AURN Gospel Round Up! - AURN Inspirational


Published on June 11th, 2021 | by Meta Washington


AURN Gospel Round Up!

Fantasia Barrino Thomas, Hezekiah Walker, Charles Jenkins (AURN Graphic)

Hezekiah Walker Center for Gospel Music Set to Launch at VUU

Multi-Grammy award winning gospel artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker recently announced the launch of the Hezekiah Walker Center for Gospel Music at HBCU Virginia Union University. It’s a first ever of its kind in the United States. Bishop Walker is partnering with the University to establish a center that will help preserve the gospel heritage.  The academic center will teach students the business side of the gospel industry along with skills such as songwriting and how to read music. Walker who is a second-year student at VUU’s Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology said, “Virginia Union would be the best place to do this because I feel like it is really the hub of African American people and HBCUs.” The center is set to launch on June 18.

A Day of Praise in the Parking Lot to be Held in Charleston, SC

Minister Jarell Smalls is celebrating triumph over what otherwise would have been a tragedy a year after surviving a near-death experience with COVID-19. “A Day of Praise” will honor Minister Smalls with a worship celebration of song and praise featuring some of his friends including Pastor Henry Dixon, Vincent Bohanan, The Gospel Legends and Jekalyn Carr. The concert will be held at the Mount Moriah Baptist Church in North Charleston, SC on Saturday, June 26th at 6:00 ET. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Congratulations to Fantasia on the Birth of Daughter Keziah

American Idol alum Fantasia Barrino Taylor and her husband motivational speaker/author Kendall Taylor recently became parents to a new daughter, Keziah London Taylor.  Keziah is the first child born to their union. After three years of trying unsuccessfully to become parents, the couple ultimately conceived with the help of IVF treatments. The pregnancy however was not without challenges, Keziah who was born somewhat prematurely on May 27th is not “out of the woods yet” says mother, Fantasia. Baby Keziah is currently in neonatal intensive care but is said to be a fighter, just like her mother Fantasia, who is a testament of unwavering faith and refers to her baby girl as a major testimony.

BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards 2021

BMI recently announced the recipients of their 2021 Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards. BMI posted the winners online, naming the awards they bestowed upon this year’s legendary and rising music stars within the gospel music industry. A special page was launched on to feature artist performances of award-winning songs along with first-hand accounts of the songwriting process behind these songs. “Deliver Me (This Is My Exodus),” written by Donald Lawrence and Sir the Baptist and performed by Le’Andria Johnson was awarded Song of the Year. The song spent 99 weeks on the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart, peaking at number one and was the winner of the GMA Dove Award for Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the Year. It was the first win for Sir the Baptist and the eighth BMI award for Donald Lawrence. Kanye West, another big winner for this year’s BMI awards was named Songwriter of the Year for penning three of the award-winning Gospel Songs including “Hands On,” that was collaborated on with Fred Hammond.

Publisher of the Year went to Songs of Kobalt Music Publishing for representing three of BMI’s 20 most-performed Gospel songs including “I Made It Out” by Pastor John P. Kee featuring Zacardi Cortez, written and performed by Pastor Kee, “Keep The Faith,” written and performed by Charles Jenkins and “Won’t Let Go,” written and performed by Travis Greene. In addition to the major award winners, BMI also presented awards to 19 first-time Trailblazer Award winners including Zacardi Cortez and Renee Spearman.

“20th Annual I Hear Music in the Air Concert” in Cincinnati

The “20th Annual I Hear Music in the Air” concert hosted annually in Cincinnati will be held on the grounds of Corinthian Baptist Church, Sunday June 20th 3:00p – 5:30p and performed live to a drive-in audience. Socially distanced lawn seating will also be available. Grammy-award winner Fred Hammond has been the annual headliner. Other artists scheduled to perform include Jayson Clayborn, Shawanda Smith, Waymond Dean, Lamont Sanders, Trevone Perry. Tickets are available at

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