News Release

How Sweet The Sound Names The Church At Bethel's Family Houston's Best Church Choir

Regional Round of National Singing Competition Featured Performance by Gospel Great Donald Lawrence and Expert Judging by Award-Winning Gospel Artists Marvin Sapp, Hezekiah Walker and Brother Larry Jones

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October 6, 2008

Gretchen LeJeune
Gretchen.LeJeune@verizonwireless.com
713-219-8028

Samantha Kane
PMK|HBH
Samantha.Kane@pmkhbh.com
212-373-6132

HOUSTON, TX — Verizon Wireless announced The Church at Bethel’s Family as the overall winner of the Houston-area regional competition of How Sweet The Sound(SM), the search for the nation’s best church choir. As an added highlight of the evening, GRAMMY®-winning songwriter, producer, arranger and music director, Donald Lawrence, performed with the winning church choir.

Pictured above, The Church at Bethel's Family celebrates in Houston at the regional semi-final round of Verizon Wireless' How Sweet The Sound tour, held on Oct. 6 at the Toyota Center. The Church at Bethel's Family will advance to perform in the grand finale on Nov. 8 in Atlanta to compete for a cash prize of up to $30,000 and the title of the best church choir in America.
Photo credit: Dave Einsel, Getty Images

The Houston semi-finalist winners include:

  • V CAST People’s Choice Award: The Church at Bethel’s Family
  • Small Category Winner: South Union Church of Christ
  • Large Category Winner: The Church at Bethel’s Family

Churches in two additional cities are scheduled to perform on the 11-market tour, which culminates in Atlanta on Nov. 8. The Church at Bethel’s Family now joins other regional winners – New Sunny Mount Missionary Baptist Church (St. Louis), Atlanta West Pentecostal Church (Atlanta), Grace Baptist Church (Newark, N.J.), Burning Bush International Ministries (Detroit), Mount Pleasant Baptist Church (Philadelphia), Southern Baptist Church Praise and Worship Center (Washington, D.C.), Acme Missionary Baptist Church (Chicago) and New Direction Christian Church (Memphis, Tenn.) – and choirs to be named as they compete in the grand finale for a cash prize of up to $30,000 and the title of the best church choir in America.

Lawrence serves as tour emcee and, at the finale, he will be joined by Marvin Sapp, Hezekiah Walker and other guest celebrity judges.

Verizon Wireless’ How Sweet The Sound tour continues in the following U.S. cities:

  • October 10: Oakland, Calif. (ORACLE Arena)
  • October 13: Los Angeles (LA Memorial Sports Arena)
  • November 8: How Sweet The Sound Finale Concert in Atlanta

In addition to the choir competition, Verizon Wireless presented a $10,000 check to the Houston-area chapter of the American Red Cross to aide in Hurricane Ike relief efforts. Kay Henze, president of the Houston/Gulf Coast region, presented Jo Ann Slaydon with the donation followed by the spirited choir competition.

For more information about the How Sweet The Sound gospel choir competition, visit www.howsweetthesound.com.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 68.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 70,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, go to: www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

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