On June 23 Museum of the Bible will host "Blessing of the Elders," a tribute to the faith-filled legacy of the Black church and its historical and modern-day figures whose contributions have been foundational to America's faith, culture and history.
The one-night gala experience will be co-hosted by Erica Campbell and Bebe Winans and feature a stellar cast of award presenters and gospel singers. The list of honorees includes:
- Dr. John Perkins, author and civil rights activist
- Presented by Andrew Young, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
- Music by Pastor Marvin L. Winans
- Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr., former presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ
- Presented by actor Courtney B. Vance
- Music by The Clark Sisters
- Dr. A.R. Bernard, pastor of Christian Cultural Center
- Presented by actor Denzel and Pauletta Washington
- Music by Erica Campbell
- Bishop Vashti McKenzie, author and former bishop of the AME Church
- Presented by Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant, senior episcopal supervisor of the AME Church
- Music by Anthony Brown & Group Therapy
- Dr. Tony Evans, author, radio host, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and president of The Urban Alternative
- Presented by author and actress Priscilla Shirer
- Music by Lecrae
- Pastor Shirley Caesar, Grammy Award-winning gospel singer and recording artist
- Presented by Grammy Award-winning artist Tramaine Hawkins
- Music by Fred Hammond
- Bishop T.D. Jakes, author, filmmaker and bishop of The Potter's House
- Presented by John Hope Bryant, CEO of Operation HOPE
- Music by Lady Tramaine Hawkins
This year's inaugural event will also tell the story of historically significant figures from the Black church, such as Rev. Richard Allen, William Sheppard, Pastor Charles H. Mason, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Amanda Berry Smith, John Jasper and William J. Seymour.
Blessing of the Elders is guided by a steering committee whose vision statement reads: "We seek to honor Black pastors across the United States who have been committed to their call of preaching the Gospel and caring for the souls of humankind. We acknowledge and appreciate their exceptional contribution as vitally important to the development of America's biblical values."
Steve Green, Museum of the Bible co-founder and chairman of the board, stated, "The Black Church has a unique and rich history in our country, leaning on the Bible for strength, courage and perseverance, and this powerful story of faith needs to be told. We are privileged to play a part in this pivotal event on June 23."
Blessing of the Elders' celebration is executive produced by Living Hope Productions with multimedia presentations by Dynamic Life. It will take place at the museum's World Stage Theater from 7-10 p.m. ET on June 23.
More information on Museum of the Bible is available here.