‘Gospel of Memphis’ crafted to raise the profile of local artists

Gospel of Memphisby Nona N. Allen
Special to The New Tri-State Defender

Traditional Memphis gospel music has a particular sound. It is not the hip slappin' sound of Mississippi or the large choir sound of Chicago. It is a sound that is almost indescribable.

It's the reassuring and inspirational sound of a Bishop G.E. Patterson. It is the overwhelming holiness of a Dr. William Herbert Brewster. This is the traditional Memphis gospel music sound.


AME Church leaders irked after website reports rift with President Obama

The African Methodist Episcopal Church this week moved to set the record straight about a story posted (July 1) on the "Charisma News" website and Facebook page. The story reported that the AME Church was threatening to withdraw support from President Barack Obama because of his stance on same sex marriage and that the AME Church was partnering with an organization called The Coalition of African American Pastors.


The Book of Ruth can lead to firm footing on career path

Dear Lucy: My daughter just graduated college in May with a bachelor's degree. She went to job fairs before graduation and like many of her friends started job hunting back in January. We struggled and sacrificed to get her through college and have the debt to show for it. We were led to believe that a college degree was her ticket to a good paying job. Maybe that is just not true anymore. Most of her friends have the same problem. How can I encourage her and myself?


RELIGION BRIEFS: Male Chorus Workshop set for St. Andrew AME

St. Andrew AME Church, 867 S. Parkway, will host its' 6th Annual Male Chorus Workshop from Wed., July 18 to Sat., July 21, with a Mass Male Chorus Concert scheduled for 4 p.m. on Sun., July 22.

John Sherow-Tatum is the anointed clinician for the event. For the past 20 years, Sherow-Tatum has served as the Minister of Music for First Baptist Church of Hamilton Park in Dallas, where he oversees all of the church's choral and instrumental ministries.


Moving on time for ‘The Blvd’s’ Rev. Frank Thomas

RevFrank-Thomas-200The congregation of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church – The Blvd – will gather Saturday (July 7) at the church's midtown campus, where they will hear more about the unexpected departure of the megachurch's Senior Pastor, the Rev. Frank Thomas.

Thomas, who has led the church since 1999, will retire as the church's pastor and from active ministry in December. He will continue to serve as church CEO and pastor until a replacement is selected.


Freedom is ours to claim

Dear Lucy: I have a friend who has been the closest person to me for some 20 years. We became friends in high school. I love her dearly but I think it's time for us to part ways. I have watched her manipulate me, her husband, her family and anyone else to have her way. She is so good at out-talking others and will do whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes to manipulate people and circumstances her way. I have seen her pretend to like someone that she tells me she cannot stand and I have given in to her often just to keep from going through her drama. Each time I get ready to drop our friendship, she seems to sense it and does something nice that makes me change my mind for a while.


NAACP crafts ‘Day of Unity’ with focus on HIV/AIDS

The NAACP's National Health Department is asking African-American church leaders across the country to join the NAACP in a national "Day of Unity" on Sunday, July 8, to announce the release of the pastoral brief and training manual entitled "The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative."

The NAACP has worked closely with African-American church leaders conducting focus groups and roundtable discussions to identify challenges and barriers in addressing HIV/AIDS in the African-American community.


Vain? No! Curious? Yes, with revelations around the bend

Dear Lucy: Recently I went to my 40th high school class reunion. Can you imagine that? We are all rapidly approaching 60 and all I heard or saw were wheelchairs, talk of high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, bald heads, disappointments over children and jobs and it just made me sick. I am not physically ill, but I swear I looked at least ten years older than everyone there. In the last few years, I seem to be aging so fast and just looking so old. Am I just being vain? Maybe I should just be glad that I am healthy.


SBC hands its reigns to first African-American

pastor-luterThe Rev. Fred Luter, pastor of New Orleans' Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, is settling in as the new president of the 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention after his recent election during the group's annual meeting in New Orleans.

Luter, 55, is the first African American elected president of the group. He said the lesson of his election (June 19) is the importance of faith.


Pastors ban gang colors and clothing from funerals

by Helen Silvis
NNPA News Service

After a gang killing, the victim's friends and associates often show up to the funeral decked out in gang attire. And the display can spark more violence, in the neighborhood or even at the funeral itself.

Now, a group of about 30 pastors from about 20 churches in Portland, Ore. want to make funerals gang-free zones, by banning the colors, clothing and music associated with gangs, during funerals. The pastors said they don't want to exclude anyone, but have been motivated by the ancient idea of Sanctuary.


Give thanks in all things and watch what happens

Dear Lucy: I work for a woman who has no idea how to give a compliment! She looks for the slightest error in all of my work. I am constantly on pins and needles, waiting for her to criticize my work. My last boss was the same way. I know that I do good work and pretty soon I am going to go off on this woman and probably lose my job. Help!


Gabriel Hardeman chose faith over music industry demands

Gabriel-Hardeman2001Singer-songwriter Gabriel S. Hardeman, best-known for co-writing R&B star Stephanie Mills' 1987 No. 1 hit "I Feel Good All Over" and Teddy Pendergrass' "Truly Blessed," died Saturday (June 16th) in the Philadelphia area from complications of interstitial fibrosis. He was 68.

Hardeman was diagnosed with the illness in May 2000. With medication, he functioned well until 2005 when he started intermittently using a portable oxygen tank.


Warning to churches: Change the way you do business

The head of a national African-American bankers organization is warning that growing foreclosures upon churches across America indicate that houses of worship must quickly change the way they do business or possibly face a national crisis.

"A trend in church foreclosures is causing national leaders representing African-American communities all over America to focus their attention on potential solutions to avert an impending crisis,"