Gospel World Mourns the Loss of C. Ashley Brown-Lawrence
Tributes and condolences have been pouring in across social media as the news of the death of popular gospel singer C. Ashley Brown-Lawrence circulated throughout the gospel industry on July 5th. Brown-Lawrence passed suddenly following a brief illness and hospitalization. The news of her passing was shared through a Facebook post by her father, Bishop John Eric Brown, pastor of the Lighthouse Church of Apostolic Faith in Moss Point, MS. Brown-Lawrence gained recognition for her single “I’ve Got the Victory,” and later performed the song for the Stellar Awards. Brown-Lawrence, who would have turned 39 years-old on July 8, 2023, is survived by her husband, Regi Lawrence, and other family members. Her Homegoing Service will be held on Saturday, July 15th at the Jackson County Civic Center in Pascagoula, MS.
Pharrell Returns to Gospel with “JOY”
Record producer Pharrell and Virginia-based choir Voices of Fire have recently released a new song, “JOY (Unspeakable)”. The Voices of Fire were the subject of the 2020 Netflix series by the same name. The choir led by Pharrell’s uncle Bishop Ezekiel Williams, released their debut song in 2021. Last month, Pharrell became the newly appointed Creative Director of Louis Vuitton. During his debut show in Paris. The Voices of Fire choir was joined by a 60-voice Parisian choir to perform the unforgettable rendition of “JOY” for the closing walk of the show.
Gospel Singer Calls Out Atlanta Restaurant Employee for Racism
Darlene McCoy-Jackson, gospel artist and radio host, went viral after posting herself talking about her experience of racism while visiting a Woody’s Cheesesteaks restaurant in the Buckhead region of Atlanta, GA. According to McCoy, she placed a sandwich order and informed the employee that her name was Darlene. When the order was placed, she noticed that on the receipt, instead of her name it said “Darky.” When she questioned the employee about it she was told not to worry about it. She then requested a refund and the request was refused. McCoy has since retained the services of entertainment lawyer James Walker Esq. to address the matter.
Top Gospel Artists Scheduled to Appear at Las Vegas “Worship Experience”
All roads are leading to Las Vegas for the much-anticipated return of Stellar Award Week. In addition to the Stellar-sanctioned events, there are numerous conferences and concerts scheduled in nearby venues. One must-see event will rival the Stellar-sanctioned Pre-Show, taking place simultaneously on Friday, July 14th at the Christian Embassy Worship Center. The event which will begin at 5:30 PM, is free to the public and will feature top names in gospel including Jekalyn Carr, Earnest Pugh, DeWayne Woods, Kelontae Gavin, and Mali Music.
Cross Burnings at Los Angeles Church Being Investigated as Hate Crime
A recent incident involving three wooden crosses that were purposely set on fire on the grounds of a small Los Angeles church is now being investigated as a potential hate crime. The Sylmar Christian Fellowship Church is home to a diverse congregation of Black, White, and Hispanic churchgoers, and reportedly had not received any previous threats. The pastor Pierre Howard, who is Black said, “It’s a multiracial congregation that we have, so there should be no issue. We have no issue, and I think it’s just someone that in a bad moment in time made a bad decision — I hope that’s what it is.” The church has been a fixture in Sylmar for 30 years. Pastor Howard assumed the role of the church’s leader following his father’s passing. The Los Angeles Police Department said in a social media post that it was investigating with the Fire Department, the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.