Gospel Roundup - AURN Inspirational

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Published on December 22nd, 2021 | by Meta Washington


Gospel Roundup

From Left to Right: DeVon Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Meagan Good

Christian Missionaries in Haiti Escape From Abductors

After being kidnapped for ransom by a notoriously dangerous gang in Haiti, 17 missionaries managed to either be released or escape from their abductors after two months in captivity. The missionaries consisting of adult men, women, several children and a 10-month-old baby were part of a U.S. organization known as the Christian Aid Ministries. Back in October 2021, they were visiting a local orphanage in Haiti when the gang seized them and demanded $1 million per hostage for their safe return. The incident occurred just 3 months after the assassination of the country’s President Jovenel Moise in July. Two of the group’s missionaries were freed in November and another three were released earlier this month. The remaining missionaries managed to evade numerous guards and escape in the dead of night, using stars as their guide as they hiked across a mountain while still in gang territory. Ultimately, they reached someone who gave them access to a phone to call authorities. The group maintains that they were allowed to pray and sing and did so for several hours each day while they were held. The group has since traveled back to Florida on a U.S. Coast Guard flight.

“Joyful Holiday Experience” Concert Tour

An all-star, post-Christmas holiday tour is set to kick-off at the end of the month starting in Chicago at the House of Hopeon December 26th. The tour dubbed the “Joyful Holiday Experience,” will feature The Clark Sisters, Ricky Dillard & New G, Le’Andria Johnson, Marvin Sapp and Charles Jenkins. The Joyful Holiday Experience is also expected to make multiple stops along the east coast in cities including Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD. Gospel lovers will have an opportunity to ring in the new year a second time with a musical celebration marking the final concert which will be held at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton VA on January 2, 2022.

DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good Divorce After 9 Years

In a surprise public statement, Hollywood producer/author and pastor DeVon Franklin and actress Meagan Good announced their decision to dissolve their marriage after nearly a decade. “After much prayer and consideration, we have decided to go into our futures separately but forever connected,” the couple stated. Franklin, 43 and Good 40 went on in a joint statement to say, “There’s no one at fault, we believe this is the next best chapter in the evolution of our love.” The announcement came as a shock to many fans who only six months ago witnessed the couple sharing their 9th year anniversary tributes on their respective social media pages. Earlier this month, Franklin praised his wife’s acting contributions in the new Amazon Prime Video series “Harlem” on his Instagram page. The two stated, “We are incredibly grateful for the life-changing years we’ve spent together as husband and wife.

Festival of Praise Tour Returns After 2-Year Hiatus

After being sidelined two years during the pandemic, one of the most sought-after gospel acts will resume its fifth nationwide tour March 2022. The Festival of Praise tour will travel to 30 cities for 16 shows and will be headlined by its founder, legendary gospel artist Fred Hammond who will be joined by fellow gospel superstars Bishop Hezekiah Walker and his formerCommissioned bandmate Bishop Marvin Sapp. A fourth performer, award-winning singer/musician Israel Houghton will join the tour in place of Sapp for two cities including Hammond, IN and Norfolk, VA. Fans of the tour can also expect a brand new twist in 2022.  For the first time ever, local choirs from each of the performance cities will be offered an opportunity to perform with the featured artists. Milwaukee will host the tour’s kick-off March 18th at the Marcus Performing Arts Center. Tickets are currently available for sale in each of the tour’s scheduled cities.

Gospel Historian Releases Rev. James Cleveland Book

Gospel music historianRobert Marovich recently released a new book about the late Rev. James Cleveland, one of the most iconic figures ever known in gospel music. Peace Be Still: How James Cleveland and the Angelic Choir Created a Gospel Classic draws details largely from extensive firsthand interviews and research extracted from gospel archives. The book centered on the album’s recording, takes readers back in time to September 1963 when Cleveland the “King of Gospel”, was still yet a growing musical influence. Cleveland had then teamed up with Rev. Lawrence Robert and the Angelic Choir of the First Baptist Church of Nutley, NJ, the first Black church in New Jersey for a live recording of the now legendary Peace Be Still.”  The recording spent years as one of the best-selling gospel albums. The title song, first composed in 1874 by Dr. Horatio Palmer, with lyrics written by Mary Ann Baker has since been sung and re-recording countless times over the decades by numerous groups and artists including Vanessa Bell-Armstrong who have performed the song in the style that Rev. Cleveland recreated. Marovich who is a music scholar and respected authority on the topic of Chicago gospel released the book on December 14th.

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