Historic Philadelphia Church Kicks Off Self-Determination Month With Gospel Music Celebration

The Howard University Gospel Choir will perform a FREE musical celebration at 7pm tonight (10/10) at Mother Bethel AME Church marking the day Bishop Richard Allen bought the church's property at the corner of South 6th & Lombard Streets.
Howard Concert Kicks Off Self-Determination Month At Historic Philly Church
Howard Concert Kicks Off Self-Determination Month At Historic Philly Church
PHILADELPHIA - Oct. 10, 2014 - PRLog -- On October 10, 1791, Bishop Richard Allen purchased property at 419 South 6th Street in Philadelphia. This property is now the oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African Americans and today, 223 years later, this land remains the home of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (http://www.motherbethel.org). The land purchase symbolizes one of the country's first acts of self-determination, independence, and religious freedom by African Americans. From Mother Bethel in Philadelphia, the church expanded and there are now more than 3-million members of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) denomination worshipping on five continents. In celebration of this historic occasion, Mother Bethel is hosting a month of events that kicks off tonight, October 10th, with a gospel music celebration at 7pm, at the church located at 419 South 6th Streets. The Howard University Gospel Choir, from Washington DC, will perform songs, along with the Mother Bethel Mass Choir, and Praise Ensemble. The concert is free and open to the public.

Mother Bethel AME Church is dedicating the entire month of October to celebrating African American self-determination. In addition to tonight's FREE gospel music concert featuring the Howard University Gospel Choir, the church is also very active in making sure Philadelphians exercise their right to vote in Pennsylvania's upcoming gubernatorial election.

There are also events celebrating the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia. Five-time Grammy award winning soprano Ms. Kathleen Battle will perform spirituals from the Underground Railroad Experience on Friday October 24, 2014 at 7:30pm at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall. Ms. Battle, who grew up in an AME church in Portsmouth, Ohio, will be accompanied by jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut, Harpist Riza Printup, and The Philadelphia Heritage Chorale directed by J. Donald Dumpson. This inspirational music celebration traces the roots of African-American freedom with an evening of hymns and traditional spirituals.  Ms. Battle’s heavenly voice brings to light a song cycle of freedom, suffering, and salvation with unique renditions of traditional music such as “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands,”  “Lord, How Come Me Here?,”  “I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired,” “Balm in Gilead,” and "Go Down Moses," the old testament spiritual sang in both Hebrew and English, “Go Down Moses.” Discounted tickets to the Kathleen Battle Underground Railroad concert can be purchased at www.kimmelcenter.org by using discount code: UGRRBattle.

Also on Friday October 24, 2014, at 6:30pm in the SEI Innovation Theater of the Kimmel Center, Mother Bethel's Pastor, Rev. Mark Tyler, PhD., will take part in a pre-concert panel discussion about the Undeground Railroad. Other distinguished panelists include: Dr. V Chapman Smith, former regional administrator for the National Archives Mid-Atlantic region; Rev. Dr. James Forbes of Healing of a Nation Foundation and Senior Minister Emeritus Riverside Church; Cornelia Swinson, Executive Director of the Historic Johnson House; and Dr. Richard Newman, director of the Library Company of Philadelphia and author of the Biography on Bishop Richard Allen. The panel discussion is free and open to the public.

Mother Bethel's Underground Railroad observances continue on Suday October 26th during the 11am worship services. "Roots of Resistance - Remembering The Role of the AME Church in the Underground Railroad" will be a dramatic presentaiton featuring "The Mother Bethel Players" under the direction of Jann Ellis-Scruggs, former director of the Cheyney University Players.

Then at 3pm on Sunday October 26th: "Modern Day Freedom Figthers" a worship experience featuring Congressman James Clyburn (D) South Carolina as the guest speaker. Congressman Clyburn is the 3rd highest ranking Democrat in the US House of Representatives and Assistant House Democratic Leader.

Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church was founded in 1791 by Bishop Richard Allen and the church sits on the oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African Americans. The church, it's pastor, and entire congregation continue serving as agents for social justice in Philadelphia, America, and the entire world. Members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church denomination now worship on 5 continents, and are beacons of hope for more than 3-million followers. Come join us, and be a part of the movement. We are #MoreThanAMuseum. www.MotherBethel.org

For more information about October activities at Mother Bethel AME Church go to www.MotherBethel.org or call the church at (215) 925-0616. All press inquiries should be directed to Leslie Patterson-Tyler via email Leslie@TylerMadePR.com or call (609) 247-2632.

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Source:Mother Bethel AME Church
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Tags:Howard University Gospel Choir, Mother Bethel AME Church, Philadelphia, Kathleen Battle, Self-determination
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