(From l to r) Min. Ron Briggs, James Harris, Min. Earl Bynum, Min. Sheilah Belle, Bishop Kenneth Wells, Tammy Taylor, Benita Bellamy, Sybil Sloan J.D. and Rev. Darin Freeman (GIN Kick Off)
Nashville, TN, October 21, 2019/TBR/– The state of the Gospel Industry and the music that keeps it moving is evolving. From traditional to more innovative styles of Gospel music, from recorded to music performed in churches, some are asking the question, “Has the overall message of Gospel changed and is it impacting our culture?” These same rules of thought can also be applied to the many Gospel Conventions, Conferences, Workshops and gatherings of music lovers. Are they really coming together to grow the body of Christ with an agenda that will ultimately give saints an edifying experience or has it become more of a routine gathering once or twice a year to make money and to solidify positioning within an organization?
In the world that we live in today, the harvest truly is plentiful and laborers are becoming fewer by the day. Very seldom do you see changing of the guards in these old institutions, but instead, grandfathers and great grandfathers desperately holding on to titles and positions over organizations they barely understand anymore, while simultaneously blocking others from opportunities for fear that their light may shine just a bit too bright. While young people and creative minds are trying to get involved, instead they are being invited to fill seats but given little to do. Those who are a bit more established are also often asked to be on various teams, once again, only to fill seats, but never at the head table.
As a result, those who are paying attention, are no longer willing to settle or play Gospel politics when it comes to growing their craft or becoming more knowledgeable about just how the music industry works. Instead, the music industry is giving more people choices of where they can go and obtain knowledge, network, build stronger relationships, feel appreciated, respected and can trust the leadership. Thankfully there are some Gospel and Christian communities and organizations that have seen the light and are getting it right including the newly created, the Gospel Industry Network: Psalms 1 (G.I.N.).
The Gospel Industry Network: Psalms 1 (G.I.N.) officially launched on Wednesday, October 16th in Nashville, TN at 10am with a bigger than expected crowd of people. Under the leadership of visionary and founder, Bishop O. Kenneth Wells, Senior pastor of Spirit of Love Christian Church in San Bernardino, CA, the new organization will focus on bridging the gap between the Gospel and Christian Communities, youth and seasoned saints, churches, organizations, businesses and the Gospel Music Industry. Through G.I.N., the goal will include supporting and elevating committed music lovers reach their dreams, while simultaneously helping to build the kingdom of God.
The kick off for G.I.N. was held at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 2214 12th Avenue, Nashville, TN where Rev. Darin Freeman is the Senior Pastor. As newcomers entered the church they were greeted with Krispy Kream Donuts, fresh hot coffee and juice.
Invited and special guests flew in from all over the country to be a part of this new beginning with hope and anticipation of opportunities and to finally be invited to sit at the table where and when decisions are made.
Sitting at the head table for this new organization was Bishop Wells along with his newly appointed officers, including Gospel heavy hitters, Grammy and Dove Award nominated, Stellar Award winner, Gospel recording artist and 1st Vice Chair, Minister Earl Bynum, Program Director, Yes Lord Radio, Director of Public Relations, COGIC Music and Men’s Department and AIM Convention, 2nd Vice Chair Minister Ron Briggs, Ms. Sybil M. Sloan, J.D., 2nd Vice Chair and the CEO of The Belle Report, LaBelle & Associates and Multi-Media Television and Radio personality, Minister Sheilah Belle, 3rd Vice Chair and National Coordinator.
Invited guests who shared their perspective on the gospel industry and how we all can grow together included Dr. Bobby Jones, Demetrus Alexander, Tyscot Record’s Founder Dr. Leonard S. Scott, Tyscot Records President, Bryant Scott and Steve Hare, CEO Founder of Reach Gospel Radio.
Radio and Industry guests who also shared their perspectives and what they would like to see happen with G.I.N. included Benita Bellamy, Carmina Barnett, Golden Lewis, Bobby Parker, Tammy Taylor, Shirley Bell, Willie Jones, Adrian Freeman, Howard C. Young III, Mama Curtis and Rhodell Lewis, just to name a few.
Already working to make sure that the agenda of G.I.N. reaches its already many goals, Bishop Wells has pulled together, currently twelve affiliate leaders to represent their cities from across the country, including Roanoke, VA, San Bernardino, CA, Little Rock, Arkansas, Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA, Memphis, TN, Birmingham, AL, Nashville, TN, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, West Palm Beach, Syracuse, NY and Hampton Roads, Virginia.
Bishop Wells and his affiliate leaders
Taking center stage as the first Praise Break guest were the “Sons of Thunder” from Roanoke, VA. They delivered a traditional Quartet Sound with perfect harmony and they were dressed to impress. Following their performance, Rev. and First Lady Freeman sponsored a tasty Chick-fil-a box lunch for everyone in attendance. Snacks throughout the day were also provided by the G.I.N. Board.
Sons of Thunder from Roanoke, VA perform during the Praise Break
After lunch, everyone was given an opportunity to share their perspective on what they would like to get out of the new Network. Some of their comments included looking forward to better communication, trusting relationships and leadership, being treated with respect, attention to artist development, publishing, legal, internet radio, social media and to simply be included at the table. Bobby Parker, who has been a radio announcer for well over 20 years summed it up best, “I just want to be in the right place at the right time. I want God to be in it and I feel it here at G.I.N.” His remarks were met with applause and smiles from across the room.
Before wrapping up the day, Bishop Wells officially closed the meeting with a powerful prayer. He prayed for the Gospel Music Industry, various conferences, organizations, leaders, artists, and anyone who may have offended the kingdom of God. He asked for God’s forgiveness, repented of sin and asked for God to help us all stand better for Holiness. He asked for God to bless every record label and artist and said, “From this day forward we hold up the banner of righteousness and we pray your blessings in the name of Jesus.”
“I have been trying to launch G.I.N. for several years but the timing was not right, until now,” says Bishop Wells.
The G.I.N. membership will include Radio, Television, Record Labels, Music Executives, Songwriters, Artists, Pastors, Business Owners, Promoters, Publicists, Bloggers, Influencers, Print Media, Business Professionals, Worship Leaders, Choir Members, Choir Directors, Political Leaders and anyone who loves Gospel Music. Bishop Well says, “This new platform will give unheard voices who work diligently behind the scenes an opportunity to finally be heard.”
“G.I.N. is committed to working with all Gospel and Christian music lovers, who believe in the Word of God without compromise,” says Bishop Wells.
G.I.N. will hold its first Board Meeting in March 2020. Location to be announced soon.