How Gospel Gives Back

From spiritual mentoring to a line of turkey burgers, Christopher A. Daniel chronicles the places the genre's stars find meaning beyond their lyrics. Could other artists learn something?

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Yolanda Adams (Larry Marano/Getty Images)

Christopher A. Daniel writes that while black musical artists are often subjected to scrutiny for their supposed lack of social responsibility, that criticism does not apply to gospel -- that's if the participants in the eight-city How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration are any indication.

In a piece for the Burton Wire, he chronicles the way they're giving back, from the things you'd expect ("spiritual nurturing and mentoring") to those you might not (like turkey burgers):

During the Mon., Sept. 10 stop -- the second of eight cities -- in Atlanta for Verizon's How Sweet The Sound (HSTS) Gospel Celebration at Philips Arena, a few best-selling, award-winning recording artists -- hosts Donald Lawrence and Yolanda Adams along with judges Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Erica Campbell of Mary Mary, Fred Hammond and CeCe Winans -- placed heavy emphasis on their individual humanitarian efforts, philanthropic initiatives and community outreach programs. "Most of us on this panel have our own ministries and have our own conferences," Adams said. "We're all doing our part to our individual areas, and then we have a chance to come together. We all support one another's ministries. It's being done."

... Adams, who hosts a nationally syndicated faith-based radio show, has ventured into her own line of turkey burgers. The dietary initiative, Adams says, began as an alternative to her developing food allergies. It was through her own research she found that 40 percent of kids are allergic to something. The singer also participated in a health and wellness tour encouraging people to check their heart rate and blood pressure. "I just want to service them," she said. "Not just with high quality food but nutritious food; they'll develop and love good food for the rest of their lives. It's so important when you get a certain age, you can't do some of the things you used to do or eat some of the things you used to eat."

Children are a major concern among the gospel community. CeCe Winans' Always Sisters Forever Brothers, an annual youth conference in Nashville under the singer's Sharing the Vision Foundation, integrates faith-based motivational speaking and workshops with live entertainment ...

Read more at the Burton Wire.

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