Bishop Eddie Long’s Son Edward Long Carves Out Radio Career Following Dr. Jamal Bryant Becoming New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s Pastor…

Hello World,

It’s not easy being a preacher’s kid. That’s one thing among others I know for sure. I was one for 38 years so I know of which I write. The scrutiny by an entire congregation of folk.  The inability to make mistakes and be downright foolish as a young person in private. The expectation that you will grow up to be carbon copies of your parents. These situations are what I experienced as the pk of a small church pastor so I can only imagine that Edward Long experienced this on a MUCH larger scale as the son of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s Bishop Eddie L. Long. The megachurch was once helmed by his father.

And Edward Long has had some other crosses to bear as well. His father passed away suddenly in January 2017 and although he wasn’t immediately named as the new pastor after his father’s death, he thought he had a chance to finally fill his father’s shoes when the pastorate opened up again following the departure of Bishop Stephen A. Davis according to the AJC. He applied for the position and was among 138 candidates in a national search. Bravely, Edward Long shared his thoughts about the process and the ultimate decision in a recent sermon at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Below is what the AJC reported in the article “Edward Long Shares Feelings About Not Being Named to Lead New Birth.”

“I’m standing in a place now where publicly my character is being judged,” he said. “I can come out here and throw a pity party and cry like a baby because things didn’t go the way I anticipated them going.” Instead, he made the decision to “praise while I’m in the pit. I’m not going to have a pity party, I’m going to party in the pit.”

Long mentioned Bryant in his sermon. “I didn’t choose Dr. Jamal Bryant, but a choice was made so I’m not going to speak against him. I’m going to speak for him. I’m not going to talk trash about him. I’m going to love on him and pray for him.”

Read the entire article HERE.

Truthfully, if I were in his position, I would be hurt too. But there is no law that says that just because your parents did something, you have to do it too or to the degree that your parents did it. And I’m sure being named after a parent causes even more pressure to be like that parent for which you are named. Martin Luther King III has his father’s name but it is his sister Dr. Bernice King who has more closely followed in their father’s footsteps. This expectation doesn’t just happen in the field of religion. Willow Smith, who is named after her father actor Will Smith, rebelled when her father was trying to make her follow his path in entertainment. She mentioned having to forgive him for that on Red Table Talk, her show with her mother Jada Pinkett Smith and grandmother Adrienne Banfield-Jones. My mother has said that I’m just like my father except that I’m a female, but thank God she didn’t see fit to name me Denzilla. Willow after Will is cute. Denzilla after Denzil. Not so much 🙂 But I digress…

Thankfully, following the disappointment and rejection he felt after not being chosen as New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s new pastor, Edward Long is carving out a career on his own terms according to the AJC’s article “Eddie Long’s Son Returns To First Passion: Radio.”

On Jan. 31, during Super Bowl weekend, Long, the son of the late Bishop Eddie L. Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, launched “Lit Nights With Ed” on Praise 102.5. The late-night show airs from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Mondays-Fridays and 10 p.m. to midnight Saturdays.

“It feels purposeful. It feels divine. It feels like this is what time it is,” said Long, 36, about going back into radio, an interest he’s had since he was a student at Stephenson High School. “I want to continue to move forward with the vision the Lord gave to me really since I was in high school and college and through my professional career and now.”

Read the entire article HERE.

This is what Edward Long said about the AJC article on his Instagram account:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

POSITIVE PRESS 📰🗞 Extra, Extra, read all about it! Radio isn’t my only passion, but my first passion. I didn’t want to preach, but once I accepted the calling, I became very passionate about it too! To me, they are more similar than separate. Link in bio to read the full article by @shelia_poole & 📸 by @emilymhaney. @ajcnews https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/eddie-long-son-returns-first-passion-radio/VcrDbmJCycqgnQ92RwDw7M/ (Swipe right) Tune in to @litnightsshow LiT Nights w/ ED 🙌🏽 with @iamedwardlong and co-host @bre_singleton on Praise 102.5 fm in Atlanta. We’re bringing inspiration and the mainstream together to form what we call #UrbanInspiration. Download the MY PRAISE ATL app or listen only as we at www.MyPraiseATL.com.

A post shared by ED (Text EDwardLong to 71441) (@iamedwardlong) on

From one pk to another, I wish Edward Long much success in radio and wherever God leads him…

Any thoughts?

It’s First Lady Friday Featuring…Dr. Elaine Gattis, First Lady of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Stockbridge, Georgia!

Hello World,

Since it’s Women’s History Month, I’ve decided to launch a new feature I’ve been thinking about for a while now…In thinking about my mother who was the First Lady of Central Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia for 38 years before my father retired in 2017 and after reading Kimberla Lawson Roby’s final Rev. Curtis Black book “Better Late Than Never” which explored Charlotte’s desire to not be a typical First Lady, it dawned on me that I should feature First Ladies. Everyone is always talking about what the pastor of this church and that church is doing, but First Ladies are equally as important as the pastors to whom they are married! So once per month, on a Friday of course, I will be featuring a First Lady. So if you know of a First Lady who should be featured, please e-mail me at jacqueline@afterthealtarcall.com because I’m looking for notable First Ladies to feature!

Now that my introduction is complete, let me present to some and introduce to others the First Lady of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Stockbridge, Georgia, Dr. Elaine Gattis…

Below is her biography followed by my interview with her. Read, enjoy and share!

Dr. Gattis, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, is an educator, author, speaker and ordained minister of the Gospel who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the California State University, East Bay, a master of divinity degree from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, and a doctor of ministry degree from the Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. She is affiliate faculty of ministry at Ohio Christian University’s Morrow, Georgia campus. She also serves as the executive pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Stockbridge, Georgia, where her husband, Reverend Dr. Terrance Gattis serves as the senior pastor. The couple, who married in July 2009, are parents to a blended family of four grown children.

1. How do you feel about the term “First Lady” and is Mt. Olive Baptist Church the first church where you have served as First Lady?

I don’t have any strong feelings about the term “First Lady.” I recognize that it is nothing more than a term for a pastor’s wife that is culturally used in African-American churches more often than others.

Mt. Olive is actually the second church where I have served as First Lady.  My husband founded a church and had been a pastor for a few years when we met.  However, he was called to serve as senior pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church about five months after we were married.  Nevertheless, Mt. Olive is the first traditional church where I have served as First Lady.

2. What is the “job description” of a First Lady?

Depending on the context of the church, the job of a First Lady may vary. Traditionally, she is perceived as a woman of authority and respect as she is sometimes considered a spiritual leader or spiritual mother (depending on age and tenure) of the church. She may lead the women’s ministry, host women’s events, teach Sunday School and more.  But sometimes First Ladies are viewed superficially as the pastor’s wife who sits on the third row, dressed to the nines with the biggest and best hat in the church.  To some, the role of a First Lady is seemingly a position of glamour and prestige.

Today, the role of the pastor’s wife is more varied.  Many of us are co-pastors, associate pastors, or have prosperous ministries of our own.  We are not simply symbols of the position and status of our husbands.  Rather, we are building our own ministries, we are business women, ministerial entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, theology professors, thinkers and problem solvers, and we are gifted and called to do great things for God’s kingdom.

Ultimately, there is no biblical mandate for a pastor’s wife that is any different than that of any other wife.  There is, however, a mandate for those of us who are called according to the purposes of God, and that is to make our calling and election sure, as instructed in 1 Peter 1:10.  Before marrying a pastor, I was clear that I had purpose in God and a calling from God.  My goal is, and has always been, to stay true to that purpose and calling regardless of who I am married to.  Therefore, rather than allow the term or position to define me or box me into superficial roles, at the end of the day I have sought to shape perspectives of what it means to be a current-day woman in ministry, irrespective of whether or not your husband happens to be clergy.

3. What is the best part and what is the worst part about being a First Lady?

The best part about being a First Lady is the opportunity to serve in ministry with my husband.  Ministry is challenging and difficult enough when you are in it alone but to share the same passion for God and ministry with my husband is a true blessing.

On the other hand, while the First Lady is often the most popular woman in the church, it is ironically a very lonely position.  It is difficult to maintain a social life in addition to juggling family, work, and ministry.  Furthermore, a pastor’s job never ends, which makes quality time together, outside of ministry very challenging.  While I am not employed by the church as my husband is, we are both bi-vocational, in the sense that we have full-time jobs in addition to the work of the ministry, and it is often a challenge to find quality time for each other.

4. What are some misconceptions that people have about being a First Lady?

Some misconceptions about First Ladies is that we are simply figure heads who are not strategically involved in the advancement of the church. Because of these misconceptions, her contributions to the ministry are sometimes underappreciated and un-affirmed which can lead to burn-out and resentment toward the church.

5. You are also executive pastor at Mt. Olive Baptist Church. Do you feel that a First Lady should be a co-pastor at her husband’s church? Please explain your answer.

I don’t feel that a First Lady has to be a co-pastor at her husband’s church.  I think that she needs to be who God has called her to be whether that is an usher, a praise team leader, an associate pastor or a mission’s coordinator.  Some wives will have no interest in serving in the pulpit and that is quite fine. However, a problem that I recognize with traditional churches is that they don’t provide a platform for wives called to ordained ministry to be fully and effectively employed in ministry alongside their husbands.

In churches founded by a husband and wife (also known as planted churches) there is freedom to determine your roles and to both be fully compensated accordingly.  However, traditional churches are not typically structured in a manner that accommodates husband and wife ministry teams.  They simply hire one senior pastor to fill the position and all other clergy are volunteers unless the church has the resources to employ a ministerial staff.  Still, there is no guarantee that there would be an available staff position for the pastor’s wife.

6. You are from California. What is it like to live across the country from where you were born and raised? What do you miss about California and what do you enjoy about Georgia?

I moved to Georgia in 2006 because I received a word from God to “go to a place that I will show you.”  When I moved here, I had no concept of how long I would be here.  Thirteen years later, I am still here, and living apart from my family has been the most challenging aspect of living in Georgia.  Needless to say, my family is what I miss most about California.

Georgia has been good to me. It has served as my Promised Land.  It is where I met my husband, the love of my life, and where much of my growth and success in ministry has been realized.  Living here has been like an adventure that never ends.

7. You are a contributing author in the best-selling anthology “Women Who Soar.” What did you write about in your submission? 

In “Women Who Soar,” I wrote about my faith-filled journey of packing up everything I owned and moving over 2,000 miles away from home and all that I knew and loved to a place where I faced many obstacles and challenges.  However, by standing on the Word that God planted in my spirit, I found the strength and courage that I needed to realize my God-given purpose and to grab hold of the promises of God.  Ultimately, by taking a leap of faith, I was able to soar into my destiny!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

My prayer for women in ministry and for wives of clergy, is that you discern the ministry that God has for you and follow hard after your God given purpose.  Know and be confident in who you are in Christ. Know that there is purpose for your life and remember that the “joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10c)!

Amen…Again, if you know of a First Lady who should be featured, please e-mail me at jacqueline@afterthealtarcall.com because I’m looking for notable First Ladies to feature!

Any thoughts?

34th Stellar Awards Premieres on BET Friday, April 19 Featuring Yolanda Adams, Erica Campbell, Kelly Price & More…

Hello World,

Central City Productions announced a sensational line-up of performers and presenters for The 34th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards presented by AT&T, including a posthumous tribute to the undisputed Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The exhilarating all-star tribute performance by Kelly Price, Regina Belle and Erica Campbell will be followed by a presentation of the Aretha Franklin ICON Award. Gospel prince, Kirk Franklin, will return to host the live show taping at Las Vegas’ Orleans Arena on Friday, March 29, 2019.

For the first time since 2005, The Stellar Awards telecast will premiere on BET on Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT and again at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT. The biggest night in gospel music will also feature rousing performances by Brian Courtney Wilson, Charles Jenkins, Jekalyn Carr, Jonathan McReynolds, Kelontae Gavin, Koryn Hawthorne, Maranda Curtis and Todd Dulaney.

Stellar Awards Executive Producer and Founder, Don Jackson shared, “It was 35 years ago when Aretha performed ‘Precious Lord’ on my very first Gospel Music television special ‘Living the Dream.’ In recognition of Aretha’s roots in Gospel Music and her continuing love for the genre, I am delighted that our executive committee agreed to present her with our ICON Award posthumously and continue to present the award forever in her name as the Aretha Franklin ICON Award.”

Koryn Hawthorne

Among this year’s presenters are Anthony Brown, Yolanda Adams, Dr. Bobby Jones, DeVon Franklin, Janice Gaines and JJ Hairston. As previously announced, The Stellar Awards nominees with multiple nominations include Jonathan McReynolds, Maranda Curtis, Todd Dulaney, Jekalyn Carr, Koryn Hawthorne, Snoop Dogg, Tori Kelly, Bishop Noel Jones & City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir, Jarell Smalls and Company, Kelontae Gavin and Tasha Page-Lockhart.

This year’s Stellar Awards will recognize gospel music royalty who have made substantial contributions to the genre with special honors. Legendary gospel singer Delores Washington Green of The Caravans will receive The Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award. Stellar Honors Hall of Fame Inductees include Jackie Patillo (Dove Awards), James Robinson, Jr. (Malaco Gospel) and Phil Thornton (RCA Inspiration).

The Stellar Awards show taping is open to the public, with ticket prices ranging from $50 – $200 at www.ticketmaster.com.

The show’s star-studded red-carpet Live Stream Show will be hosted by Deitrick Haddon and Goo Goo Atkins, and the newly popular Emerging Artist stage will showcase performances by DOE, Jabari Johnson and Will McMillan.

Stellar Awards week lights up Las Vegas with several pre-show festivities, including the Independent Artist Showcase at 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday, March 27 at the Orleans Showroom hosted by comedian Akintunde and Jessica Reedy. In addition to the competition with artists new to the industry, the show will feature performances by Earnest Pugh, Sir the Baptist and Shelby 5.

Thursday, March 28, kicks off at 9:30am PT with The Stellar Academy series of masterclass executive panels with Don Jackson, DeVon Franklin, Donald Lawrence, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and celebrity stylist J. Bolin.

DeVon Franklin

The Stellar Gospel Music Awards Pre-Show hosted by Charles Jenkins and Lexi takes place Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. PT at the Orleans Showroom. The top-tier line-up of performances include: Casey J, VaShawn Mitchell, Isabel Davis, William Murphy, Benita Jones, Vincent Tharpe and Kenosis, The Wardlaw Brothers, Ella Michaels, Keion D. Henderson, Fresh Start Worship and Dexter Walker and Zion Movement. Quartet legends, The Sensational Nightingales, will be honored with the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award. The celebration carries into the night with Aaron Arrington’s Midnight Gospel Bowl featuring a performance by Vanessa Bell Armstrong and more at 11:30 p.m. PT at the Orleans Bowling Center.

The Stellar Gospel Radio Awards & Showcase will be held prior to the Main Event on Friday, March 29 at 10 a.m. PT, honoring the most outstanding radio stations and announcers who serve urban gospel music audiences. This show is jam-packed with moving performances by Anthony Brown, Chrystal Rucker, Isaiah Templeton, Evelyn Turrentine, DJ Dwight Stone, Emcee N.I.C.E., Miz Tiffany, Jor’Dan Armstrong, The McDonald Sisters, Brent Jones and The Waco Community Choir. The event, hosted by Byron Cage and Janice Gaines, is the perfect pre-show kickoff prior to the taping. Tickets for each event can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com.

More of the biggest names in gospel and a few additional surprises are being added to the growing list of top performers and presenters appearing in this year’s show. For more information visit  www.thestellarawards.com and on social media @thestellars. Be sure to subscribe to The Stellar Awards all-new YouTube channel and follow on social media for the latest news and updates about the biggest night in gospel! The Stellar Gospel Music Awards show is Executive Produced by Don Jackson, with Jennifer J. Jackson serving as Executive in Charge of Production. Michael A. Johnson will produce and direct this year’s award show.

Any thoughts?