A Chris­tian voice striv­ing to in­spire

Wo­man or­ga­niz­ing a com­mu­nity gospel expo set for July

The Covington News - - Religion - By Colleen Capes Jack­son

The first-ever gospel expo, spon­sored by Tracey Nel­loms, owner of Acé Tra & Com­pany, will wrap up a se­ries of com­mu­nity events dur­ing the hol­i­day week­end on July 6 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Ban­quet Un­der the Stars, 672 Moore’s Street,

The expo is be­ing planned with the pur­pose of bring­ing the com­mu­nity churches to­gether and to win souls for Christ.

With a seat­ing ca­pac­ity of 400, Nel­loms hopes to draw the churched and un-churched pop­u­la­tion to a place where ev­ery­one can come and feel com­fort­able.

“Peo­ple don’t at­tend church for three rea­sons,” Nel­loms said. “They are scared to come into a sanc­tu­ary be­cause their sin is over­whelm­ing and they don’t feel wor­thy enough, they be­lieve peo­ple look down at them or they feel that they don’t have any­thing to wear.”

A res­i­dent of New­ton County since 1992, Nel­loms saw first-hand how the com­mu­nity ral­lied around her and her two sons, Dar­ren and An­thony.

A re­cip­i­ent of a liver trans­plant, 5-year-old Dar­ren made head­lines on May 14, 2006, as read­ers learned of his mirac­u­lous jour­ney to re­cov­ery.

Dur­ing his ill­ness, Nel­loms stud­ied med­i­cal ter­mi­nol­ogy and be­came a cer­ti­fied nurse’s as­sis­tant to un­der­stand how to care for her son. The ed­u­ca­tion also pro­vided an­other source of in­come by as­sist­ing other pa­tients in their homes.

“If I give you life again, will you serve me?” Nel­loms said God asked her as she prayed for her son.

“As God re­minded me that I pro­fessed to love him, he gave me a sec­ond chance to go spread the gospel,” Nel­loms added. “I love the peo­ple of Cov­ing­ton. I joined the Cham­ber of Com­merce and I want to give some­thing back to this com­mu­nity.

“My hope is that some­one will be born again through the expo. I put out fly­ers at var­i­ous churches and lo­ca­tions around town. If only one per­son shows up, I will have been obe­di­ent and done what God told me to do.”

Nel­loms was raised in a Chris­tian home and ac­cepted Christ in 1992. She was drawn to Christ as she lis­tened to the Rev. Cre­flo Dol­lar on television and knew she wanted to be a part of the World Chang­ers Church In­ter­na­tional. She later joined and served in the choir.

“One of my mis­sions is to be a light for sin­gle moms and show God’s love,” she said in hopes of teach­ing other sin­gle moth­ers how to find their true gift, sup­port their fam­i­lies and be­come home­own­ers.

The Gospel Expo will fea­ture live per­for­mance by In­fi­nesse, a con­tem­po­rary jazz band that plays gospel; Mt. Cal­vary Bap­tist Church Choir and Beth­le­hem Bap­tist Church Choir. A fash­ion show pre­sen­ta­tion by Acé Tra & Co. with mod­els of var­i­ous sizes is slated for the expo along with a host of ven­dors in mar­ket row dis­play­ing purses, Chris­tian T-shirts, arts and crafts and a hair booth with Nairobi prod­ucts.

“Some­one needs to show our ladies how to be ladies,” said Nel­loms as she de­scribed the num­ber of women who look pretty on the out­side and are deal­ing with low self es­teem. “The fash­ion show will be de­signed to il­lus­trate how to dress ap­pro­pri­ately as a Godly wo­man and will fea­ture mod­els of all sizes.”

Born and raised in Day­ton, Ohio, Nel­loms stud­ied mu­sic and dance as a child in hopes of be­com­ing a singer and a model. A 1981 grad­u­ate of Col. White High School, she wrote the lyrics to her se­nior class song, “ Farewell, Col. White.”

She has been a pro­fes­sional cos­me­tol­o­gist and in­struc­tor for the past 18 years and was a man­ager at Great Clips.

Nel­loms would like to de­vote her life to a full- time min­istry. She wrote the lyrics and mu­sic in March for her new song, “ You Don’t Know.” In­spired by how God worked through her life, the mes­sage is that we don’t know what that next per­son is go­ing through.

She co- pro­duced her album “ Eter­nity Heaven or Hell” with Ulysses G. Salett & Salett Song Pro­duc­tions.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing a mu­sic en­gi­neer­ing stu­dent at Om­niTech In­sti­tute, Nel­loms is cur­rently study­ing voice at Clark At­lanta Univer­sity un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Crys­tal Har­ris.

While at­tend­ing CAU, she is learn­ing how to per­form classical, art songs, spir­i­tu­als and show tunes. Her first Ital­ian score was “ Nel cor più non mi sento” by Gio­vanni Paisiello. She is mem­ber of the Phil­har­monic Choir and has sung with sev­eral other church choirs.

Nel­loms en­cour­ages the pub­lic to pur­chase their tick­ets in ad­vance for $ 10. Ad­mis­sion at the door is $ 15 and chil­dren un­der 10 years old can en­ter free. Food will be served from 2 p. m. to 6 p. m.

The first hun­dred peo­ple to come will re­ceive a com­pli­men­tary goodie bag. For ticket in­for­ma­tion, or to re­ply for the call for mod­els, con- tact ( 770) 286- 0762; ( 404) 425- 4722; ( 770) 787- 1560.

“ My de­sire is to let peo­ple know that our God is alive — we are liv­ing tes­ti­monies,” she said. “ I can­not be quiet.”

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Expo in­no­va­tor: Gospel Expo event or­ga­nizer Tracey Nel­loms stands in front of Un­der the Stars Ban­quet Cen­ter in Ox­ford where the Gospel Expo will take place on July 6.

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