woke! 30 Years of Praise and Open to delegates and guests, the Praise and Worship Service has become one of the staple events during the Sorority’s national conventions. This year was no different when thousands of women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. filled the Oceanside Ballroom at the Mandalay Bay Hotel Casino and Convention Center during the 53rd National Convention Aug. 4. National Chaplain Bishop Vashti McKenzie served as worship leader, guiding everyone to change their perspectives and “change the atmosphere” before the official start of the convention. Bishop McKenzie took a moment to remind sorors of the history behind the Praise and Worship Service and its significance to each convention for three decades. It was prior to the start of the National Convention in 1997 that several sorors perished in a fatal plane crash on their way to convention. “The Praise and Worship Service was initiated when we realized that before we begin any of our deliberations, we needed to ask God to cover our situation,” said Bishop McKenzie. “That’s how this praise party started.” The Praise and Worship Team, led by Soror Kim Jordan, opened with “I Just Want to Praise You,” “You Reign,” and other songs of praise. Rev. Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, 22nd National s14 DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC. President, along with the regional chaplains brought scripture readings and led the congregation in prayers for productivity and insight during convention, prayers against hate and racism, prayers of forgiveness, prayers for empowerment and traveling mercies. Dr. Paulette C. Walker, National President, brought remarks and greetings. “How could we not begin a convention without praise and worship?” Worship Service BY BERNADINE WILLIAMS STALLINGS Convention Praise and Worship Team open the Praise and Worship Service at the Mandalay Bay Hotel Casino and Convention Center Aug. 4. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER


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