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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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Pastor Miles McPherson (Courtesy: Pastor Miles McPherson (Courtesy:

SDSU Gospel Fest Returns April 11

Pastor Miles McPherson of The Rock Church returns to church’s roots to host celebration that encourages K-12 students to plan on college.
By Aaron Burgin

San Diego State University Gospel Fest, an event which connects the university and local churches through song and other performances, will be hosted this year by Miles McPherson, pastor and founder of The Rock Church, one of San Diego’s largest faith-based organizations.

The event takes place Sunday, April 11, and signifies the return to where The Rock Church got its start — at SDSU. 

SDSU Gospel Fest celebrates partnerships with selections from church choirs and SDSU students and other performances. This year’s theme is “Faith: It Doesn’t Make Things Easier, it Makes Them Possible.”  

The university community and the public are invited to the free virtual event, which begins at 4 p.m. Registration is open and can be found here.

“I am excited to not only have the opportunity to co-coordinate this program, but to also provide some community and fellowship with our SDSU and San Diego communities,” said Shareka White, associate director of the SDSU Office of Educational Opportunity Programs and Ethnic Affairs (EOP), who planned the event with EOP outreach specialist Niko Villa

“We are all going through something right now and to be able to receive some spiritual healing and worship with one another will be exciting to see.” she said. “Pastor Miles is excited to be hosting this event, and I can't wait to see the energy he will bring to this virtual experience.”

SDSU Gospel Fest, which was held for the first time in 2019, brings leaders from the faith-based community together with SDSU leaders with the goals of encouraging K-12 students to pursue higher education and of highlighting the California State University system’s Graduation Initiative 2025, designed to eliminate achievement gaps. Other CSU universities also partner with faith leaders on events that emphasize partnerships and the importance of higher education.

Danny Barragan, The Rock Church’s lead worship pastor, called the opportunity to partner with SDSU, where McPherson founded the church in 2000 “a tremendous honor.”

“It is encouraging to see SDSU providing people a way to find hope, peace and encouragement in a season that has taken a heavy toll on many of our future leaders who are being cultivated on campuses around the county,” he said. “Our prayer is that each person watching in attendance would be reignited with passion and drive to pursue their purpose and call.”