NASHVILLE, TN — Pastors from five Nashville area churches launched the National Faith Initiative at Mr. Zion Baptist Church. The unveiling came during an intimate concert featuring gospel superstars, Richard Smallwood and Yolanda Adams, and was hosted by Dr. Bobby Jones and 92Q’s Connie Denell. The two-hour event also featured performances by the Nashville Super Choir, AGB and a mass choir with members from eighteen churches.
Faith leaders and their congregations have specifically united to show and garner support from the faith community for NMAAM. The concert launched an initiative that rallies churches and leaders around the country to donate on NMAAM Faith Day in 2018. The initial five participating churches include Mt. Zion, Cathedral of Praise, Watson Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Southside Community Church and Tabernacle of Glory Baptist Church.
“Having the faith community stand with the Museum in the development and completion of this project means the most. With music’s rich roots in faith and religion, we are happy to have such amazing support in our community and around the world.” said NMAAM’s CEO and President, H. Beecher Hicks, III. “Smallwood’s sound is a derivative of old hymnal singing and his influence can be heard through multiple generations of Gospel artists. NMAAM’s “Oh! Happy Day” exhibit, revealed in 2019 when the museum opens, will highlight Gospel music’s progression and influence on other genres and artists,” says initiative co-chair and Watson Grove senior pastor, John Faison.
Local Pastors, Bishop Joseph W. Walker, III (Mt. Zion), Bishop Jerry L. Maynard, Sr. (Cathedral of Praise), Pastor John Faison, Sr. (Watson Grove) Pastor Jerry Maynard, II (Southside Community) and Pastor William Green (Tabernacle of Glory) lead this initiative in support of the museum’s completion and development of the “Oh! Happy Day” exhibit. Their roles include a financial pledge and cultivating other pastors and congregations around the country to participate with an annual financial contribution. The goal is to cultivate $2 million dollars in commitments over five (5) years, from members of the faith community to preserve and protect the history of Gospel music.
NMAAM broke ground in 2017 and is scheduled to open in 2019. These leaders are taking a local and national approach and have already begun the conversation about NMAAM Faith Day and the National Faith Initiative’s mission with faith leaders. NMAAM Faith Day will be held nationally in 2018.
About the National Faith Initiative
Five faith leaders with local and national presence, join to spiritually and financially support the National Museum of African American Music. Mt. Zion, Cathedral of Praise, Watson Grove, Southside Community Church and Tabernacle of Glory Baptist Church are the inaugural members of the National Faith Initiative with each senior pastor serving as a co-chair of the group. The combined efforts will cultivate support across the nation and will culminate next year during National Faith Day which will be held in 2018 with a date to be announced.