Thursday, October 25th 2018—During the Opening Session
At a very young age, it was evident that God had anointed Vanessa to sing His praises. Born May 27, 1972, and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her mother is Columbian/Nicaraguan, her father is Costa Rican and they met and started a family in Panama before coming to the United States in 1968. Vanessa’s rich Central American heritage has encouraged her to embrace family, to appreciate every culture and race and to find a way to be of service to others. She began singing in the church choir at the age of seven. As Vanessa matured as a Christian, she participated in church services. Her anointing has blessed thousands as she has sung for many political ceremonies, funerals and special events all over the country. Vanessa strives to use her gifts to touch the hearts of many and hopes to make a difference in the lives of others through her life and music ministry. Read Vanessa’s full biography.
Samples of Vanessa’s songs:
At a very young age, it was evident that God had anointed Vanessa to sing His praises. Born May 27, 1972, and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her mother is Columbian/Nicaraguan, her father is Costa Rican and they met and started a family in Panama before coming to the United States in 1968. Vanessa’s rich Central American heritage has encouraged her to embrace family, to appreciate every culture and race and to find a way to be of service to others. She began singing in the church choir at the age of seven. As Vanessa matured as a Christian, she participated in church services. Her anointing has blessed thousands as she has sung for many political ceremonies, funerals and special events all over the country. Vanessa loves every genre of music, but she is an aficionado of classical music, traditional hymns and contemporary gospel music. Her faith in God is secure and she is dedicated to encouraging worship and fellowship with the people all over the world. Over the years, Vanessa has had many opportunities to develop her gift of singing through participation in local and national talent searches, as well as, mass choir auditions. To her credit, in her youth, Vanessa was crowned Hal Jackson’s Miss Massachusetts Talented Teen in 1988. She auditioned for and participated in The Western Mass District Chorus, she ranked 1st place soprano in All State Chorus 1989 and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Talent Search. She has also performed the National Anthem for many local college sporting events and for Springfield Police Academy Graduations. Vanessa was featured in a live solo concert in 2000, where souls were blessed by her spirit filled renditions of traditional hymns of praise. She drove approximately 600 miles to attend the 2005 Hampton’s Ministers’ and Musicians’ Conference to further develop her gift. On a leap of faith, Vanessa auditioned and was chosen from more than 100 vocalists to open the conference recital. She was overwhelmed by God’s awesome anointing and confirming in her that her gift was for God’s glory and to be a blessing to people. Vanessa attended Springfield Central High School, Springfield Technical Community College & Elms College. Until 2006, Vanessa was the Arts Director for 12 years at the Springfield Girls’ Club Family Center, Inc. She enjoys painting and exposing children to music and arts. Until 2012, in addition to being the Director of Praise & Worship, Vanessa worked as the Graphics Coordinator at St. John’s Congregational Church for 5 years. There, she also directed the children’s choir for over 10 years as they grew from 7 to over 50 members under her leadership. Since leaving St. John’s, Vanessa has developed her ministry throughout the country. For the Past 7 years, Vanessa has taught a “Music in Motion” Choral Class at St. Michael’s Academy through The Community Music School of Springfield. It features approx. 70 students who participate in a weekly choral class with Vanessa. As the founder and director of The Women of Faith Ensemble, Vanessa shares her mission of praise with 8 other women in the group as they minister all over the region. Among her many gifts, Vanessa has written and arranged many choral and praise and worship songs. Vanessa hopes to soon release a children’s worship cd project. Vanessa has been honored to sing in Washington D.C. at the request of Bill Cosby for a Foster Parent Awards Ceremony. She has sung The National Anthem for Annual Spirit of Springfield events such as Annual 911 remembrance ceremonies, The World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast, Bright Night’s Ball, 4th of July Star Spangled Springfield, Swearing-in ceremonies and retirement ceremonies for Public Officials and Commissioners, the Mayor’s Inaugurations, Governor Deval Patrick’s Inaugural Western MA Celebration, Worcester State University Annual MLK, Jr. Breakfast, The Western MA Police Commissioners, Several MA Democratic Conventions including the 2012 MA convention when Senator Elizabeth Warren was nominated and numerous ceremonies and events for the great city of Springfield that she calls home! She is a Committee member of The Brianna Fund for Children with Physical Disabilities and the Stone Soul Hall of Fame Awards Planning Team. Vanessa is the Music & Recruitment Chair for Springfield Unity Festival and she is a dedicated supporter of Dress for Success for women. In 2013, Vanessa’s rendition of “God Bless America” was featured as part of the Fireworks by Grucci synchronized Simulcast in Springfield, MA. In January 2014, Vanessa had the honor of singing for Springfield’s City Council Inauguration Ceremony. Vanessa is currently Co-Director of the Contemporary Gospel Choir at Faith Congregational Church in Hartford, CT and of Anointed Voices of Praise at Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Springfield, MA. Vanessa works full time as the District Office Manager for State Senator James T. Welch. She takes great pride in managing his schedule and helping those in need in the community. In December 2014, Vanessa launched the release of her original worship song on iTunes, Rhapsody and Amazon entitled “Great Jehovah”. Last March, Vanessa had the great honor to sing the National Anthem for Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Western MA rally. In June 2016, Vanessa was personally requested by Brigadier General Sean T. Collins and she was truly humbled to sing for his promotion & pinning ceremony. Most recently, Vanessa was inspired to write a song called “Stronger Together”. It was released in August 2016. Vanessa strives to use her gifts to touch the hearts of many and hopes to make a difference in the lives of others through her life and music ministry.
Saturday, October 27th 2018—During the Saturday Evening Banquet
Jacqueline Dyer Worship Song
Jacqueline Dyer, M.S.W., LiC.S.W., Ph.D.
Director of In-Ministry Programs – Clinical, Health and Pastoral Care Studies at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
Dr. Dyer oversees the Master of Arts in Counseling program license and non-license tracks. She also coordinates teaching and classroom support for Instructors, and provides outreach for community partnerships for CUME. She is an early career researcher whose interests are clergy compassion fatigue and domestic violence in faith communities. As a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Dr. Dyer’s wealth of practice knowledge beyond her classroom experience includes private practice, having provided clinical supervision in the secular and Christian communities, and service as a volunteer facilitator for a Christian community domestic violence support-group. She provides Spiritual Direction at her home church.