Join us Sunday, June 25, for our 12th annual African American Spirituals worship service, From Slavery to Freedom.

Each year, the St. Matthew’s choir – under the direction of David Ferguson – commemorates and pays tribute to the historic struggle of the countless men, women and children who were victims of the slave trade, and who toiled in bondage across much of North America between the 18th and 19th Centuries. One of St. Matthew’s most anticipated and popular musical events of the year, From Slavery to Freedom features selections of traditional African American spiritual works and historical references that tell the story of slavery, faith, and hard-won freedom.

This years’ service is especially bittersweet as it coincides with conductor David Ferguson’s retirement. An admired chorister and conductor in Canada, Ferguson has led the St. Matthew’s choir since 2005 and was previously Minister of Music at Calgary’s Southminster and St. Andrew’s United Churches. The Founder and Conductor Emeritus of Calgary’s Mount Royal Kantorei, David Ferguson has a long and esteemed history with the United Church of Canada, beginning his career at age 15 when he assumed leadership of the children’s choir in his home congregation of Wesley United. In 1960, at the request of the Calgary Presbytery, Ferguson established a city-wide youth choir that brought congregations and chorus members together in collaboration to enhance local church worship for the next two years.

St. Matthew’s 12th annual African American Spirituals worship service, From Slavery to Freedom, takes place Sunday, June 25, 2017, 10:30 a.m., at St. Matthew’s United Church (2035 26A Street SW). Limited off-street parking is available in a private parking lot accessible via the alley; additional street parking is available where marked. Light refreshments will be served immediately following the performance to mark David Ferguson’s retirement.