Young Boy Goes Viral in America – Gospel Like You Have Never Hear It Before

While gospel music has made its way around most of the greater world well before its peak in popularity in the mid-nineties, the simultaneous rise in social networking and media has changed the game. Artists are recognized internationally and gain a following of listeners from all over the world at the share of one video.

The story goes the same for 12-year-old American boy, Keedron Bryant (Florida). After his parents, Kendric and Johnnetta Bryant posted a video of him singing gospel song “Brand New Life” he became an internet sensation.

“I sang this song ‘Brand New Life’ and then like two weeks later, we had over one million views,” Keedron said. “I need to do this more because this is getting me places that I never thought I would be.”

While there is no denying the incredible talent that Keedron has, it is only gospel music that he has ever expressed interest in singing. At such a young age, Keedron knew exactly what he wanted and God has continued to bless him in this path.

 “When I was six, that’s when I knew that I really wanted to sing gospel music…If you just heard the message of a song, you can really understand what you’re listening about and know God’s grace kept you,” Keedron said.

Little did anyone know, the video that caught the world’s attention and posted to FaceBook back in October of 2018 was the very push that God always intended to give him. Knowing what his dream was since he was only six years old, he was ready to go after it with the support of the world behind him, and with God on his side.

Just this week, Keedron had the opportunity to attend the Gospel Choice Music Awards in Georgia, USA. By the favor of God, and the people, Keedron (12) was awarded the Youth Male Vocalist of the Year in the Gospel Choice Music Awards. Through receiving this mentionable award, Keedron was recognized by gospel legend, John P. Kee and so many other artists. Not to mention, the thousands of people who began posting and sharing about him instantly upon their discovery.

Keedron continues to pursue his life dream of being a famous gospel singer and sharing the light and truth with the whole world. Parents, Kendric and Johnetta, are very grateful for the passion their son has for gospel music.

 “He wakes up in the morning signing, he goes throughout the day singing, we’ve got to make him stop singing at night, so he can go to sleep,” Kendric said. “He has put in the work, and he’s truly passionate about it,” Johnetta said.

At only 12 years of age, Keedron is ready to keep pushing towards his dream of being a world renown gospel vocalist. You don’t want to forget this name! You will be hearing it for years to come.

Quotes from an Interview with First Coast News Source.

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.

Cleveland Enjoys Another Winter Jam Spectacular

On March 31st, Winter Jam Spectacular wrapped up its annual east-coast tour for the year of 2019 with a final stop in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Winter Jam tour is known as the largest lineup of Christian artists and performers, travelling the US each year for the worship experience of a lifetime (Or until the tour returns to your city again!). It has become one of the main highlight events across youth groups and ministries throughout the nation, as friends and families anxiously await their chance to worship live with their favorite artists. The lineup this year for the east coast includes performers such as Newsboys United, Mandisa, Rend Collective, Hollyn, and more.

The 2019 East Coast tour kicked off in Jacksonville, Florida on January 11th and has made its way to Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania, to name just a few of the main stops along the way. Winter Jam has been gathering communities together for one night of city-wide corporate worship since 1995 and has not stopped growing since. In 2011, the tour had already grown in attendance, far surpassing other headlining tours in the same season including Bon Jovi, U2, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Brad Paisley.

This year specifically, The Winter Jam tour is like it never has been before. They have introduced a new stage that allows the audience to enjoy the performance from all angles, giving the new name “Winter Jam 360 Tour”. With a 360-degree view, and 120 feet of center stage, most of these artists are performing like they never have before. This requires all new choreography, stage awareness, and audience engagement. The shows have been nothing short of spectacular!

The concert aspires to relay one very important message to Christian’s and non-Christian’s alike; it is fun to be in the presence of God! It doesn’t take serious focus to be in the presence of God and to worship Him. Artist Patrick Thompson (Rend Collective) said in an interview last week with The Daily Item, “We often attribute deeper worship to when our hands are raised or whether we have our eyes closed. But we have a God who loves laughter, a God who dances, and He takes joy and delights in us delighting in His presence as well.”

The tour has become a brand in itself and offers a special membership package that promises various benefits at the concert. In addition to things like signed posters, choosing your personal seat, T-shirts, and insider emails, you also get 40 free song downloads. It’s the perfect event to take your young ones to, as well to enjoy with parents and friends. The Winter Jam Tour asks for only a $15 donation at the door for all attendees. You can’t beat that price to see all your favorite artists in one place!

Mercy Chinwo Treats Us to a Highlife and Gospel Crossover

Nigerian singer, songwriter, Mercy Chinwo who came to prominence in the 2012 Nigerian Idol’s competition is back with another album.

Local airwaves have been featuring Chinwo’s hit song “Excess Love” quite a bit lately. The song has become a staple in the Nigerian church music scene, giving churchgoers some head bopping tunes heaps of inspiration.
It’s no wonder that the gospel starlet’s album is such a hit. The new album is a wonderfully melodic celebration of God and artfully incorporates the warm nostalgic sounds of traditional ‘highlife‘ music, a style of music that originated in Ghana during the early 1900s and has its influences in Yoruba and Igbo cultures.
Chinwo’s album features the highlife-style tracks such as ‘Bor Ekom’, ‘Regular’, ‘Imenem’, ‘Correct’, ‘I am’ and ‘Inhedinma’. These songs are infused with jazzy brass melodies, smooth basslines, and a hint of calypso flavor.

Mercy who comes from a humble background in Rivers State, Nigeria, is the first of six children. The singer recalls how supportive her family have been of her ever since she gained an interest in music. One can certainly sense Mercy’s passion for music from listening to her albums.
Her masterpiece, the track entitled Bor Ekom is a true stamp of Chinwo’s magnificent vocal prowess. The song features a scat and Zulu drawl that beautifully encapsulates that South African flavor, an influence that the artist has really gravitated towards.

The artist brings listeners harmonies that reminds us that artists like her have fulfilled their “responsibility to tell the world about God. She delightfully sings the words, “You never change…You won’t start now” and applies some intensity when she sings the line, “How excellent is your name”. ‘My Responsibility’ is the perfect recipe for new levels of worship.
Music in Africa magazine reviewed Mercy’s latest album described the track ‘Igwe’ ft. Fiokee Chinwo “as a soft ballad fit for a musical. “Her voice becomes slightly animated as the digital instrumentation does a pizzicato number. It’s almost like a whole orchestra comes in at “Oh, what a father I have in you”, immediately creating imagery of heaven’s armies coming to the rescue when you choose God over anyone else. This is the album’s most classical piece.”

Other notable tracks on the album include “Omekannaya” a soulful acoustic ballad with a divinely Zulu acapella feel, “Imenem”- reminiscent of Kenny Kore’s ‘Hallelujah’ and Correct, a modern calypso-inspired delight.
The album is of course filled with great songs and is an expected hit by Nigeria’s favorite gospel starlet.

Crowns: A Gospel Musical Delight

A soul-stirring Gospel musical written by the award-winning American actress and playwright, Regina Taylor is making its way to Theatre Tuscaloosa this Friday. The musical, named “Crowns” is expected to reach into the souls of the audience with its soaring vocals and inspiring worship tunes.
Set in a typical contemporary Southern church, “Crowns” follows a troubled 17-year old named Yolanda (played by Ashley Jones) who moves in with her grandmother in South Carolina, following the death of her brother.

Young Yolanda finds herself under the mentorship of Mother Shaw (NorQuina Rieves), learning about the traditions surrounding Southern headgear and what it takes to be a church “Hat Queen”.
This is precisely what makes this play shine. Its creative usage of lavish church hats creates a colorful display in the Southern style church pews stage setting, bringing forth the characters, and making “Crowns” a spectacular tribute to the rich and lively Carolinian gospel church scene. Theatre Tuscaloosa sought “Crowns” as part of its mission to represent all cultures in its community.

“Our community can identify with these characters,” said Tina F. Turley, executive producer. “Theatre Tuscaloosa needs to tell our community stories… some of our stories are white, some of our stories are black, some of our stories are Asian-American. We’ve got lots of stories to tell, as far as ethnic background.”

Some in the audience could experience immediate recognition, while others may be going to school.
“They are going to reminisce who wore hats in their lives, or they’re going to learn about this culture: the culture of black churches and the mothers, the women that wore hats, and the whys behind it, and the sacrifices they make to do it,” said Mark Moore, guest director and choreographer for this run of “Crowns.” Luvada Harrison is musical director.

“Crowns” falls under the category of a jukebox musical, meaning it uses existing songs, rather than writing new work for the score. Though it leans heavily on gospel, “Crowns” also draws from jazz, spirituals, blues, reggae, R&B and hip-hop. Romps such as “When the Saints Go Marching In” will encourage audience members to join with the cast, clapping their hands and stomping their feet.

But whether an audience member identifies with the culture of black churches, or comes to the experience with an open mind, “Crowns” can transcend race and gender, said Catherine Doughty-Walker, who’s playing Wanda.

“You will laugh, you will cry, and by the end, you’ll probably be friends with the ladies in ‘Crowns’,” she said.

Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Feb. 21-22, with 2 p.m. matinees Sunday, Wednesday and Feb. 23-24, all in the Bean-Brown Theatre at Shelton State Community College. Tickets are $24 general; $20 for seniors, Shelton State employees, and members of the military; and $16 for students and children.