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Gospel singer Rance Allen celebrates 26 years as pastor at The Legend’s Ball on Aug. 26, 2011

Rance Allen

Rance Allen of the Rance Allen Group has been pastor at Toledo, Ohio’s New Bethel Church for 26 years. The church membership will honor his years of service in a black-tie affair called The Legend’s Ball at 7 p.m. Aug. 26, 2011, at The Pinnacle, 1772 Indian Wood Circle in Maumee, Ohio. Tickets are $50 and available by calling Marquita Hardison at (419) 508-6586 or Tina Franklin at (419) 206-0288.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the Rance Allen Group. According to a news release, Tyscot Records released the Top 10 CD, The Live Experience II: Celebrating 40 Years of Music and Ministry. Outside of including two medleys of their past hits, the 11-song set was recorded live at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple. It’s comprised of future classics such as the first radio single, “You That I Trust,” and “Angel.” Making cameo appearances on this musical merry-go-round are Shirley Caesar, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and The Christianaires’ Paul Porter.
The Rance Allen Group was born in their grandfather’s Monroe, Mich., church in the 1960s. They began recording for Stax Records in 1971 where they made a strong of gritty, R&B-flavored gospel and message songs for the Gospel Truth imprint. They toured with the big R&B artists of the day such as Isaac Hayes and Barry White, and literally took the gospel to the world. From there, the group recorded for a variety of labels and scored their first #1 gospel album in 1991 with the Phenomenon CD that featured the crossover R&B smash, “Miracle Worker.” Allen closed out the 1990s performing in a variety of gospel-oriented touring play productions, but the group signed with Tyscot Records in 2002 and kicked off a new string of hits such as “Do Your Will,” “Closest Friend,” “For Your Feet,” and the Kirk Franklin duet, “Something About the Name Jesus.” For more information, visit

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Black Methodists meet for historic “Gathering” on March 1-3 in South Carolina

The country’s three largest African-American Methodist denominations (the African Methodist Episcopal-AME, African Methodist Episcopal Zion-AME Zion, and Christian Methodist Episcopal-CME) are convening as a body for the first time in 45 years from March 1-3 at the Carolina Coliseum, 701 Assembly St. in Columbia, SC
“It appears that we could do more together than we can apart,” said Senior Bishop George W.C. Walker, one of the organizers for the historic Great Gathering. 

According to a news release, the purpose of the Great Gathering meeting is to address how illiteracy, unemployment, crime, personal responsibility and other issues are affecting African-American men’s ability to be good providers and role models in their communities.
 “Together, all our denominations represent a people and a community with many ills and problems,” Senior Bishop John R. Bryant said. “But we feel strongly that we can overcome all that might separate our churches so we can all focus collectively on what we can do to make things better for our people.” 
Over the course of three days, some of the country’s leading thinkers from the fields of education, religion and politics will discuss and collaborate on an initiative to solve the problems that the Great Gathering will define. Among the confirmed participants are Princeton University professor scholar Cornel West; Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund; philosopher Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu; platinum recording gospel artist Marvin Sapp; singer Byron Cage, and Grammy winner artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker.
AME Zion pastor Dr. Staccato Powell, who is also the CEO of Grace in the City, a community development corporation that is redeveloping the blighted College Park neighborhood in Raleigh, NC; is the chairman for this groundbreaking summit. All activities will take place at the Carolina Coliseum in Columbia, SC. For more information, go to for registration details.

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Bishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr. to become International Presiding Prelate and Senior Bishop of MCHCA

Mount Calvary Holy Church of America, Inc. will consecrate Bishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr. into the official office of International Presiding Prelate and Senior Bishop during their 80th Annual International Convocation.

Bishop Owens has been a member of MCHCA for over 30 years. He was consecrated a Bishop in the organization in 1988 and was appointed Vice-Bishop in 2001. In August 2008, Bishop Harold I. Williams stepped down as Presiding Prelate taking Emeritus status and appointed Bishop Owens as the Presiding Prelate.

Owens and his wife, Co-Pastor Susie C. Owens, pastor Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church, the largest church in Washington, D.C. proper with a membership of almost 8,000. He is also the Dean of the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops.

The consecration service will take place Thursday, August 20, 2009, at the International Headquarters of MCHCA Inc. Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church is located at 610 Rhode Island Ave., NE Washington, DC 20002. The service begins at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Bishop J. Delano Ellis, President of the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops will be the Consecrator and serve as speaker of the evening. For more information, call (202)529-4547.