*Reality television has penetrated all areas of Black people’s lives, including the church.
A new Oxygen Media series, “Pastors of L.A.” is set to begin filming with some of the most renowned preachers in the city.
Starring Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Noel Jones, Bishop Clarence McClendon,Pastor Wayne Chaney, Bishop Ron Gibson and Pastor Jay Haizlip, the news series documents the life of men of the cloth.
“Pastors of L.A. documents these larger than life characters who are rock stars in their communities, with a fresh, unique perspective that will resonate with our young audience,” said Rod Aissa, Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Development, Oxygen Media. “By teaming up with Lemuel Plummer and Holly Carter, who are some of the best creative minds in the business and heavily respected within this community, we can deliver this authentic series with integrity, while also staying right on brand with Oxygen.”
*The church has long been a pillar in the Black community, acting as a beacon of hope, a reservoir of information, and a political stepping stool for the voiceless.
And so Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County has committed to preserving the legacy of the church with a guide of African American churches in the Washington D.C. area.
Entitled “Community Cornerstones: A Selection of Historic African American Churches in Montgomery County, Maryland,” details the history of 21 historically African American Montgomery churches. These churches, founded by free slaves, reflect the desire to create a new life after years of being in captivity and repeated violence. While most of the churches are still in use, three churches that are included in the guide are no longer standing.
Peggy Erickson, executive director of Heritage Montgomery, was inspired to create the guide after the tourism alliance filmed an Emmy Award winning video on the Civil War last year.
“This story needs to be told rather quickly because the congregations are vanishing and the people are growing old,” Ericksen told the Washington Post.
*David Murrow’s book, “Why Men Hate Going to Church,” struck a chord when it was published in 2005, says BCNN1.com.
Seven years later, male church attendance is still low. So David went searching for the answer. What he found is reported in Why Men Hate Going to Church: Completely Revised and Updated (Thomas Nelson). Drew Dyck talked with Murrow about reaching men and creating a church atmosphere in which they can thrive.
Make very simple changes, mainly in the area of décor, language, and culture. These can be very subtle. Here’s a piece of low-hanging fruit: If you want a church full of men, simply bring an object into the pulpit every single week. Take your 25 minutes and build it around an object lesson, and I guarantee you in two years you will have a church full of men because men will pay attention. They’ll be thinking, When is the object coming out, and what’s it going to be?
Of course, I’m just ripping off Jesus. His teaching was very concrete. He says, “Show me a coin. Whose face? Whose description?” He was so visual. He’s walking through a wheat field, and says, “Look, the fields are white for harvest.” Or, “Go ahead, Peter. Step out of the boat. Feel the water on your feet. Feel the wind on your face.” He was such a concrete teacher. So that’s what I’m saying: steal from Jesus. He’s more than willing to share.
*Sisters Erica and Tina Campbell of Mary Mary, are causing yet another stir in the gospel world.
A recent clip of season 2 of their self-titled show made heads spin when sister Goo Goo Atkins and sister-in-law Joi Campbell are in the midst of auctioning male dancers for a bachelorette party. In the clip, one of the dancers dropped his pants a bit low and may have caused some church mothers to roll over in a hot sweat.
Another clip features the duo’s manager Mitchell Soarek and Goo Goo’s boyfriend going at it in a heated confrontation that may have escalated physically.
“Mary Mary” season 2 doesn’t premiere until December 1, but folks are already talking mad mess about it.
Fans have taken to social media sites to express their concern over whether or not the ladies are taking gospel to a place it doesn’t belong.
But the girls seem excited enough.
In an interview with Sister 2 Sister in May, they expressed tickling anticipation for the show.
“We’re super-excited about season 2- more music, more mommying, more husbands, more Goo Goo, Mitchell and Ms Honey, and definitely more fun and chaos.”
Michael Winans, Jr., family member of the Winans family, has been charged for scamming the public.
*A member of the famed Winans gospel singing family has been charged in federal court with operating an $8-million Ponzi scheme that promised investors huge returns for investing in a phony Saudi Arabian crude oil bonds, says The Detroit Free Press.
Michael Winans Jr. was charged Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit with wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. He is accused of defrauding more than 1,000 investors of $1,000 to $7,000 each between October 2007 through September 2008.
Winans’ lawyer, William Hatchett of Pontiac, said Winans plans to plead guilty within the next 10 days and that he fully intends to repay investors.
“He wants to bring this to a speedy and just conclusion,” Hatchett said, adding that Winans wants to make sure everyone knows that other family members weren’t involved in the scheme.
*Kirk Franklin is featuring gospel’s “it girl” and JDI Records artist Beverly Crawford on his upcoming new CD, to be released March 22nd on Verity/Fo Yo Soul/Zomba. After a nearly 3 year hiatus from recording, Kirk Franklin returns this spring with the most highly anticipated gospel release of the year “Hello Fear.”
The top selling gospel artist of all-time, with over 12 million records sold, Kirk Franklin is renowned for his collaborations and his selection of Grammy winner Beverly Crawford speaks volumes about the resurgence of her career as one of the top female artists in gospel. Marvin Sapp will also be featured on the song titled, “The Altar.”
According to JDI Records, Crawford’s legion of ardent fans include Ochocinco, President Obama, Fantasia, and Natalie Cole. Also, Crawford’ current CD, “Live from Los Angeles – Vol. 2″ continues to garner rave reviews all over the country!
You can catch both singers live in a city near you during separate tours. Crawford is currently on a her 100-city tour around the nation and Franklin will kick off a joint tour with comedian Steve Harvey beginning on Saturday, March 19 in Atlanta, GA.
Steve Harvey and Kirk Franklin Gospel Comedy Tour Dates:
Saturday, March 19
Philips Arena Theater
Saturday, March 26
St. Pete Times Forum
Saturday, April 2
Desoto Civic Center
Saturday, April 9
Saturday, April 30
North Charleston Coliseum
Saturday, May 7
St. Louis, MO
Saturday, May 21
Hello Fear Track Listing
1. Hello Fear
2. The Story of Fear
3. Before I Die
4. I Am
5. But The Blood
6. Everyone Hurts
7. I Smile
8. Give Me featuring Mali Music
9. Never Alone Interlude
10. The Altar featuring Marvin Sapp & Beverly Crawford
11. Something About The Name Jesus Pt. 2
(featuring Rance Allen, Marvin Winans, John P. Kee & Isaac Carree)
13. The Moment #1
14. The Moment #2
15. A God Like You
Watch the video for Kirk Franklin’s latest single, “Smile”:
The Douglas Girls
Like Father, Like Daughters
Kerry Douglas’ daughters place six songs on Billboard Hot Gospel Song Charts
Over the last decade, Blacksmoke Music Worldwide CEO Kerry Douglas has become known throughout the gospel music industry as the man who turns unknown singers into gospel’s next superstars. His label has delivered #1 gospel songs such as James Fortune & FIYA’s “I Trust You” and Earnest Pugh’s “Rain on Us.” Now, Douglas has passed his expertise on to the next generation by training two of his daughters, Amber and Antoinette, to promote radio hits and they are off to a great start.
When Karen Clark Sheard’s latest single, “He Knows,” dropped off the charts a few weeks ago, the Douglas Girls picked it back up and now it’s #17 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart. They have also worked with their dad to place these songs on this week’s chart: Preashea Hilliard’s “Fresh Fire”(#23), Keith Wonderboy Johnson’s “True Love” (#22), Lonnie Hunter’s “I’m Back” (#26), and Earnest Pugh’s “Perfect Peace”(#27). They are also still working James Fortune & FIYA’s “I Believe” that enjoyed a 19 week stretch at #1 before dropping to #3.
“This is my family’s business,” says Douglas who was a car salesman before going into R&B concert promotion before a near-death experience brought him into the church and led him to found what is now Black Smoke Music Worldwide – the most successful indie label in gospel music today according to Billboard magazine. “It makes me proud to be able to pass this legacy on to my daughters and see them make their marks as young businesswomen.”
Registration Now Open for How Sweet The Sound Choir Sing Off
Registration is now open for the 2011 Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration, the country’s most prestigious gospel music experience. Interested choir representatives can visit www.HowSweetTheSound.com until Friday, April 15, to sign up to be part of the How Sweet the Sound community. By registering, choirs will have the chance to rejoice in song and praise; sing in front of gospel greats and fans; and win up to $50,000.Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration pays tribute to gospel music and provides choirs a platform to showcase their talent. Regional events will take place in the following cities this year:
“How Sweet the Sound is really about building a partnership between Verizon and the community,” said Marquett Smith, vice president of corporate communications and community relations, Verizon Wireless. “We are committed to investing in meaningful programs that empower individuals and the community.”
Last year, the Compton-based choir, Voices of Destiny, won the How Sweet the Sound grand prize, receiving over $40,000 and the opportunity to perform at the 2011 Stellar Awards and Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. The choir is building a youth center with the prize money.
“Winning Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration has been such a blessing,” said Voices of Destiny choir director Pastor Michael Fisher. “Verizon has given us an opportunity to show the world that Compton is filled with young people working for positive change in their lives and those around them.”
Entry and Selection Process
Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration invites faith-based choirs within one of the nine tour regions to enter (visit www.HowSweetTheSound.com for specific geography). Choirs interested in a chance to perform on stage must submit an application and audition video. All registration forms and audition videos must be received by April 15, 2011. The audition video may be submitted by mail, uploaded online or dropped off at participating Verizon Wireless Communications Stores. To enter by mail, choirs should send submissions to Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration, 125 E. Broad Street, Greenville, SC 29601.
Both small and large choirs are eligible to enter the competition. The “Small/Medium Category” is for choirs consisting of six to 35 performers, while the “Large Category” is for choirs with 36 to 100 performers.
After April 15, 2011, a panel of independent judges, selected by Verizon in its sole discretion, will review the eligible Round 1 Videos submitted and, based on the Judging Criteria, score and select four (4) choirs from the Small/Medium Category and four (4) Choirs from the Large Category in each Region (for a total of eight (8) choirs per region) to advance to Round 2 of the contest. Regional Finalists selected by the Judges to advance to the second round of the Contest will be required to submit an essay and video response answering the question “How is your ministry advancing the community?” The videos will be posted on www.HowSweetTheSound.com where members of the community can vote for their favorite choirs. Online voting results will be taken into consideration to determine the V CAST People’s Choice Award Winner at each regional event and the grand finale.
Up to eight choirs will then be selected to perform onstage at the regional event and two winners, one from the Small/Medium and one from the Large Category, will win $10,000. One overall winner will be selected at each regional concert, and each choir member from the overall winning choir will receive a Verizon Wireless phone and a $50 gift card and advance to the grand finale where they will compete to win more than $25,000 in cash and prizes.
The V CAST People’s Choice Award will be awarded to the choir that captures the heart of online voters as well as the audience at each regional concert and at the grand finale. The V CAST People’s Choice Award winners will receive $5,000 at each regional event and at the grand finale.
The Gospel Slice is edited by multi-media journalist Mona Austin, a trusted source for “gospeltainment.”