Grammy Award-winning Gospel Choir Jubilation Commemorates “Black Music Month” with 20th Anniversary Reunion Gala

Every year since 1979, the month of June has been recognized internationally, though mostly in the western world, as “Black Music Month”. The month of celebratory recognition and historical enrichment was first established by the 39th United States President Jimmy Carter. It is still widely supported today as President Barak Obama described in his 2016 proclamation, the richness of culture that African-American artists and music have helped America “to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.”

After a terrible stroke, Rev. Dr. Stefanie R. Minatee, founder and artistic director of Grammy Award-winning gospel choir ‘Jubilation’, took a break from the choir without knowing when or if she could ever return. Well, God has bigger plans than any stroke or life-threatening incident. As there could not be a more opportune time for the Jubilation Gospel Choir to reunite with their founder, Minatee is back and ready for more of God.

In an interview with Billboard, Minatee shares how grateful she is to be alive and to still be able to spread God’s goodness in her life:

“God kept me here for a purpose. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be alive and still minister. Most stroke victims can’t talk or move, but he spared me. And I want to share with the world what he’s done.”

In honor of this great reunion, the famous gospel choir held a prestigious gala event at their home theater, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, on June 22nd, 2019. Not only was this event held to celebrate 20 years of incredible gospel music, but it was also the very first-time Minatee performed in that theater since before her stroke.

While Jubilation was always known throughout the gospel music scene, it was not until their featured debut on Queen Latifah’s 2009 compilation album called “Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration” that the group was officially recognized for and awarded and Grammy. Following this, the group had the incredible opportunity to sing with Latifah in the 2010 Super Bowl. Latifah served as an honorary chair for the Jubilation reunion event, as her mother is a close friend to Minatee and member of the choir.

At the gala, Jubilation performed songs from over six albums and even sang a new song for honored guests called “It’s All About You”. This project captured the complete inspiration and witness of Minatee’s most difficult times since the stroke and how the Lord’s presence was always there for her. She states, “I’m talking on the single as I couldn’t sing the way I wanted to, but it’s a blessing.”

Minatee anxiously prepared for this celebratory night and all the joy that it will bring people. As she was joined on stage by singers from all over the country, she was overwhelmed with the support from all and looks forward to a new inspiring season with her beloved, Jubilation.

ARAMIDE – New Single OUT NOW! “I’m A Winner” (2019)

The naturally talented and passionate gospel vocalist, Aramide, is releasing new songs of truth, hope and soul this year. Aramide is back with a new 12-track album for her fans and has just released a new single called “I’m A Winner”.

“I’m A Winner”, produced by GeeMagik, is a song that exemplifies the conviction that Aramide has to live a victorious life as a Christian, believing and claiming her ability to conquer anything with Christ on her side. The song invites all listeners to join and dance in the joyous reality that we are all winners, not losers, in fellowship and partnership with God.

In an interview, Aramide shared her life inspiration behind writing the song ‘I’m A Winner’: “When things happen to me, it is the mindset I work with, every time I face challenges in life and I was like I am better off putting it in lyrics and song to build others up or be a blessing to other people. I know there are lots of people out there that need the assurance of who they are in Christ. Life may throw things at you, guess what? You are a WINNER”!! No matter what comes your way, you are victorious! It may not look that way but at the end you will WIN”.

Photo by: Instagram @aramidefadilepo

Aramide has been with Christ Embassy since her humble beginnings in the University Fellowship Campus Choir of Believers’ LoveWorld (1995). She has continued to embrace the genre of Gospel music and Afro-Soul, as she hopes her lyrics would be a love service to her fans. By singing in the Spirit and using her inspiration from real life be the driving force behind her relatable and praiseworthy lyrics, her fans are in for something surely incredible with this new album.

We are reminded of the truth that we are all winners with Christ on our side in Romans 8:31-37, which reads:

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

‘For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

This music will uplift your soul and embrace your godly identity found in Christ. We are proud of Aramide as she represents Christ, as well as the LoveWorld Nation and the Man of God, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.

Clara Chukwurah Catches the Media’s Eye with New Instagram Post Promoting the Word of God

There is no denying that the Word of God spreads like wildfire. The world today is more exposed to the gospel than any other time in history and it’s not slowing down in any way. Whether its technology reaching the masses or the genuine power of God moving through your communities supernaturally, God is telling us the time to follow Him is now.

While God is touching lives all over the world, Nigeria is especially growing in knowledge and revelation of Jesus. Over the years famous celebrities have confessed a new life in Christ. From Charly Boy to Yul Edochie to Chris Okotie, accepting Jesus and being completely transformed by His love has made the headlines time and again.

80s actress, and mother to music director Clarence Peters, Clarion Chukwurah is our most recent celebrity to have accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. When a brother or sister with such a great influence as Chukwurah joins the kingdom of God, we cannot help but REJOICE! The name of God becomes like a flame that cannot be extinguished as thousands are exposed to the saving power of God through His son, Jesus Christ.

Photo of Clara and son, Clarence Peters
Photo by: Pulse.ng

On June 9th Chukwurah took the opportunity to share her testimony on her Instagram page. With more than twelve thousand followers, Clara Chukwurah (as referred to on Instagram) shared the following message of truth:

“My Testimony; As an Actress, I played the role of the Bitch and life was all about Glamour and Glitz, and though I was the Humanitarian, I didn’t realise that with CHRIST there are no half measures. But, Today, HE has saved me – John 3: 16 and like the Apostle Paul – Romans 1: 16 and I will Glorify His Name because HE has empowered me for others to be saved – Acts 1: 8. Jesus Christ is the ULTIMATE…do you know HIM? Are you saved? Do you have a one on one relationship with Jesus Christ today like I do? If so, what is your Testimony?”

Recently, the world has witnessed many stories of people coming to faith through a near-death experience or being physically rescued from something that was threatening them. In the many testimonies of the rich and famous, the commonality is the search for more out of life. When you have tasted all that the world has to offer you, just imagine how quenching the truth is!

These blessed celebrities are using their influence, following, and voice to show the world how much more there is offered in Christ. Join us in praying for all of your favorite icons, that they would be touched by the revelation of God and be truly transformed.

See more of Chukwurah’s motivational messages by following her at @clarachukwurah on Instagram and the Clarion Chukwurah Official Facebook page.

“Say Amen, Somebody” – A Classic Returns

The world is becoming increasingly more fascinated with the history of gospel music and the incredible performers that have made rise out of it. As the genre continues to make a name for itself in our culture today, the whole world can hear and enjoy the soulful praise that is lifted up to God in song.

Many historians are able to understand and piece together the historical context of culture and religion/faith by preserving the gospel music movement. Recently, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture has acquired rights to show the newly restored version of the classic film “Say Amen, Somebody”, a 1982 documentary on gospel history.

Project Funding

While the original film is still considered a product of support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the restoration of the film and rerelease is supported by the museums center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences-Academy Film Archives, Milestone Films, and the Robert F. Smith Fund. Some of these donations have specifically gone towards the funding to digitize and preserve African American Stories, to which this rich historical account of gospel music from an earlier era is considered.

Meet: The Father of Gospel Music

One man to remember is Thomas A. Dorsey, also known and referred to as the “father of gospel”. You perhaps have recognized him from the classic song which he composed, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”. From singing the old spiritual hymns to making a name for yourself in Blues, one must seek the balance and what makes sense to them. Dorsey did just that, as he states in the film, “They didn’t want that singing. I took spirituals and hymns, put rhythm to it to call it gospel.”

Throughout his career in gospel music and beyond, he composed over 400 songs that have captured the attention of the world and the music culture of that time. From Elvis Presley to actual church choirs, Dorsey’s music has transcended cultural and religious barriers. Dorsey’s contribution to the gospel music community did not stop at his skilled composition. During his time, he also went on to become the founder and first president of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, now serving the United States 85 years of annual conventions.

The complete restoration process was overseen by the original director of the film, George Nierenberg. In the original production, Nierenberg spent a year living with the gospel artists and capturing their lives; the struggles they face, the faith they have, and the obstacles they’ve had to overcome for the joy of singing for God.

Many in attendance at the screening for the restored project expressed an overwhelming thankfulness to Nierenberg for capturing and preserving the essence that was always there from the beginning. While there are no current plans for an official release, both George Nierenberg and Milestone Films plan to continue seeking further opportunities for showing the film.

If you have the chance to see the film, you must! It is an inspiring and moving reflection of a previous time of soul, culture and gospel music.

Award Winning Gospel Collaborative Project – Wilsongs by Dr. Wilson Muwanguzi

Music is a powerful source that can play a huge part in your mood, which can affect your whole day. Music can either be used to energize or to relax. It is also used as self-expression, both in creating as well as in sharing. Our capabilities for making and listening to music are constantly advancing and becoming more and more a part of our everyday life, although it’s been a centralized point throughout history and culture since the beginning of time.

Knowing that music has such a strong effect on our mindset, we can always use it to refocus ourselves and our attention to God and His ways. When we listen to Spirit-filled music, our eyes return to the Lord and we become instantly strengthened, as we claim the promises of God, singing them over ourselves and our situations.

One ministry that has grasped the true power that Spirit-filled music has over our situations and mindset is the ministry of Wilsongs, founded by Dr. Wilson Muwanguzi. After experiencing the overwhelming benefits and blessings that gospel music brings, Dr. Wilson was ready to create this experience for believers all around the world. He recently sat down with Uganda Christian News to share about their ongoing project. With leaders of the industry all around the world, ‘all bound by a common goal of giving a voice for the generation that is passionate about God and addressing society needs’. Dr. Wilson’s dream to see a generation penetrated by the power of God-inspired music began to manifest.

This project reaches beyond all barriers of culture, style, denomination, and genre to satisfy and uplift all believers from every walk of life. Holy Spirit inspired lyrics not only encourage and uplift, but they lead us to be knowers of God’s Word, which produces teachers of God’s Word.

Image result for Wilsongs
Wilsongs at Viga Music Awards by: Uganda Christian News

The Wilsongs group has received several awards over the course of their ministry work and most recently on May 31st at the Viga Music Awards ceremony in Kampala, in Uganda where they are based out of. Wilsongs group was the recipient of the Best Duo/Band/Group of the year, and Dr. Wilson received recognition for the Afri-Song Artist of the year 2019 award.

Dr. Wilson took the time to sit down with Uganda Christian News to share his thoughts on all the buzz:

“Winning at the Viga Music Awards 2019, has been a miracle of its kind: it came at a time when we had just released our new songs; “Yuza Eggulu”, ” Saawa Ya Kubotola”, “Waliwo Abisobola”, “Mulimu Ekipya” and “Praising You Jehovah (Tenda)” yet they had not yet received as much acclamation as expected, even though Wilsongs is generally loved within and across borders…. While winning awards is not the major aim, with this victory GOD has literally lifted us miles into the sky. We feel like stars shining high and bright. Surely; in such a time.”