The late Kenneth Ward and Vanessa Ward founded Bradley University Gospel Choir in 1974 to give students an opportunity to minister through gospel music and establish a college choir for spiritual fellowship,
encouragement, and upliftment.
Since then, BUGC has sung in the Peoria community as well as in other ciities across the United States. They have participated in choir workshops including Western Illinois, Illinois State,and Northern Illinois Universities.
In 1990, the annual spring music workshop ws established by Leroy Jones and Pip Lilly. The first workshop facilitator was the co-founder of BUGC, Mr. Kenneth Ward. Today the workshop attracts choirs from the Midwestern United States. The annual spring music workshop has had note-worthy facilitators as Luvonia Whitley, Ronald Winans, Donald Lawrence, and Richard Smallwood.
In 1997, Saturday morning prayer was opened to the entire campus and Peoria community. BUGC was named Outstanding Minority Organization by the Multicultural Student Services on Bradley's campus during the years of 1998-1999.
In the school year of 1999-2000, the Executive Board created several different precedents to celebrate the choir's 25 years i the gospel music ministry. The choir has adopted an on-campus program call Roadmarcs, a youth mentoring and tutoring program. BUGC members also volunteer at correctional facilities in Canton and Peoria proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ to inmates by having a church service and teaching a few songs. Also, BUGC has started its own high school tutoring program. The choir has also raised money for various community service projects including battered women shelters.
Throughout the years, the choir has grown into a thriving music ministry. BUGC continues to remain loyal to its main purpose, which is to spread the infallible word of God through the gospel music message of healing,
deliverance, and salvation.
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