Gospel Round Up: Aug. 25, 2022

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Singer Marvin Sapp Opens Up About Past Struggles with Drugs and Alcohol 

The premiere of “Never Would Have Made It: The Marvin Sapp Story” aired on TV One over the weekend. The movie was about the life journey of Bishop Marvin L. Sapp, a former member of the popular gospel group Commissioned and a successful solo multi-platinum-selling artist who has received 13 Grammy nominations, 24 Stellar Awards, 2 Soul Train Music Awards, 2 BET Awards, 4 Dove Awards, and other musical accolades. The movie also touched on a part of Sapp’s life that he has intentionally made public. His past struggles with drugs and alcohol first began at age 12 in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., when he began smoking marijuana following his parents’ divorce. He recounts when “I started drinking and popping pills at the age of 16 and at 28 I snorted my first line of cocaine.” Sapp, who is now 55 years old said he chose to disclose that part of his life story to show that, “Just because somebody goes to church does not make them perfect. We are all flawed in some shape, form, or fashion. People need to see that because for some strange reason when they think of Marvin Sapp, people think I walk around with a halo, but they don’t know my story.”

“Woman Thou Art Loosed” Has Scheduled Its Finale

After more than two decades, Bishop T.D. Jakes, his wife Serita Jakes, and daughters Pastor Sara Jakes-Roberts and Pastor Cora Jakes-Coleman are getting ready to say farewell to an era. Woman, Thou Art Loosed! held its first conference in 1996 at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC)in Atlanta, Ga., and has come full circle to its finale scheduled at the same venue where it first began on September 22 – 24, 2022. The conference, which inspired a movie by the same name in 2004 has become an embodiment of women’s empowerment. The weekend-long event features an extraordinary lineup of women speakers who encourage and empower other women. Woman Thou Art Loosed: The Homecoming and Grand Finale will feature the Jakes family and thirteen female speakers. There will also be musical performances by Pastor Candy WestGaye Arbuckle, and Kierra Sheard-Kelly.

Texas School District Removes Dozens of Books Including the Bible

In a move that sparked outrage among some Christian parents in the Keller Independent School District just outside Fort Worth, Texas, school staff was instructed to remove books from classrooms and libraries including all versions of the Bible. It was not entirely clear what prompted the move to ban the Bible and other books except the school board said there were parents who had objected to them. A day before the students returned to school, the staff received an email notifying them that the Bible and other books, 40 in total, were being removed from the premises and placed in review by campus staff and librarians. The review is supposed to determine if they meet the requirements of a new policy that decides when a book has restrictive material based on the objections of an individual or group of persons.

Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. Elects First Female 

In a groundbreaking move, during its 107th convention and first in-person event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. (PAW), a largely African American denomination with more than 2 million members and 4,000 churches, elected Bishop Gwendolyn Weeks to its Executive Bishops’ Council, making her their first female member. Bishop Weeks received her call to ministry at age 12 and obtained both a Master of Divinity and a Doctoral of Ministry from the Chicago Theological Seminary of Illinois. In 1994, Dr. Weeks was installed as the Pastor of the Bethel Tabernacle Pentecostal Church in Boston, Mass., the church was founded and pastored by her father, Bishop Thomas Weeks, for 37 years. The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. (PAW) is headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind.

Prophetess Juanita Bynum Gets Called Out for Being a Spiritual Hypocrite

Televangelist/gospel singer Juanita Bynum drew criticism on social media for statements she recently made to a congregation regarding secular music. In a 60-second clip that has now been viewed over 140,000 times, the 63-year-old preacher is heard urging the congregation to “clean up the church” on behalf of the Lord because she claims those who listen to secular music are not saved. “I wanna know what bishop told you that you can still be saved and listen to secular music,” says Bynum. “Who told you that? Who told y’all that it’s OK if we just jam? Who told you we can do this and then sing in the choir?” she said. But then a second video clip surfaced on the web and began circulating on Twitter and YouTube showing Bynum “jamming” to the “Queen of Hip Hop Soul” Mary J. Blige’s 2007 hit “Just Fine.” The video clearly shows Bynum two-stepping and dusting her shoulders off to the lyrics “You know I love music, and every time I hear something hot, it makes me wanna move, it makes me wanna have fun, but it’s something about this joint right here, this joint right here, Its makes me wanna… Ooh!” This second video was viewed nearly 30,000 times, and the comments mostly scrutinize Bynum’s lack of personal transparency and hypocritical actions.

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