Chicago's Acme Missionary Baptist Church Named Best Church Choir In America

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Chicago’s Acme Missionary Baptist Church hit all the right notes to win Verizon Wireless’ How Sweet The Sound(SM) competition and earn the title of best church choir in America. During the grand finale, held on Nov. 8 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Acme Missionary Baptist Church walked away with not only the title but a cash prize of $25,000.

The 2008 How Sweet The Sound 11-city competition concluded in Atlanta and brought together the best church choirs from across the country to perform in front of an audience of more than 8,700 people. GRAMMY®-winning music legends Marvin Sapp and Hezekiah Walker and leading actress Gabrielle Union helped judge the choirs, while Donald Lawrence, GRAMMY-winning songwriter, producer, arranger and music director, served as emcee for the finale event. Burning Bush International Ministries from Detroit was the runner-up and received a cash prize of $15,000.

How Sweet The Sound celebrates the unique ways music connects the community. We congratulate Acme Missionary Baptist Church and want to recognize the tremendous talent of all of the choirs who participated in this competition,” said Joe Saracino, vice president of marketing at Verizon Wireless. “The energy for this event has been overwhelming in each participating city, and it’s exciting for our company to be a part of such an uplifting event.”

Georgia’s own Atlanta West Pentecostal Church won the V CAST People’s Choice Award and a $5,000 cash prize. During the finale, audience members were asked to text their votes for their favorite choir to help decide the Verizon Wireless V CAST People’s Choice Award.

Verizon Wireless customers who could not make it to Atlanta can download and watch video clips from the grand finale performances in the Music category on their V CAST-capable phones. For more information about the competition, visit

(EDITORS NOTE: Broadcast-quality B-Roll featuring performances during the 2008 How Sweet The Sound regional events is available online. Log on to Verizon Wireless’ Multimedia Library at to preview and request video segments, which can be received in newsrooms digitally or by tape.)

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 70.8 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 71,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at