With an infectious smile and tenacious voice, Greeleyville teenager Joshua Rogers has captured the attention of the nation as he competes on Sunday Best, a BET reality program that airs at 8pm each Sunday. Last week as camera crews filmed the young man in his hometown, the community treated Rogers like the star they already know he is.
-Photo by Michaele Duke
The Town of Greeleyville was buzzing with excitement recently as camera crews from the Black Entertainment Television (BET) captured the life of a very special young man. Joshua Rogers is barely out of high school but his voice is catapulting him beyond the stars.
Rogers sang his way onto BET’s Sunday Best, a reality television gospel singing competition. The show, which airs Sundays at 8pm is hosted by the legendary Kirk Franklin and features undiscovered talent from across the country that are vying for a chance to win a national recording contract among other prizes. At time of press Rogers was one of eight finalists. The show started with 20 contestants.
In late July a camera crew filmed the teenager in his hometown. When word got out - the town was ready. A huge crowd gathered at Greeleyville Pearl Whack Center, where applause thundered upon Roger's arrival. They wouldn't let him get away without rendering a Christian hymn. At Greeleyville Town Hall, Greeleyville Mayor German Glasscho and staff greeted Rogers with a key to the city. Glasscho likened the day to a 2008 visit by a former president. “This is the biggest thing that’s happened since Bill Clinton came here,” said Glasscho.
Rogers graduated from C.E. Murray High School in May and will attend South Carolina State, where he will major in music. The Williamsburg County School District Superintendent Yvonne Jefferson-Barnes acknowledged his accomplishments. “The Williamsburg County School District family is extremely proud of the manner in which its recent C.E. Murray High School graduate, Joshua Rogers, performed during his audition on the national BET Television Network’s “Sunday Best” competition," said Barnes. "Joshua is an outstanding and gifted young man, and we wish him continued success in achieving his personal and professional goals."
Rogers says his goal is to make a career out of singing and he’s had plenty of time to hone his skill. At three, the toddler's home was resonating with songs of praise. He would eventually take his place in the choir of his church, True Believers, along with his mom Sharon, and all under the ministry of the Pastor Rosa Lee Rogers, who happens to be Joshua's grandmother.
This isn't the first competition for Rogers. In 2009, he competed in the annual Black Expo Gospel Best Competition in Charleston, where he won first place in his category and in March of this year, Rogers took home the grand prize.
Vocally his mentors include Vickie Winans and Shirley Caesar but it is his family who has guided his path. "Their passion for gospel, passion for God, lifestyle, constant support, and love...all those precious things influenced me," said Rogers.
The whirlwind experience will be one that Joshua will not soon forget as he follows his dreams for God’s glory. "This has been an incredible journey and everybody has been so supportive. It’s amazing to know that you have so many who are supporting you and rooting for you to be successful," said Rogers, adding. "I thank God every day because if it wasn’t for Him, I promise you I wouldn’t be here. He has shown me that your only hindrance is you and you can do anything as long as you keep God first."