The goal of the Soulful Sound Gospel Christmas Concert is to bring different communities together. Since it started four years ago, it certainly has done that.


Every year, the concert series draws large crowds. Lighthouse Christian Church worship pastor Josh Edwards said the Soulful Sound Concerts offer the opportunity to experience Gospel music with the backdrop of the Christmas season.


Over the years Lighthouse has partnered with a number of churches to host the concerts and director John Gordon said the result has been the same.


“The main thing is to bring communities together in celebration of the Savior,” said Gordon.


This year Lighthouse partnered with St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Paul and Spirit of Truth Church in Burnsville. Together, Gordon said choirs from the respective churches will bring forward a celebration featuring Handel’s Messiah.


“They’re familiar songs with a Gospel twist,” said Gordon.


Edwards said both Gospel and classical music is intricate and complex. Together, he said, it’s like nothing else.


“It’s a powerful combination. I think it will be incredible,” said Edwards.


Janet Kolb of Lighthouse Christian Church and Alanna Galloway of St. James AME are directing their respective choirs. So far, Gordon said, rehearsals have been great. He expects this year’s concert will be their best yet.


Lighthouse started the concert series because of the lack of Gospel music opportunities south of the Minnesota River. Gordon said in the beginning they had hoped it would be a blessing to the black community in the region.


“We learned quickly that it blesses all communities,” said Gordon.


This year’s concert series will take place Dec. 12 through Dec. 14. The series will start at 7 p.m. Friday at Spirit of Truth Church, 1950 W. 136th St. in Burnsville. The second concert will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at St. James AME, 624 Central Ave in St. Paul. The series will conclude at 6 p.m. Sunday at Lighthouse Christian Church, 3285 144th St. W.


A freewill offering will be accepted at each performance but otherwise attendance is free. A dessert reception will follow the last concert at Lighthouse Christian Church. Edwards said it is open to all.