As many of us brought in the new year at the club, at a friend’s house or in a bed, an estimated couple of thousand brought in the new year with a quote “Refill” of new life at the New Direction Christian Church, ranked the ‘Fastest Growing Church in Memphis and second in Tennessee’ by Outreach magazine…
As many of us brought in the new year at the club, at a friend’s house or in a bed, an estimated couple of thousand brought in the new year with a quote “Refill” of new life at the New Direction Christian Church, ranked the ‘Fastest Growing Church in Memphis and second in Tennessee’ by Outreach magazine and the hippest new answer to the average traditional church most of us grew up in or slept up in according to MemphisRap.com.
A warm welcome by church hosts lead the new year’s celebration off, which started promptly at 10PM New Year’s Eve, with a bit of stage drama defining three different generations of church, or should we say ‘Chuuch’ as so southernly spoken by the eldest actor who portrayed ‘Big Mama’, the most reluctant of the actors to attend such a church. “These people are dressed like they in a nightclub and they looking all up aside my head,” Big Mama says after finally being persuaded to enter the church by her two family members (the other two actors). As they were seated, the show began.
The show lead into a performance by G.U.L. (God’s United Leaders), a christian holy hip-hop rap group consisting of young men who performed “Not Kryptonite, but Jesus Christ”, their rendition and answer to Purple Ribbon All-stars’ Kryptonite. The song’s intense lyrics, though charged by positive influence of prayer, could be stated as “Crunk” or dare we say “Crunker” than the original song Krytonite itself. The crowd, which was a mixture of young and old, seemed to all enjoy the rendition and gave the young group a standing ovation after the performance. Those who became fans were later able to support the group by purchasing their CD in the church lobby while meeting the group members themselves. Now though the crowd was all seemingly pleased with the performance, that was not the case with “Big Mama” who stormed out into the lobby after the group performance. The cameras, which were aired live on TV screens throughout the church, were then directed at Big Mama and the two actors who once again had to influence Big Mama to return into the church as she agreed once told by one of the church hostesses that there was going to be a traditional live performance of music she’d be sure to enjoy.
So now we go into two more performances, and one more exit of “Big Mama” into the lobby who did not stay seated until the second performance which was the more traditional performance of all performances. The performance was a reflection of a hymn many probably as children dearly hated, but knew it was something that touched the hearts of grandparents since it connected them to their past. As the young woman performed, pictures displayed on the tv monitors amongst the congregation showing those who contributed to history but have since passed on such as Rosa Parks, Richard Pryor, Peter Jennings (ABC News), and more. As the night crept closer to a new year it was ended with a heart-warming and super-charged sermon and motivational speech by Pastor Dr. Stacy L. Spencer titled “I Need A Refill”, encouraging everyone to make this year mean more than the years before.
For more information about New Direction and Pastor Dr. Stacy L. Spencer, visit www.n2newdirection.org or call (901) 433-3871.
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