Editorial Let The Church Say Amen! Is that song lingering in your head too? Congratulations to Pastor Andrae Crouch and Rev. Marvin Winans on yet another Stellar collaboration which is surely to be an anthem for 2012. The last quarter of 2011 was a whirlwind taking TCP on the road as far as Chicago to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Bishop Larry Trotter. We also celebrated with WIDU Radio and their 53rd Anniversary, Luther Barnes’ Conference, traveled to Atlanta for the Unrestrained Praise Conference and supported countless others. Got a chance to have some down time with the family during the Holidays and back to planning the 8th Anniversary of TCP Magazine with a few days interrupted to visit Nashville and take in the Stellar Awards. This year’s top winners VaShawn Mitchell and Kirk Franklin are not only Stellar Award winners in my book but also are on the top of my list for being the most humble and level headed artist in the industry. We are pleased to welcome Sarah Gerald as a contributing writer. Sarah was our lead soprano in the Youth Choir at New Providence Baptist Church about five years ago. She is now a UNC Graduate and works in ministry on campus. She has an interesting perspective for parents who are sending their children off to college. Welcome also to Drs. M. Ojinga and Dionne Harrison who will be contributing writers dealing with Mental Health. Check them out on page 22 and give us your feedback. Let’s move on to our 8 year Anniversary. It is hard to believe that time has passed so quickly. I am truly blessed to have been able to do what I enjoy and be able to bless others in the process. Thanks to my wonderful staff who has embraced the vision. We will continue on this journey as long as it is the Lord’s will. When he says “Bounce”, I will move on to the next chapter of my life. But until then, Let’s Keep It Moving and accomplish those visions and dreams. Peggy Tatum, Publisher (919) 796-4724 firstname.lastname@example.org Volume 02, Issue Number 6 Publisher/Editor-In-Chief: Peggy Tatum Assistant Editor: Dr. Francene Hash Webmaster: Ted Tatum Photographer: Rick Crank - Rick Crank Photography Graphic Design & Layout: Denver A. Wright WIZPRO Imagineering, www.wizpro.org Contributing Writers: Dr. Francene Hash, Melissa Wade, Adrienne Miller, Christopher Terrell, Sarah Gerald, and Antwonishea Hardy Public Relations:Terry Spicer, Ephiphany Public Relations Marketing: Katie Gailes, Smartmoves International Event Planning: Latonya Kearney, Plan Ahead Events The Connection Place, Inc. 181-104 Wind Chime Court Raleigh, NC 27615 Tel: 919-676-0263 email@example.com Copyright © 2012 The Connection Place, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material in this magazine is prohibited without written permission of the Editor.
Contents 5 – Editorial 9 – Unrestrained Worship 10 – Salvation and Deliverance Choir wins Verizon How Sweet the Sound 11 – Gospel Music Top Ten 12 – Over 80 13 - VaShawn Mitchell Takes Home Six Stellar Awards 14 – 8th Anniversary Celebration 16 – Waiting It Out 17 – Millennium Revival Center Transforming Minds 19 – Butterfly Wings “Claudine’s Story” 21 – The Return of Damon Little 22 – Mental Health 23 – Answering the Cry of a Generation 24 – AZIZ the Pioneer of DaSouth
Unrestrained Worship Conference 2011 The Vision: Pastor Rod Lumpkin II is the CEO and Visionary of “Unrestrained Worship, the Encounter.” This is a divine movement that continues to grow each year. The fourth year of “Unrestrained Worship, the Encounter 2011” was held in Atlanta, Georgia, November 18th -19th, at the Trinity Chapel Church of God. The purpose of this conference is bringing forth a kingdom movement and atmosphere through worship with no restraints on the gathered assembly of God’s people. The Encounter: Hundreds gathered for three hours of worship. People from around the country and of every faith, denomination, ethnicity, race, color, and creed filled the room to enter into an unrestrained place of worship. This was not ordinary worship where there was just a list of songs and a beating of drums. Many decrees out poured! Music was made by the sounds of life spoken into the atmosphere. Arms were lifted and hearts were positioned to receive and embrace the sovereignty of God. Artist who joined the stage included: David and Nicole Binion, John and Joslyn Brockman, Dr. Nina Bronner, Keith Dobbins, Freddie Graves, Leroy Hooks, Kevin Levar, Rod Lumpkin, Randy Newton, Myles and Delana Rutherford, Janae Slack, and Taylor Tucker. Heavenly sounds were presented before the Father and He responded by covering the room in a cloud of glory. All hearts were on one accord as the Holy Spirit was ushered in. Mime and dance took place from the beginning until the end and added to the flow of authentic worship. The Spirit of Unity was amongst us. Everyone had a posture of praise and worship in spirit and in truth. It was surreal, as if Heaven was literally on Earth. Many cried out, some lay prostrate, danced, and even jumped up and down all in reverence to God. The Encounter was refreshing worship that truly left you vulnerable to the Holy Spirit and that is by far the best position to be in; especially, to receive what was to come in the next day of the conference. Break-out sessions: There were a number of break-out sessions that afforded us the opportunity to obtain instruction of God’s word from dynamic pastors and teachers. I attended Transitioning: Next Dimension of Worship with Pastor John Brockman, Youth On Fire with Minister Tasha Cobbs, and On Earth As In Heaven with Kevin Levar. The other powerful sessions were: We Present Our Hearts, Dance that Shifts the Atmosphere, Social Networking & Your Worship Ministry, and Worshiping With Mime. The Youth On Fire session with Minister Tasha Cobbs was profound as we learned with the “fruit of our lips” to “confess God’s name.” We openly identified who God was to us and shared some aspects of how we as youth have been restrained in our worship. The importance of God’s name being in the midst of our corporate worship was taught to us and allowed us to immediately enter into a more intimate place. The presence of God was in the room as Minister Tasha Cobbs presented a prophetic word. Panel Discussion: The fellowship continued as pastors, teachers, and artists gathered to answer questions. Members of the panel included: David and Nicole Binion, Dr. Delainey Bouie, John and Joslyn Brockman, Dr. Nina Bronner, Pastor Eugene C. Brown, Jr., Minister Tasha Cobbs, Reginald P. Garmon Sr., Elder Freddie Graves, Pastor B. Dwayne Hardin, Pastor Kevin Levar, Rod Lumpkin, Pastors Tim & Chandra Midgette, Randy Newton, and Minister Robin Ware. Another highlight of the conference was the drawing for one of the groups registered to win a free live recording session. This was sponsored by DW Services Group and another drawing will take place next year. The Holy Spirit dwelt among us from the beginning of the conference until the end. I write from the depths of my heart in efforts to capture the essence of the shift that took place, but you will truly have to experience it for yourself. It is an authentic encounter and experience that will be recorded in the Heavens archives as true and “Unrestrained Worship”! “Unrestrained Worship: the Encounter 2012” will be November 16th-17th in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information on how to participate or volunteer visit: WWW.UNRESTRAINEDWORSHIP.ORG or WWW.RODLUMPKIN.ORG Antwonishea Hardy firstname.lastname@example.org
Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir Wins $25,000 Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir from North Carolina Region Brings Home National Title and $25,000 Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir from Salvation and Deliverance Church in Tarboro, N.C. took home the grand prize at Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound™ finale and was named “America’s Church Choir.” During the finale, held on Oct. 28 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., the choir walked away with a cash prize of $25,000 and the opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration in 2012. Christian Life Center Mass Choir from Oakland, Calif. was named runner-up and received a cash prize of $15,000. The 2011 Verizon How Sweet the Sound finale brought together the best church choirs from nine cities across the nation. Each choir rejoiced in song and praise in front of award-winning gospel artists and co-hosts CeCe Winans and Donald Lawrence, along with judges Marvin Sapp, Shirley Caesar and Israel Houghton. Renowned gospel artist Andrae Crouch was a special guest and the recipient of the Living Legend Award presented by Chaka Khan. “Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound is proud to unite and inspire communities across the country through the power of gospel music,” said Walter Jones, Vice President, Network, West Area, Verizon Wireless. “There was a tremendous amount of talent on display at the grand finale and the event was incredibly uplifting. We are proud to grant the title of ‘America’s Church Choir’ to Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir -- a group with a tremendous amount of talent and passion.” Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir plans to put their prize money towards a choir tour bus to continue to spread their ministry and “Weight for the Lord”, their program which aims to tackle obesity in their community. “Participating in Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound was one of the most rewarding experiences our choir has ever had,” said Kristian Herring, Choir Director of Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir. “It is humbling to be named ‘America’s Church Choir’ and Verizon’s generosity will allow us to expand our impact in the community.” Family Life Center Sanctuary Choir from Los Angeles, Calif. won the Verizon Video People’s Choice Award and a $5,000 cash prize. During the grand finale, audience members voted via text for their favorite choir performance to determine the winner. TCP Magazine is proud to have experienced the ministry of Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir at our 7th Anniversary last year after their regional win of the Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound. Salvation and Deliverance Church is located a little more than an hour northeast of Raleigh, NC.
Pastor Arvetra Jones, Jr. - www.WFSS.org 1. XCEL – Transformed 2. Kierra Sheard – Free 3. Le’Andria Johnson – Jesus 4. Illie Baker, Jr. – Don’t Text and Drive 5. Craig Hayes and The United Voices – Any Day Now 6. Teen Pure N Heart – Where Would I Be 7. Jason Nelson – Shifting The Atmosphere 8. Monica Lisa Stevenson – Hold On 9. Dorinda Clark Cole – He Brought Me 10. Luther Barnes – Yet Love
George Majette - www.pozitiveentertainment.com 1. The Joy of the Lord – Tamela Mann 2. Get Down – Dawkins & Dawkins 3. Jesus – LeAndria Johnson 4. Trust Me – Richard Smallwood 5. I Believe – James Fortune 6. Spiritual – Donald Lawrence 7. Over and Over – Trin-I-Tee 5:7 8. Prayed up – Karen Clark-Sheard 9. I Need Your Glory – Ernest Pugh 10. Walking – Mary Mary
Christian Jukebox - www.cjbradio.com 1. Fred Hammond - I Feel Good 2. Tonya Baker - This Is How We Love 3. J Moss - Good & Bad 4. James Fortune - Still Able 5. The Nevels Sisters - It ‘ s My Time 6. CD Porter - With One Sound 7. Apostle Kev - No More Holding Back 8. Angie Hall - Free 9. JT Logan - Glory To God 10. Myron Butler - Bless The Lord
Over 80 - By Dr. Francene Hash
There are so many stories within our seniors that this generation must value in order to carry us into our future. We must capture the character and integrity that makes them stand tall and proud as they tell their stories of hard work, planting gardens, and providing a living to care for their families. Sometimes I find myself intently staring at my mother and trying to get in this 90 year old woman’s mind. What is she thinking when she is sitting quietly in her lounge chair? What is she thinking when she is “pittleling” around in her room and going through her dresser drawers and closet? Can you imagine the impactful experiences she has had over nine decades, both historically as well as within her family? Recently, a motion picture was released called “The Help” which depicted black women who worked in the homes of southern white women in the sixties. The movie demonstrated how these powerfully strong women raised the white women’s children, cooked, cleaned, and ran their homes; yet were not allowed to use their bathrooms and were looked upon with racial humiliation. The movie goes on to show how the black maids told their stories to a young white lady who compiled these stories into a bestselling novel revealing the inhumane ways they were treated. When I took my 90 year old mother, my aunt who is 75, and another one of their friends to see the movie, they cried the entire time, because watching the movie made some unpleasant memories surface from their minds of how they were treated during that era. These ladies lived the stories told in
“The Help”. On my mother’s 90th birthday, we held a large birthday party with the pageantry of dancers, music, and theatrics. People from all over the country were invited to attend. Mother Hash, as she is affectionately called, is now leading to being a centurion. As we prepared, we decided to research the historical events and moments that have occurred since the 20’s when she was born. What a remarkable life! From the holocaust, world wars, civil rights, men on the moon, assassination of presidents, and far beyond, people of this era have witnessed phenomenal life changing events. So, what should this generation gain from the over 80’s? The answer is simply character, integrity, honor, respect, work ethics, and all the priceless attributes that make up real people. Dr. Francene Hash – Women’s Empowerment Speaker and Trainer, Published Author www.FranceneHash.com
Vashawn Mitchell Takes Home 6 Stellar Awards Rising Gospel music superstar Vashawn Mitchell topped the list of winners during the 27th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards during the show’s taping at Nashville’s iconic Grand Ole Opry House Theater on January 14. Mitchell took home six awards, including Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Male of the Year and Praise and Worship CD of the Year for his 2011 album, “Triumphant.” Hosted by the legendary Dorinda Clark Cole and Marvin Sapp, ten awards were presented over the course of the two-hour Stellar Awards show, with 28 additional awards announced during pre-show ceremonies on Friday and Saturday. Winners were selected by online voters. From the start, the evening was catapulted to a heartpumping level of praise as Kirk Franklin took the stage. In a production-packed opening number, Franklin performed a combination of his latest hits, including “Smile,” which was awarded Song of the Year during the show. Franklin also took home three additional honors, including CD of the Year, Producer of the Year and Contemporary CD of the Year. Franklin dedicated his awards to his team, pulling them up on stage to share the moment during his acceptance for CD of the Year and later stunned the crowd when he shared his award for Song of the Year with fellow nominee Darius Polk who penned Vashawn Mitchell’s “Nobody Greater.” “Because God has been so kind to me.....He’s given me more than I deserve or could ever earn,” said Franklin. “I want to be a good Christian and I know to do that, I have to encourage others. That song “Nobody Greater” has ministered to me so deeply. If you don’t mind, I would be honored to share this award with [Darius Polk] because that song is incredible.” Other top winners of the evening included Mary Mary, Kim Burrell, Smokie Norful and The Rance Allen Group who were honored with two trophies each. The New Artist of the Year award was presented to Y’anna Crawley. The show was filled with stirring performances, including a collaborative medley of “Sweeter” by Kim Burrell; Jessica Reedy brought the audience to their feet with a rendition of “Put It on the Altar;” Le’Andria Johnson masterfully sang “Jesus;” and Martha Munizzi delighted the crowd with the spirited praise song, “Excellent.” Other big performers included William McDowell, whose rendition of “I Give Myself Away” transformed the Grand Old Opry House into a spirit-filled sanctuary, with the visibly moved crowd joined together in worship. A high-energy Hip Hop collaboration by Canton Jones, LeCrae and Da’T.R.U.T.H. culminated in a soulful rendition of “Awesome God.” Fred Hammond, Earnest Pugh, Richard Smallwood & Vision, James Fortune & Fiya, Ricky Dillard & New G all delivered powerhouse performances to the delight of the full-tocapacity crowd. The show also recognized the great accomplishments of some of Gospel’s brightest stars. North Carolina’s John P. Kee received the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award for his accomplishments over a career that spans three decades and was serenaded by Isaac Carree, Sheila Lakin, Lowell Pye and Zacardi Cortez. Dorothy Norwood, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Gospel Story Teller,” received the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award, presented by the veteran show host. Vy Higgensen, the first woman to host a morning show on New York radio as well as produce a faith-based musical on Broadway, received the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award for her work with the “Gospel for Teens” program. This event was blessed this year to have hundreds in the media to provide coverage including print media as far away as the UK. The 27th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards will air in nationwide syndication from January 21, 2012 to February 26, 2012 and premiere on GMC Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 8 p.m. EST. For more information, visit www.thestellarawards. com.
TCP Magazine 8th Anniversary There are so many stories within our seniors that this generation must value in order to carry us into our future. We must capture the character and integrity that makes them stand tall and proud as they tell their stories of hard work, planting gardens, and providing a living to care for their families. Sometimes I find myself intently staring at my mother and trying to get in this 90 year old woman’s mind. What is she thinking when she is sitting quietly in her lounge chair? What is she thinking when she is “pittleling” around in her room and going through her dresser drawers and closet? Can you imagine the impactful experiences she has had over nine decades, both historically as well as within her family? Recently, a motion picture was released called “The Help” which depicted black women who worked in the homes of southern white women in the sixties. The movie demonstrated how these powerfully strong women raised the white women’s children, cooked, cleaned, and ran their homes; yet they were not allowed to use their bathrooms and were looked upon with racial humiliation. The movie goes on to show how the black maids told their stories to a young white lady who compiled these stories into a bestselling novel revealing the inhumane ways they were treated. When I took my 90 year old mother, my aunt who is 75, and another one of their friends to see the movie, they cried the entire time, because watching the movie made some unpleasant memories surface from their minds of how they were treated during that era. These ladies lived the stories told in “The Help”. On my mother’s 90th birthday, we held a large birthday party with the pageantry of dancers, music, and theatrics. People from all over the country were invited to attend. Mother Hash, as she is affectionately called, is now leading to being a centurion. As we prepared, we decided to research the historical events and moments that have occurred since the 20’s when she was born. What a remarkable life! From the holocaust, world wars, civil rights, men on the moon, assassination of presidents, and far beyond, people of this era have witnessed phenomenal life changing events. So, what should this generation gain from the over 80’s? The answer is simply character, integrity, honor, respect, work ethics, and all the priceless attributes that make up real people. Dr. Francene Hash – Women’s Empowerment Speaker and Trainer, Published Author www.FranceneHash.com
For the second consecutive year, the Independent Gospel Artists Alliance Conference was a tremendous success. This year, the conference was held in Chesapeake, VA, July 14th-16th on the campus of Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church, affectionately known as “The Mount”, where Bishop Kim Brown serves as Senior Pastor. Multiple Stellar Award nominees and conference co-founders, Minister Earl Bynum and Phillip Carter, pulled together a powerful group of panelists (see list of names below) to provide education, training, and networking opportunities to music industry stakeholders who journeyed to the Tidewater region from across the United States. Conference attendees were able to choose between beginner and advanced sessions in numerous areas such as record label operations, marketing, distribution, legal, touring, as well as radio relationships and servicing. This year also marked the 1st Gospel Blue Mic Achievement Awards, which was sponsored by Charles Clark, Jr., founder of Nebo Publishing, home of Brotha Online Magazine. The North Carolina Gospel music community was represented well, making an undeniable mark on this year’s conference with numerous recording artists from the state blazing the showcase stage such as Todd Curry & Focus, Christal Reynolds, Matt Kelly, whose crowd-stirring performance during the Gospel Blue Mic Achievement Awards ceremony won’t soon be forgotten, and Diana Y. Washington. Curry, Reynolds, and Kelly also garnered national buzz for the “Tar Heel State” as they revealed a hot sampler of new music during the conference from their forthcoming projects in the form of a compilation entitled The NC Connection “Praise From The Carolinas To The Nations” – Volume I. The nightcap of day two of the nightly showcase included a special, Phillip Carter-led (accompanied on-stage by numerous NC-based attendees) tribute of “Rough Side Of The Mountain” in memory of the late Gospel icon, Bishop F.C. Barnes. Panelists for this year’s conference included: Mike Chandler, Benita Bellamy, Troy Sneed, Henry Harris, Terry Mendheim, Monica Lisa Stevenson, Thomas Rollins, Garrett Johnson, Roderick Jemison, Andrea R. Williams, Brodric Purvis, Andre Carter, Wanda Patterson, Simone Henry, Jamila Joy, Connie Birth, Dominique Stroman and Dr. Mark Williams. Planning is already underway for 2012. You can find more information, photos, and commentary on The Independent Gospel Artists Alliance Conference at www.indiegospelalliance.com. Zack Reynolds, Jr., founder of MoRey Entertainment, is a songwriter, producer, and music industry consultant. Contact info: email@example.com
“Waiting it Out”© -
By Adrienne Miller I am surprised by life sometimes. Not in the direction I’m going, but the longer I stay here, it’s the things that happen in this world that often startle me. Life has a way of bring the blows upon us, even when we ourselves are not to blame. I think we have seen that of late with all of the constant “economic drama.” The good guys don’t seem to be winning right now. My well placed trust in God is getting me farther than in my hope and good thoughts in the powers that be. Being a fan of action and adventure I love a good “cliff hanger” or “dangling rope episode.” For the most part, the good guy usually does come out on top. Lately, I’ve been wondering how bad it would be to just “let go of the rope.” If you know where you’re going to land, it’s ok. But taking the chance there is not a safety net or arms to catch us, can really test our faith.
I’m a problem solver. That comes in handy when life needs to be placed in order so you can move on to the next task. Some tasks take longer, and are in need of an expert, far beyond what I’m able to do, or figure out. I wonder how many times in my life I should have just let go of the rope. Resign myself not to defeat, but turning my attention to the One God, trusting and knowing He has my present in hand, with a thought and plan for my future. Letting go can bring us freedom if we can be secure in a better plan. Sometimes we don’t know if that plan exists, or is even available to us. Jesus, God’s Son, provided that better plan. Death has no hold on us when we have given our life to Him, trusting in Him as our Savior. Waiting and living it out can take more courage; anyone can let go of the rope! But God can give us the wisdom to know when to “hold on” and “when to let it go!” And, when we do let go, He will be there to catch us, hold us, or deliver us; whatever He thinks is best for us. If we trust in Him, we need to let Him fill our order with His answer, and not our preferences. Recognizing God’s will for our lives will not only help “keep us from troubles,” it will build our faith. Not in the assurance of what we can accomplish “if we only try,” but in what God can make happen in our lives when we choose to give Him our time, attention, and troubles. Adrienne is President/Founder of Share His Light® Ministries, Founder of Life’s Food For Thoughtsm and Founder of Shout!2Stop TraffickingSM. Adrienne is the author of three books. She travels worldwide preaching, teaching, and sharing the message of holiness; and that God wants to have a personal relationship with all of us. Visit her on the web: www.lifesfoodforthought.org and www.sharehislightministries.org
Butterfly Wings “Claudine’s Story” by Melissa Wade A MUST SEE!!!! This season I am working with an organization that ministers to women who are broken, have gone through life situations and maybe at a point of dismay, and need support, encouragement and ministering to get back to where God needs them to be. Minister and author Shirrell McNeill and Butterfly Wings Ministry is an outreach ministry that offers support to women through camps, conferences, workshops, readings and ministry. Last year I assisted Minister McNeill in spreading the gospel of transformation by helping her bring back her play “Butterfly Wings: Claudine’s Story” to the stage at The River Church in Durham, NC. Directing this play was a moving and revealing experience for me. You find out that once you admit that you are broken, are healed and transformed, it allows others around you to be transformed as well. This well written and moving play ministers to women and men and their brokenness at any age. This year Butterfly Wings Ministry plan to combine its conference and the play to continue to spread the gospel of transformation to other groups. The 2012 Transformation Conference & Play will be held on June 2, 2012 at Cathedral of His Glory Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. Here’s a brief synopsis: Claudine’s Story is a gospel musical drama that depicts events that start over a typical weekend but has transforming power in the life of a young professional woman. Claudine Spell“happy”. A successful with friends, family and one says she has it all. Claudine however struggles with her purpose and a tion, “Is there anything better than this?”
ers should be career woman status, everynagging ques-
This drama touches the core of our family, friends, and enables us to examine forms of brokenness and the effects of living your possibilities and the position you have in Original music and stellar performances will help bring to life Claudine’s struggle to break free from her munon “Butterfly Wings!”
lives-work, different beneath Christ. dane
life and soar
For more information on this ministry and upcoming events, log on to their website at butterflywingsllc.com. Just like Jesus’ sermons on the Mount…. You can be blessed through your brokenness. Melissa Wade Page 19
The Return of Damon Little Damon began singing at the age of 5 with his family group, which consisted of his brothers and cousins. His first recording was with his uncle, Clarence Fountain of the Five Blind Boys of Alabama. In 2000, God opened an enormous door for him when he signed with Worldwide Gospel in Houston, TX producing a string of hits. Little penned and produced the title track of his debut project, “You Can’t Straddle the Fence.” The single soared up the Gospel charts and remained in the top 10 for 46 weeks. In 2004 he released his sophomore project, which included two top 10 singles, “Long as I Got Shoes,” and the title track, “Do Right (How You Gonna Do Right with a Do Wrong Mind).” Damon Little a native of Baltimore, MD, spent many years growing up as a child in Pensacola, FL. He was a sickly child and experienced numerous surgeries due to a physical illness. God healed his body and God’s love and favor poured out on this anointed man of God. This dedicated and faithful man of God is humbled, as the Lord has blessed him to travel with several national and international tours performing for more than 300,000 people. He has been included in Gospel Truth Magazine’s “Power of Faith Tour” and “Jeff Majors’ National Tour for the Homeless” which included stops at churches and Wal-Marts throughout the country. Damon has ministered in Mexico, Dominica Republic, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and The Bahamas. He has ministered and has been a part of the Radio-One’s Gospel Cruise for the past six years; and has been featured on TV One, BET, TBN, Bobby Jones and The Word Network. In this current year, Damon’s ministry will elevate to a higher level by signing with a Brand New Internationally based Entertainment company, and by adding his group “Nu Beginning” to the mix, he is sure to satisfy the appetite of the everyday Adult Contemporary Listener. Damon just released his New Single “LET IT BE” which will be followed by his new album, entitled—“ SOUL OF GOSPEL”. Damon has an intense driving sound that has been described across the gospel industry as “New wave Gospel, a cross between the Soul of Quartet and the Grooves of the Urban Sound”. He brings an abundance of flavor to the genre of gospel music and many love his style which has been compared to the Legendary Al Green and the Late Philippe Wynne, the former Lead Singer of The Spinners. His good friend Jeff Majors of The Radio One Network and National Recording Artist in his own right, states---“It’s just new traditional and inspirational Music.” Dorinda Clark Cole of the Grammy Award Winning Clark Sisters calls him her “Favorite Quartet Singer” and Elroy Smith of the Radio One Network calls the First Single “Powerful”. Damon Little is back with a New Look, a New Sound and most of all, a New Beginning! There is NO turning back for this Anointed Man of God….
Mental Health - by Drs. M. Ojinga and Dionne Harrison My wife and I are humbled and excited by the opportunity to address mental health concerns important to African Americans in The Connection Place Magazine. In coming issues we hope to explore common mental health problems from a Christian world view, describe signs and symptoms of various mental health disorders, explain how and why they occur, and to present treatments, solutions and preventive strategies. We are also interested in questions you might have. By doing this our desire is to eliminate much of the misunderstanding and stigma that often goes along with having mental health problems or having a loved one suffer with them. Our Background: Drs. M. Ojinga and Dionne Harrison married in 2003 and met via their shared interests while at Duke University Center for Spirituality Theology and Health. Dr. Ojinga Harrison obtained his MD from the University of Tennessee at Memphis College of Medicine and completed a combined residency in internal medicine and psychiatry at Duke University. He also was a research fellow at the Center for Spirituality Theology and Health. He has published peer reviewed research articles on religion and health. Dr. Dionne Harrison received her MD from SUNY at Buffalo School of Biomedical Science and completed her psychiatric residency at Duke University with additional studies in family therapy, child trauma and neglect. She completed her first book “A Letter from Tamar” which presents issues of sexual abuse in a fully illustrated story based on Tamar’s life. The Harrisons have a group practice in Raleigh NC. The Lord has blessed their quiver fully with four beautiful children.
Answering the Cry of a Generation - By Sarah Gerald Answering “Fine” to what has become a rhetorical question, “How are you?” is second nature to most. We ask others how they are doing to seem polite while all along not really hoping to hear the truth behind what we are asking. This habit is one of many things contributing to the numbing of this generation. Being on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill first as a student and now as a campus missionary with Every Nation Campus Ministries, I see firsthand the complete brokenness this generation tries to hide behind a seemingly perfect façade. God has called me to go to the campus, speak to this generation and offer them the only hope that never fails. Society has produced an image of a stereotypical college student. These four years of a person’s life usually is the era where students try absolutely everything, no matter the consequences. Being in college has become an excuse to consume as much alcohol and/or drugs as possible, to have sex with as many partners as possible, to experiment with sexual orientation, and to do whatever one thinks will make them happy. It is hedonism at its best. But what is happening when people are seeking these pleasures? According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 44% of victims of sexual abuse are under the age of 18 and 80% are under the age of 30. One in four women has been sexually abused. In spring of 2011, FBI agents arrested a student at UNC on charges of sexual exploitation of children. In 2009, the president of a fraternity at UNC was in his car, called police because he was suicidal, and ended up being shot because the situation turned confrontational. These are the kinds of issues lying dormant under the lie of “I’m fine, thanks.” What hope can we offer those that hurt? What can we say to ease the pain of the broken? Is the only answer to tell them, “Ignore the pain, keep striving and if you graduate and make lots of money, it will be ok?” The only tried and true answer to the broken and hurting, to the lost and confused, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God created this earth and everything in it. Because of the sin of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, all men and women are born into sin and thus separate from God who is perfect and good. In His love, God decided to bridge the gap between God and man and came to earth in the form of Jesus Christ, God the son, and became the perfect sin offering. Jesus died on the cross undeservingly, having lived a perfect life. He cancelled out all the sins or wrongs that all of mankind have ever made, is making, and will ever take. I Timothy 4:10 says, “That we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.” It is belief in Jesus that brings healing. Ezekiel 36:26 says that God will remove our hearts of stone and replace them with hearts of flesh. The answer is not to paint over the hurts but to allow the power of the Gospel to manifest and heal like nothing else can. I have heard the cry of a generation and I have no other choice but to answer it. God has called me to go to the campus, speak to this generation, and offer them the only hope that never fails. From the depths of my soul comes a war cry: I will fight. I will stand up and fight for this group of people who are hurting and looking to passing pleasures to alleviate their pain. I will fight for those who can not or will not fight for themselves. I will take a stand against a society that claims their way is the right way while their way leads to more suffering. This will be a fight to the death. And what, pray tell, is the prize? If one hand reaches up out of the abyss of dying souls, seeking salvation from their pain, their brokenness, their hurt…then this fight will be worth it. My job is not to merely classify this generation as lost but to provide it with the only solution that works; and His name is Jesus. This is your invitation to the battle. Here is your chance to stand with me and reclaim this so-called lost generation. I am committed to doing what God has called me to do, however I can not do it alone. Will you answer the call and join with me to bring God’s children home? *To find out how to support the ministry of Sarah Gerald, contact her at Sarah.Gerald@everynation.org. *To give to her ministry: 1. Go to giving.everynation.org 2. Select “give to the ministry of a particular missionary” 3. Select her name from the drop down box
AZIZ the Pioneer of DaSouth - by Christopher Terrell If you have not already heard the name, Aziz Peregrino-Brimah, let me introduce you to him. Aziz is the co-owner of DaSouth.com and CEO of Bezwork Design. DaSouth.com is a Christian, hip hop news media website that primarily covers new independent artists giving them a platform and voice to expose their ministry. Bezwork Design is known for providing state of the art corporate branding, print design, and development.
dent Barack Obama.
The initial concept of DaSouth.com was established by Tre 9 who had been a previous client of Aziz. Before Aziz started the project, he envisioned that the DaSouth.com website was much bigger than Tre’s initial model. The funds that Tre 9 had for the construction of the website was not enough to build it on the magnitude it demanded, so Aziz gave him a proposal to become a 50/50 partner, thus combining both of their ideas and building the full site. On November 4, 2008, DaSouth.com was launched. It was a pivotal moment in history, because it occurred during the election of Presi-
Aziz was born and raised in Salisbury, NC. Although he wasn’t raised in the church, as a youngster, he occasionally attended. By the time he entered college, his church attendance had declined. There was a time in his life when he sold drugs, hung out in night clubs, drank, and smoked; thus a stage of depression, hopelessness, and fear started to enter his life. He felt as if death was shaking him down and he didn’t know what was going on to the point where he thought he might be going crazy. As he prayed, the Lord revealed Himself to Aziz. He didn’t know which religion was right for him, so he continued to pray to God asking for direction. In a year’s time, in 1994, Aziz surrendered his will and gave his life to Christ. He became determined to fulfill his purpose in life. He is now a devoted husband and father of a16 year old daughter and a 5 year old son. His passion is pushing the Kingdom for God and reaching the lost. His message to the lost is “God can turn your life around. If you have a dark look on life, God can make it brighter. There are no limits to the abundant life that God has for you.” Aziz and his wife do not consider themselves to be a church. He quotes, “People think in order to do God’s work, you need to be in a pulpit or wear the title of pastor, prophet, or evangelist. We all are called to go out and spread the good news of the Gospel. If you are a Christian, then you already have an assignment from God. Until you’re leading people to Christ and understanding that you need God, you don’t know what life is all about.” DaSouth.com averages approximately 50 thousand unique visitors each month and 250 thousand page views. In the past few years, they have had approximately 1 million unique visitors and 10 million page views from 210 countries. Since DaSouth.com pioneered the launch of this site, others have now followed. The site presents events, news, new music, new artists, album reviews, live chats with artists, and even live listening parties. The client list includes Vickie Winans, The Word Network, Earnest Pugh, GI, Marvin Winans Jr., TCP Magazine, Max Siegel and many more. It’s only beginning for Aziz! Stay tuned!