Faith Matters for Jan. 26, 2013

One of gospel music’s hottest artists is bringing her melodious sounds to Baton Rouge — and she’s bringing some company.

Tamela Mann, one of the stars of the hit TBS comedy “Meet The Browns” and whose single “Take Me to the King” has garnered her a Grammy Award nomination, will headline a concert at 7 p.m. Monday at the LSU Union Theater.

“I’m excited to be coming back to Baton Rouge to share my music. I hope the songs I present will inspire and encourage people while lifting up the body of Christ,” Mann said.

The event is “A Night With the King” and will be sponsored by the LSU African Student Organization and Higher Ground Outreach Church in Baton Rouge.

High Ground’s pastor, Bishop Rickey Washington, said he’s been working to get Mann to Baton Rouge after helping organize a show featuring her in November in Meridian, Miss.

“She blessed us so awesome there, and I just felt like Baton Rouge needed to experience it,” he said.

Part of the concert will include a combined gospel choir from LSU and Southern.

“The students are extremely excited,” Washington said. “And we should have a 100-voice choir coming together to sing gospel music.”

Other guests will include:

n Alexis Spight, a former contestant on BET’s “Sunday’s Best” talent show.

n Lowell Pye, formerly of the music group Men of Standard

n Tony King is Funny, a Baton Rouge comedian.

Tony King is Funny could get some competition for laughs from a “surprise” guest who won’t be an official part of the show: Mann’s husband, David Mann, is expected to accompany her to Baton Rouge.

The Manns star in New Orleans native Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns,” he as the very funny and colorful Leroy Brown and she as his daughter Cora.

The couple got their start in entertainment with the gospel group Kirk Franklin and the Family.

Tamela Mann was a featured solo artist on several of Franklin’s projects, including the hit songs “Now Behold the Lamb” and “Lean on Me.”

Both Manns have since starred in several of Perry’s stage plays and movies. Tamela Mann’s credits also include the movies “The Help” and “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”

Mann has been nominated for an upcoming Grammy Award in the Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance category for “Take Me To The King.” The smash single is from Mann’s CD, “Best Days.”

“I have many blessings to be thankful for this year, and receiving my first Grammy nomination is in the top of my list,” Mann said. “To be recognized for my performance of ‘Take Me To The King’ by the Recording Academy is truly an honor. God is great.”

Washington said it’s part of his “assignment” from God to help bring well-known musical talent to Baton Rouge. He said he and his wife of 29 years, Lesia, have worked for more than 25 years doing that.

“When we first started, we were just kind of doing it by faith and trying to be a blessing to the city,” he said.

Washington wanted the tickets — $25 at the door — to be affordable so as many people as possible could get into the 1,250-seat LSU theater. He said, “It should be a great night.”

Super Bowl gospel

Melanie Few-Harrison is more excited about the 14th annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration than Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3 in New Orleans.

Few-Harrison is creator and executive director of the gospel event set for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at the University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena.

The event will bring together some of the biggest names in gospel music — including Kirk Franklin, Marvin Winans, Donnie McClurkin and New Orleans’ own Bishop Paul Morton — with fans and players for a night of praise and worship.

Also featured in the show will be Fantasia and gospel rapper Lecrae.

“We’ve been excited ever since we’ve heard that the Super Bowl was coming back to New Orleans,” Few-Harrison said. “There’s much gospel talent in the New Orleans market. You have some of the greatest churches in the nation.”

Sherri Shepherd, of “The View,” will co-host the event with Franklin, the seven-time Grammy Award winner. The NFL Players Choir featuring about 40 current and former players will perform.

“There’s a lot of parties going on that weekend,” Shepherd said. “But we’re the one event that you get to come and see all these players really come together and really focus on really an uplifting event.”

Among the players set to perform in the choir are Bryan Scott and Brad Smith, of the Buffalo Bills, and Justin Forsett, of the Houston Texans.

“It gives up great pride to take the helmets off of the guys and show that they are more than just who they are on the field,” Few-Harrison said. “They’re smart, they’re bright and talented.”

The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration was launched in Miami in 1999 during Super Bowl XXXIII weekend. For tickets or more information, call (504) 280-7222 or go to http://www.superbowlgospel.com.

High-def
New Testament

The goal of the “New High-Definition King James Version of the New Testament” (WestBow Press) is to make God’s word more reader-friendly and understandable.

Author Ted Rouse attempts that by replacing confusing vernacular and sentence structure with modern language and definitions of the words of the Scripture built into the body of the text.

Rouse, who has been in ministry for more than 30 years, says in a news release, “I want the New Testament to be as clear as can be in order to alleviate all the misconceptions and misinterpretations that arise when people don’t understand what God has really revealed.”

Rouse spent four years researching and compiling the book, which provides the English and Greek definitions for nearly every word in the New Testament.

Here’s a look at Rouse’s high-def approach using the well-known John 3:16: “For God so loved the world (and its inhabitants), that he (delivered up) his only begotten Son (to be smitten), that whosoever believes (and puts their trust) in him should not perish (and be punished) but have (eternal) life.”

The start of the Lord’s Prayer from Matthews 6: 9-10 in high-def would read: “(In this way, and in view of what I said) pray ye in a similar manner as this: Our Father who is in heaven, (holy, revered, worshipped, and adored) is your name. May your kingdom (and rule) come. May your will (and desire) be done here in the earth, (to the same degree that) it is done in heaven.”

Faith Matters runs every other Saturday in The Advocate. Terry Robinson can be reached at (225) 388-0238 or email trobinson@theadvocate.com.