More than 100 persons attended the first Open Mic hosted by J. Joy Matthews Alford, the newly appointed Minister of Poetry at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, Fort Washington, Maryland, one of the largest African Methodist Episcopal churches in the nation. Pastors Grainger Browning and Co-Pastor Joanne Browning selected the renowned, spoken word artist, Sistah Joy, as she is poetically called, because of her outstanding contribution to the literary community, as well as her dedicated spiritual commitment to reaching the masses through the power and art of the spoken word.
Matthews, a public speaker, poet, and activist is also author of the popular poetry collection, Lord, I’m Dancin’ As Fast As I Can, available on www.amazon.com and published by Thelemaque Publishing. The award winning Matthews is also the founder of Collective Voices the hosts of DC’s Annual Poetry Extravaganza and is founder of The Anointed Pens, a spoken word ministry at Ebenezer. The award winning poet is also the Poet-in-Residence at the Downtown Barnes & Noble, as well as recipient of the Washington DC Poet Laureate Special Award. The Anointed Pens Ministry served as co-hosts along with Matthews for the Open Mic event.
A native Washingtonian, and long-time Prince George’s resident, Matthews has been a member of Ebenezer AME for many years and participated in a variety of ministries including the Education Ministry. Her position as Minister of Poetry will allow her to foster the spoken word in literature through poetry and the spoken word. The first-time Christian poetry open-mic was an overwhelming success and will be held every third Friday of the month at the church, 7707 Allentown Road, Fort Washington, MD at 7:30 to 9:30pm. Interested people may contact the church at 301-248-8833.