Gospel Round Up: Sept. 1, 2022

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McDonald’s 16th Annual Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour Returns to Live

The 16th annual McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour is set to launch in September during Gospel Music Heritage Month. The tour has been a longstanding intergenerational celebration of Black faith, culture, and excellence. This year’s tour is inspired by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) homecomings with select shows featuring performances by HBCU marching bands and gospel choirs. Musical guest performers will include Anthony HamiltonSmokie NorfulKaren Clark Sheard, and others. Also, social media personality and comedian Karlton “Not Carlton Banks” Humes will perform for the first time as well. The tour will appear in five cities including Chicago, Ill., Jackson, Miss., Raleigh, N.C., Philadelphia, Pa., and Houston, Texas. Songwriter/producer Donald Lawrence will resume his role as music director. Fans can access free tickets at www.blackandpositivelygolden.com. As with previous years, attendees from each concert stop can donate to Ronald McDonald House Charities through a love offering to support families served by the local charity chapter.

Is the Pope Retiring?

Last Saturday, news came from the Vatican that Pope Francis exhorted 20 cardinals setting off a whirlwind of speculation about whether the 85-year-old pontiff has plans to retire. Although he denied any intentions of retiring in the near future it was clear that he wanted to make his mark on the future of the Catholic Church for many years to come. Those elevated reflect the Pope’s vision for diversity and include leaders from various countries, ethnicities, and those with more liberal views on hot-button topics such as abortion and LGBTQ+ rights. The cardinals who received the traditional red skullcaps, rings, and silk hats include 16 cardinals under age 80 and four over 80. The process of elevating cardinals known as consistory took place in Rome marking the eighth instance for Pope Francis.

TobyMac Opens Up About Son’s Tragic Death

TobyMac, a 7x Grammy-Award winning Christian hip-hop artist, sat down recently in an interview to discuss his latest project “Life After Death.” But he also spoke publicly for the first time about the tragic death of his son, Truett, back in 2019. Truett Foster McKeehan, who was 21 years old and an aspiring rapper at the time of his death, died from an accidental overdose. Nearly three years since his death, TobyMac reflected on the loss saying, “I will forever be a different man.” TobyMac, 57, recalled watching Truett perform a week before his passing at a local venue across the street from his home in Tennessee. TobyMac said he and his wife were aware of Truett’s struggles with substance abuse but didn’t consider it an urgent problem. Since Truett’s passing, TobyMac and his wife Amanda now hold weekly meetings with their 20-year-old twins, Moses and Marlee, and sons, Leo, 17, and Judah, 16, to address challenges, where no topic is off-limits.

“Honk for Jesus” Headed to Theaters

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul,” a new comedy starring actor Sterling K. Brown and actress Regina Hall, is based on a short film based on the same name written, directed, and produced by Adamma Ebo. The film, inspired by Ebo and her twin sister Adanne’s Southern Baptist upbringing in Atlanta marks a directorial debut for Ebo. The film made its premiere virtually in January at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The satirical comedy features Hall as Trinitie Childs, the first lady of a fictional southern Baptist megachurch and her husband, Pastor Lee-Curtis Child, played by Brown. Following an untimely scandal, the church membership of 25,000 departed forcing the church to temporarily close. The pair, now faced with losing their lavish lifestyle have set out to reopen and rebuild their congregation for the biggest comeback organized religion has ever seen. The film is scheduled to be released on September 2nd both theatrically and on Peacock.

Williams Brothers Farewell Tour

After 60 years of performing and touring and blessing the masses, the Williams Brothers, a legendary Jackson, Miss.-based gospel group, are now on what they have billed as their farewell tour. The Williams Brothers were established in 1960 by their father Leon “Pop” Williams, who died in 1989 in a car accident. The current members of the 5x Grammy-nominated group include brothers Doug and Melvin Williams and their cousin Henry Green. The group, who has released 42 albums throughout their tenure, has promised fans that for this tour they will be performing “Nothing but the Hits.” The tour, which began in Houston, Texas, has upcoming dates scheduled for cities including Little Rock, Ark., Jacksonville, Fla., Los Angeles, Calif., and the finale which will take place at First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg, in Florida on December 11. Fans can get tickets by either texting “BROTHERS” to 601-210-7800 or calling 414-699-8357.

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