DeVon Franklin to Produce Gospel Music Star Kirk Franklin Biopic, Asking For Suggestions For Who Should Play Kirk!

Hello World,

Kirk Franklin is one of my favorite gospel music artists of all time! His music, testimony and the way he lives out his faith has encouraged me despite the street preacher’s recent rebuke of Kirk Franklin outside of his Long Live Love tour performance in Jacksonville, Florida. (After the rebuke, Kirk met up with the street preacher to discuss their differences which is another reason why I think Kirk is a messenger from God. I’m not sure that other gospel artists would have engaged the street preacher in the same way particularly after the man condemned him to hell and wouldn’t even shake his hand after Kirk extended his hand in peace…)

Due to Kirk’s innovation, reach and longevity in the gospel music industry coupled with his inspiring life story, Kirk Franklin is a biopic in the making. That’s why I was excited to find out from Deadline that his life story will be brought to the silver screen! From Deadline:

EXCLUSIVESony is taking us to church with an upcoming biopic about multi-platinum gospel singer Kirk Franklin. The film, currently untitled, is being produced by former Sony exec DeVon Franklin via his Franklin Entertainment banner, while  Franklin will serve as an executive producer through his label Fo Yo Soul Entertainment.

Brian Ivie (The Drop Box ) has been tapped to write the film which will follow 14-time Grammy-winning artist from his humble beginning through his meteoric rise to fame as he changes the face of gospel music and battles his demons in the process. Ivie most recently wrote and directed the Emanuel, a documentary about the 2015 Charleston church mass shooting.

For more, go to Deadline.com.

Via his Facebook page, DeVon is asking who should play Kirk in the biopic?!!

While they do favor, rapper Plies is not a candidate, DeVon says! LOL

They sure do look like though, right? Somebody suggested Kevin Hart. Well, they have their height in common although Kirk is reportedly one inch taller than Kevin at 5’5.

But via his Instragram page, Christian actor Jorel Quinn says he can do Kirk justice and I have to agree…

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Someone said there’s a biopic on @kirkfranklin in the works, produced by @devonfranklin 😌 💡 💭 🙏🏾🙋🏾‍♂️

A post shared by Jor él Quinn (@jorelquinn) on

What y’all think? Can Jorel be Kirk in the untitled biopic?

So if you have a casting suggestion for Kirk Franklin, hit up DeVon and Kirk up on their social media @DeVonFranklin & @KirkFranklin. They may just take you up on your suggestion!

Any thoughts?

 

Christians Form Political Advocacy Group to Honor Black Woman & Civil Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer…

 

Hello World,

In general I don’t cover politics on this blog, but every once in a while, I feel compelled to do so. When I heard that a new political organization was formed to honor the legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, I thought it deserved coverage.  As I hope that readers of varied political ideologies find their way to After the Altar Call, I also hope that we can all appreciate new ways of looking at political issues. With that being said, below is my interview with attorney and political strategist Justin Giboney, one of the leaders of the newly formed Hamer Democrats

1. You are one of the founders of the AND Campaign. What is the difference between the AND Campaign and Hamer Democrats?

The AND Campaign is a formal organization that, among other things, seeks to raise civic literacy among Christians and help them frame the issues based on a biblical worldview rather than a perspective that’s primarily partisan or ideological. Hamer Democrats is just a concept. It’s the application of the AND Campaign’s gospel-centered framework for Christian who are center left sociopolitically. AND is not a partisan organization, so we also have a few Republicans who are associated with AND working on a similar concept for the political right.

2. Why did you feel it necessary to form Hamer Democrats at this time? And why did you choose to align with Democrats since you are critical of both major political parties?

Hamer Democrats is important because a lot of Christian are allowing their political affiliations to become religious in nature and part of their identity. Consequently, you see Christians changing their opinion on moral issues based on the ever-growing extremes of their party. For instance, very few African-Americans consider themselves to be liberal (especially African-American Christians); however, it’s almost impossible to name one African-American federal elected official, who’s a Democrat, that’s willing to speak up against late-term abortions or some of the extreme policy we’re seeing when it comes to gender identity. That’s by design and it’s a miscarriage of democracy. Many of our representative aren’t really representing their constituencies. They’re representing progressive interest groups.

We don’t think Christians participating in partisan politics is a bad thing, but the party shouldn’t dictate your opinions and certainly shouldn’t cause you to take a position that’s in conflict with Scripture. Hamer Democrats allows people to stay in their party, while separating their identity, and therefore, being able to check and question their party when necessary. There are a lot of people who feel homeless in politics right now – They’re too conservative for Democrats and too progressive for Republicans. Hamer Democrats and the Republican equivalent give them a place to land and engage with biblical fidelity. Instead of seeking for validation or favor from our parties.

I’m a Democrat because I still believe they represent the underserved and cast aside better than Republicans do today. I still vote Democrat the great majority of the time. That said, partisan affiliation doesn’t mean as much to me as it does to some. It’s just a general reference point. I don’t really believe in “party loyalty” and I will continue to call the party out and support Republicans who are doing the right thing.

3. How did you first learn of Fannie Lou Hamer and what drew you to her?

I first learned about Fannie Lou Hamer by reading about the Civil Rights Movement. The more I read about her, the more I had trouble understanding why she wasn’t talked about more often. She was an outstanding orator, a woman of faith and a committed Civil Rights leader in every sense of the word. She lived through the worst aspects of the Jim Crow era in ways that other Civil Rights Leaders were able to avoid. Most of all, she was able to commit to fighting for social justice, while being fully committed to moral order and other biblical values. Dr. CJ Rhodes, who pastors in Jackson, MS actually came up with the name Hamer Democrats. It was his brilliant idea. She connects so well with what AND is doing because she was biblical and didn’t apologize for not fully fitting into the progressive or conservative caricatures.
4. If Fannie Lou Hamer were alive today, what political causes would be she be championing and what political causes would she criticize?
From what I’ve read about her and her convictions, I think she’d still be championing voter rights and criminal justice. She’d be criticizing the ills of consumer capitalism and challenging the left’s pro-choice positions that make black life seem problematic and disposable.
5. You officially launched Hamer Democrats last month, what’s next on the agenda for this new organization? How can people support Hamer Democrats?
We’ll be hosting a series of talks (FB Chats) about the Hamer Democrats along with debate watch parties in different cities. People can join our Facebook page and connect with us through the AND Campaign’s mailing list and website. Stay tuned because there are a few other things that I can’t reveal at the moment. (See information below about a FB chat that will be held tomorrow!)

Christians have to address abortion differently, not as progressives or conservatives, but as believers who love our neighbors (&) protect human dignity. The AND Campaign calls us to a new narrative, upholding both the compassion (&) conviction of the gospel. We must be uniquely Pro-Woman (&) Pro-Child. #NewNarrative #ProWoman #ProChild Come join us for a Facebook Live Chat on Thursday, July 18 at 5:30PM EST.
Featuring: Kori Porter (AND Campaign Executive Leader), Cherilyn Holloway (Author/Director of Pregnancy Services), and Ifeoma Anunkor (Counselor)

6. What political candidates for president will be or are being supported by Hamer Democrats?
We won’t be endorsing a candidate.
7. What should Christians in any political party or no political party be doing right now leading into the presidential election and or local elections?
First, they should be getting informed about each candidate and the issues. They should be discussing it with their friends and church family in ways that are civil and constructive. It’s also important to support civic organizations who are speaking into that space and upholding a gospel-centered position.

For more information about Hamer Democrats, go to the Hamer Democrats Facebook page.

Any thoughts?

It’s First Lady Friday Featuring…Denedriane Dean, First Lady of Word Ministries Christian Outreach Church in Harrisonburg,Virginia!

Hello World,

During Women’s History Month, I’ve launched a new feature featuring First Ladies! 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, which are revered positions particularly in the black church. 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 am 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!

So with that being said, let me present to some and introduce to others the First Lady of Word Ministries Christian Outreach Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Pastor Denedriane (Dee Dee) Dean…

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

Pastor Denedriane (Dee Dee) Dean is a lover of God and of people. She is a native of Hampton, Virginia, and a 1992 graduate of James Madison University. JMU is where she met the love of her life, Pastor Art Dean. They wed in 1993, and have three smart, funny and creative young adult children: Tre, Dominique, and Adia. Pastor Dee has co-pastored Word Ministries Christian Outreach Church in Harrisonburg Virginia, alongside her husband, since 2004. She oversees the ministries of Worship & Arts, Intercessory Prayer, and Thrive, a ministry to women. Together, Pastors Art & Dee are commissioned to build people, build community, and watch God change lives by the power of His Word!

*note: Denedriane is pronounced Dee-KNEE-dree-en 🙂

1. How do you feel about the term “First Lady” and is Word Ministries Christian Outreach Church the first church where you have served as First Lady? 

So I will answer it backwards. Yes, it is the first church that we have served as co-pastors. First and only. We started in 2004. It has been an adventure and a blessing. We started out as co-pastors right out of the gate. It was something that my husband really wanted so when he was installed as lead pastor, senior pastor, he recognized that I was in the trenches with him so to speak. I was ministering to people as well, not necessarily on the same level as him because he was the one who was called and appointed to be a pastor. By that same token, I was alongside him, ministering, going to visit people. You know, just very active. So he wanted a title for me that reflected that involvement in ministry. We started attending our church as college students. Eventually, we were invited to be youth pastors. It was right before we got married.

Now, as far as the term ‘First Lady’ is concerned, I think any woman who serves alongside her husband should be honored with some type of title. But I’m not hung up on titles at the same time. I’m just for giving honor when honor is due. We learned from our spiritual parents. I didn’t want to be too casual with our interaction with our spiritual parents, and I learned to give honor even in a title. I’m very comfortable with that title, but we don’t happen to use it that much at Word Ministries. They just called me co-pastor right off the bat. I think the term ‘First Lady’ is a bit regional too. Like in this part of Virginia, it’s not so popular. We’re in the northwestern part of Virginia so it’s a little bit rural and a little bit city. But the term co-pastor stuck so that is their term for respect and honor.

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

She is a ‘co-carer’ for the flock. For me, it’s distilled down to that. I lead various ministries but that is going to be different for each First Lady because each woman has different strengths or different callings with respect to her gifts. But when it comes down to it, I think our best job description is to care for the people alongside my husband.

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

The best part is to be able to influence and bring opportunities to other ladies. As God is giving me opportunities to see and experience new things, He’s also given me a heart to share that with the ladies, not only to ladies, but primarily with ladies in the church. I can share there is another way of operating, whether it be spiritually or practically, in life. I’m not perfect, but as I learn more, I want to share that with the ladies and be a positive influence. I share what God has done for me and where He has brought me from.

I think ‘worst’ is a strong word. But sometimes, being in this role can be a little bit isolating so I have to make intentional steps to be very connected to my family and other women who are in similar positions, other First Ladies, other co-pastors. There are things that we walk through and experience that you just cannot land with just anybody. They have to be strategic people that God has placed in your life who can handle what you are carrying or bearing.

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

I think sometimes we can be misunderstood in terms of approachability. People may think I can’t really talk to her because she’s the First Lady or co-pastor. She’s up there and I’m still working through my own stuff. Maybe I can’t be as open or as vulnerable as I need to be. But I think that me being willing to be vulnerable with them makes them more able to be vulnerable with me.

Some people may think we’re stiff, like I’m only going to wear this or think this way or whatever. So each First Lady has to be who we are genuinely so people can know, just because you’re in leadership doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy life. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have things that you just gravitate toward. Like I love NASA! I’m interested in anything that has to do with space and my whole church knows that!

5. You are over the Worship & Arts Ministry at your church. Tell me more that ministry and your involvement.

I became worship leader the year before we became pastors. Over the years we’ve had arts involvement, but it’s mostly been worship. So we have seen different iterations of our worship team. We’ve had a full band. We’ve had a not-so-full band. It’s been an adventure. But we praise Him with whatever we have.

6. You blog on two different websites – your website refreshingtalk.com and travelingmom.com. How did you get into blogging and tell me about these two websites? 

That was related to my homeschooling experience. I homeschooled all three of my children at different points of their lives: the oldest and youngest all the way through and the middle one went to public high school in ninth grade. In saying that, I wanted them to write more so in 2010, I thought well, I’ll start a blog and they can write for the blog. Their blogging lasted for a hot minute, but mine continued. I discovered that I liked blogging and here I am, nine years later, still blogging. With the travel blog, it was something that I looked into. I found that it was a good match for what I wanted to do. I wrote for that blog for a year, but my children  started going through different seasons, like going to college, so I had to focus my attention elsewhere. But recently I have reconnected with travelingmom.com so I hope to do more travel writing.

Recently, I went to the NASA Space X launch out of my love for all things space. I was born and raised in Hampton, Virginia so if you know anything about the book ‘Hidden Figures’ and the people who that book is about and even the author, they are from the NASA Langley area or Hampton. We were kind of surrounded by NASA and all things space just growing up. It was a part of my  upbringing.  So NASA has what they call ‘Socials’ and you can apply to attend an event. If you get selected, you get to witness a launch or whatever the focus is and you get the opportunity to speak with people who may have missions on that particular launch, who have been working on something for a decade and now their particular mission is launching into space. I was able to tour the facility at Kennedy Space Center which was really a treat because that’s where all the history of NASA and all of the Apollo missions are located. It was a great blessing just to be able to go and feel that for myself. This is the second social that I’ve attended.

Click on THIS LINK to see a news report about Pastor Dee Dee’s NASA experience!

My first one was in Hampton, Virginia earlier this year. When NASA made their big Moon to Mars announcement when they laid out their plans to go back to the moon and then from there to Mars. So I was selected to attend that event. It was a one-day event. I’ve been bitten by the NASA Social bug so I plan to apply others as they fit in my schedule. My family and church schedule comes first so it was a blessing that this last event worked around my two priorities.

7. As you have three young adult children, are you an empty nester? 

They are still here. One just graduated from college. My oldest son is Tre and he’s 23 years old. He graduated from JMU this past May. Our middle and oldest daughter Dominique is a rising senior at JMU so she will be coming out in 2020. Our baby daughter Adia will be 19 in August. She’s trying to figure out what she wants – if her path will look similar to her brother and sister’s path at JMU. That is where Art and I met and that is how we got to Harrisonburg period. We met, finished school, got married and never left the area.

How sweet!

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! And if you would like to have conversations about faith, relationship, pop culture and more, please click on this link to subscribe to my blog 🙂! Finally, if you missed the second post of First Lady Friday, please click on It’s First Lady Friday Featuring…Kirstyn Mayden, First Lady of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Upperco, Maryland!

Any thoughts?