- Created on 20 March 2013
The Zion Hill Baptist Church family and friends invite guests to the church's annual multi-faceted Resurrection Celebration.
Festivities will begin with the Good Friday Service on Friday, March 29, at 7:00 p.m. Several Morehouse students will serve as guest preachers for the evening, focusing on the topic "objects of the crucifixion."
The largest event is expected to be the celebration of the resurrection on Easter Sunday, March 31. Easter Sunrise Service will begin at 7:00 a.m., followed by the Easter Program at 9:00 a.m., themed "Arise, He is King."
The Zion Hill Youth and Children will be featured with recitations of verse, liturgical dance, and melodious singing. At 10:30 a.m., the regular morning Worship Service will commence. Pastor Aaron L. Parker will preach a Resurrection Day message for both worship services. All events will be held at the church.
Zion Hill Baptist Church is a multi-generational congregation with a variety of targeted, age appropriate ministries and programs. For more information about the church's Easter celebration, weekly worship experiences, or ongoing learning and service opportunities at Zion Hill Baptist Church, please call the church office at (404) 691-8025 or visit us on the web at www.zionhill.org.
Zion Hill is located at 6175 Campbellton Road, Atlanta, GA. Reverend Dr. Aaron L. Parker serves as pastor.
- Created on 19 March 2013
It's not rare for an artist to own and operate his own label. It's almost common that an artist with his own label has a roster of talent to boast about. What is rare is an independent label owner with no major distribution winning a Grammy!
Self-made is not the only title Lecrae associated with the rapper. Other titles associated with Lecrae include: Lyricist, CEO, label owner, community activist, non-profit owner, MC and now, Grammy Award winner.
All are amazing, but what's more impressive is that he is not the typical rapper. Yes, he flows like one, dresses like one, even has the background and 'street cred' like one. The difference being, he is rapping about the Gospel. Preaching and uplifting instead of slinging and corrupting. This man of God has taken his talent in a direction that people would have turned their backs on years ago.
The combination of Hip-Hop and Gospel, not too long ago, was not acceptable in either genre, but, with the likes of an artist like Lecrae, it is no longer the exception, it can one day be the rule.
BlackEnterprise.com: First off, congratulations on your Grammy! How does it feel to be the first rapper to win a Grammy in the Best Gospel Album category?
Lecrae: It's amazing. It's barrier shattering. Elvis who was a Rock and Roll artist won his Grammy's in Gospel and now years later a Hip-Hop artist has done it. It's good for music, good for people of faith.
As an artist, was winning a Grammy a goal for you? What was/is your ultimate goal as far as being an artist?
I'd hope any music artist's goal is to make great music, to display the gift of creativity for others. If it is recognized and appreciated at the Grammy's, I am grateful. As a businessman obviously I realize the endorsement and validation prestigious awards give to products as well.
Tell us how you use online marketing to get to the masses since you don't have the large reach of a major label and how does it affect the way your music gets heard/bought?
Fortunately, the consumers have the liberty to scour the Internet for their products and ask their online peers for recommendations so word travels fast without the marketing arm of a major label. We just make sure to connect with the people at that grassroots level.
Go back 20 years when Gospel and Hip-Hop didn't seem like a marketable mix, what do you think would have had to be done, to get it the type of publicity it may now receive today? Would it have been possible?
I don't think it would have been palatable on a large scale. Hip-Hop was younger and the church was slow to understand the Hip-Hop generation and all it entailed. There would have had to have been a lot of education in the marketplace to help people see the two worlds could meet.
How difficult (or easy) is it running your own record label as a successful recording artist? Do you have a team, how do you strategize as an executive and how do you strategize as an artist?
I look at my label and myself as two different brands. Two distinct missions, that deserve different amounts of my time and expertise. My partner Ben and I have led well enough over the years to not have to micromanage the team. I'm still involved in regular meetings and quarterly planning for the label while still being an artist.
How often do you have to lean and/or depend on your partner, Ben Washer?
Ben and I function in unique roles. I think a good business needs leadership elements that no one person can embody. Networking, vision casting, implementation, and protecting the brand are all functions that no one person will master. Teams win games. The best player on the team is the team itself.
I'm sure you consider yourself an artist before an executive, would you have made the same moves as you have if you were strictly an executive? Do you feel you may be less or more successful if you didn't have that role as an artist?
Being an artist gives me the advantage of getting field research on how my label can best serve others. I know the type of songs people want to hear while maintaining artistic integrity. Also, starting off as a regional niche artist forced me to have to learn to do the executive work myself.
Giving back seems to be good for the community as well as for the soul, what compels you to give back and how do you do so?
I think giving back is indicative of a sober and balanced perspective of earthly success. It keeps us humble and reminds us our work is a journey not a destination. You will burn out if you are self-consumed. I love doing panels any chance I can. I also started a non-profit that provides resources for urban communities. We also host a conference biannually to serve the mind, body, and soul.
There is always talk of an artist who does secular music branching over to do Gospel, would you consider doing 'regular' Hip-Hop or do you even separate your music from what the industry terms Hip-Hop?
I don't see a distinction in terms of what I'm doing artistically. I'm as much a Hip-Hop artist as Jay-Z, but my faith in Jesus is strong and evident in my music. I'm sure it seems a bit perplexing to some but Hip-Hop has always been about freedom of speech and I'm speaking freely. Gospel has always been about Jesus and that's me too. I'm what happens when Hip-Hop embraces morality and non traditional Christianity.
We do live in a world that utilizes labels and your music is labeled Gospel, would you like to see what you do be taken out of the Gospel category and placed in what is deemed just Hip Hop?
I think I exist in both worlds. There was a time when we'd never see a rapper/actor/producer like Will Smith or rapper/businessman like Jay-Z. I'm similar. It's new to some. Many of us are the product of Hip-Hop but followers of Jesus. We bridge the gap. Hip-Hop and R&B did it, now both merge with pop music. It's a new world.
If you could change a perception about Gospel music, what would it be and why?
Some people look at gospel and think traditionalism, tribalism, and sadly hypocritical. I'd love for those caricatures to be eliminated from the inside and outside.
What can we look forward to from you and your camp?
Tours, albums, and cultural impacting moves. Make sure to follow @reachrecords on twitter and @lecrae. Also, my latest album, "Gravity," is in stores now.
- Created on 19 March 2013
A former Pennsylvania pastor was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole in the fatal bludgeoning of his second wife in 2008.
crimeArthur "A.B." Schirmer, 64, was sentenced in Monroe County Court nearly two months after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder in the death of Betty Schirmer. The conviction brought an automatic life sentence.
"My mom is finally able to rest in peace," Betty Schirmer's son, Nate Novack, said after the sentencing. "We do have some closure and it's a great day overall, even though the life conviction isn't going to bring my mom back."
Schirmer is charged separately with killing his first wife, Jewel Schirmer, in 1999. He awaits trial in that case.
Prosecutors said he clubbed Betty Schirmer on the head with a crowbar, then loaded her into their car and staged a low-speed accident in an effort to conceal the crime. The former Methodist clergyman took the stand in his own defense and testified that he was driving her to the emergency room for treatment of jaw pain when he swerved to avoid a deer and hit a guard rail.
A jury deliberated about 90 minutes before returning its verdict.
Local police initially believed Betty Schirmer's July 2008 death was the result of a car crash. State police began a more thorough investigation months later, when a man committed suicide in Schirmer's office after learning the pastor was in a relationship with his wife, the church secretary.
Authorities ultimately concluded the fender-bender could not have caused Betty Schirmer's extensive head and brain injuries. Police also found her blood on the garage floor, along with evidence that someone had tried to clean it up.
- Created on 19 March 2013
Hope often gets a bad rap. For some, it conjures up images of a blissfully naïve chump pushing up against a wall with a big smile. That's a shame. The person who has hope has the will and determination that goals will be achieved, and a set of different strategies at their disposal to reach their goals. Put simply: hope involves the will to get there, and different ways to get there.
The dictionary has the following definition for hope
hope: to cherish a desire with anticipation
Life is difficult. There are many obstacles. Having goals is not enough. One has to keep getting closer to those goals, amidst all the inevitable twists and turns of life. Hope allows people to approach problems with a mindset and strategy-set suitable to success, thereby increasing the chances they will actually accomplish their goals.Hope is not just a feel-good emotion, but a psychological trigger. When you hope you think outside the box.
Hope is a portion or part of faith. Faith and hope, in my mind, are overlapping realities: hope is faith in the future tense. So most of faith is hope.
The Bible says, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). This implies that hope, like faith, is also strengthened by the word of God. Hope comes from reading his precious and very great promises and looking to Christ who purchased them.
It is important for us to remind ourselves that we are not helpless and we are doing our best to get better.
- Created on 18 March 2013
Just days after cancelling book signings, Michael Vick made a special appearance at a Stone Mountain church Saturday.
It's been several years since Vick was convicted on dog fighting charges. He's since worked to try to change things, and Saturday he brought his message back to the Atlanta area.
Vick received a warm reception at the victory for the world church, where he stopped by to encourage teens to make the right choices and avoid having to get second chances.
"I'm glad to be back," Vick told the congregation. "Every decision counts, it's very important to think before you speak, think before you act and kind of depend on the people who really believe in you."
Vick was invited by Team Freedom Outreach, a program that works with teens in youth detention centers. The appearance comes days after Vick cancelled book signings in Atlanta and two other states. He's been promoting his autobiography, "Finally Free."
PETA wants to make their opinion of Michael Vick crystal clear.
They issued the following statement:
"PETA believes that Michael Vick should be banned from owning dogs for life. Just as convicted pedophiles aren't allowed free access to children, anyone who is responsible for hanging, electrocuting, or shooting dogs or who has caused them to suffer in other unimaginable ways should never again be allowed access to dogs.
Michael Vick's book "Finally Free" shows how a gifted athlete's life spiraled out of control under the glare of money and fame, aided by his own poor choices. In his own words, Vick details his regrets, his search for forgiveness, the moments of unlikely grace—and the brokenness that brought his redemption on the way to a surprising, fairy-tale season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010. Michael says he want to be remembered for so much more.
"I want to be remembered as a guy who never gave up, whether with my family, out on the football field, in a prison cell, or playing one-on-one basketball with somebody in the neighborhood. Standing firm in God always, pushing through, even in my darkest moments."