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Shekinah Glory Ministry member Andre Mobley dies

Andre Lester Mobley
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Andre Lester Mobley, 46, a founding member of the platinum selling-ensemble, Shekinah Glory Ministry, passed away on Aug. 2 from blood clot complications. 

 “There are heavy hearts in Shekinah Glory Ministry and the Kingdom Records family today, “ says Kingdom Records President Joan Sullivan in a news release. “Another soldier gone.” This tragic death comes just weeks after another veteran member of the group, Pepe Epting, died in June. One longtime friend wrote on Facebook that Mobley was, “A man of a gentle, quiet and humble spirit.”
Mobley joined Valley Kingdom Ministries (the church home of Shekinah Glory Ministry and Kingdom Records) on April 5, 1992, when he played the organ during the 8 a.m. service. He played on three of Shekinah Glory Ministry’s hit recordings, including “Praise Is What I Do”, “Live” and “Jesus”. He did not play on the group’s forthcoming CD, “Surrender”, that was recorded live at Valley Kingdom in April and will be released nationally on Sept. 25. Mobley’s survivors include two children, Andrea and Avery.
Mobley’s viewing took place today at Callahan Funeral Home, 7030 S. Halsted, Chicago, IL. The funeral service takes place, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, at Valley Kingdom Ministries International, 1102 East 154th St., South Holland, IL 60473. The wake begins at 10 a.m. with the homegoing service starting at 11 a.m. 

“I’m just a wonderful person who loves God and people,” Mobley once posted on his Facebook page. “If you don’t know me, I’m probably someone you would want to know.” 

For more information on Shekinah Glory Ministry, go to

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Shekinah Glory Ministry to “Surrender” up a new CD on Sept. 25

A dozen years in, the Chicago-based ensemble known as Shekinah Glory Ministry (SGM) continues to dominate and set the standard for urban praise and worship music. They’ve made chants such as “Praise is What I Do” and “Jesus” universally known tunes that choirs around the globe sing every Sunday morning. With five RIAA gold and platinum record and video certifications behind them, this coterie of psalmists, minstrels and banner-wavers are poised to strike gold again with their fourth original CD, Surrender (Kingdom Records), scheduled for a September 25, 2012, release.

Recorded this past April at its home church, Valley Kingdom Ministry International near Chicago, SGM delivered another set of soul-stirring original songs that kept the capacity audience on its feet most of the night with hands lifted towards the heavens in praise. The closing tune, “Surrender”, summed up the evening’s theme. SGM’s leader, Phil Tarver, with a heartfelt plea, prayed openly for God to break his spirit and give him a contrite heart prior to launching into the majestic declaration. “Lord, break me again until the tears pour out”, he whispered into his microphone. “Tonight the Lord says don’t throw in the white towel but wave the white flag,” he challenged the congregation as he implored it to look up and, “tell Him [God] I surrender to your purpose, to your plan, to your way.”

The 13 tracks all deal with some variation of concession to God’s will whether by turning one’s trials and tribulations over to Him on the up-tempo, Afro-Cuban seasoned  “By Faith” or yielding to a call to worship on the dance-flavored, “Come On”. Aside from Tarver who leads three songs, there are several new SGM voices such as Brandon Alsberry, Joan Olander, Monique Miller, Jason Robinson and Danielle Nightingale Cargo who leads the new radio single, “Champion.”

Kingdom Records is a leader in African-American praise and worship music with hits such as Shekinah Glory Ministry’s 2001 breakthrough smash, “Praise is What I Do”. The million-selling SGM is not a choir. Instead, it’s a dynamic ensemble of psalmists, minstrels, and banner bearers who perform “under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Their Hebrew name means “the glorified presence of God.” Their CDs Praise Is What I Do (No. 5 peak Top Gospel Albums) and Shekinah Glory Ministry Live (No. 3 peak Top Gospel Albums – 103 weeks on the chart) were both certified gold in 2005 and 2008 respectively. They also have three gold or platinum DVDs to their credit and their 2010 CD, Refreshed By Fire, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart. For information, go to

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Shekinah Glory Ministry earns Stellar Award for Contemporary Choir of the Year

According to a recent news release, Shekinah Glory Ministry has earned a Stellar Award (gospel music’s answer to the Grammy Awards) in the category of Contemporary Choir of the Year for their double CD, “Refreshed by Fire” (Kingdom Records). The ceremony took place at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville and will make its television broadcast debut at 7 p.m. EST February 11 on The GMC Channel. Check your local listing at

Released last fall, “Refreshed by Fire” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums sales chart. The CD also came in at No. 2 on Billboard’s Christian/Gospel chart, No. 12 on the Independent chart, No. 61 on the Top 200 pop chart and No. 59 on the Current Albums chart. The live DVD version of the CD was also a Top 10 debut and continues to sell briskly. The majestic ballad “Just for Me” became a Top 20 radio hit, and the video of the song has received almost 200,000 YouTube views. Shekinah Glory Ministry is profiled in the February 2012 issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine.

Shekinah Glory Ministries is not a choir. It’s an ensemble of psalmists, minstrels, and banner bearers who perform “under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. “ Their Hebrew name means “the glorified presence of God.” Their CDs Praise Is What I Do (No. 5 peak Top Gospel Albums) and Shekinah Glory Ministry Live (No. 3 peak Top Gospel Albums – 103 weeks on the chart) were both certified gold in 2005 and 2008 respectively. They also have three gold or platinum DVDs to their credit. Fore more information, go to

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Myron Butler to produce gospel artist Tonya Baker’s first live recording in July 2010

Kingdom Records has tapped Grammy-winning producer Myron Butler to produce Tonya Baker‘s first live recording. The live recording takes place at 7 p.m. Friday, July 23, 2010, at
The Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio. Admission is free. 

Baker made her national debut with the acclaimed CD “Special Friend” in 2008, and Dayton, Ohio, native has been critically-praised for her unusual blend of jazzy vocal riffs with a straightforward gospel message.
“I would be lying if I said I weren’t a bit nervous,” Baker said in a news release. “I’ve been asked for several years, `When are you going to do a live recording?’  Well, I guess this is the time and I pray that God will be pleased with our offering and the people will be blessed and encouraged.  There’s nothing like the live experience.  You feel the energy from the people and the presence of God in the place. Most importantly, I don’t want the people to just come looking for a great show – but an encounter with God.”
Butler has produced projects with such notables as Smokie Norful and Tamela Mann from TBS’s “Meet The Browns” series. He’s also made a name for himself as an EMI Gospel recording artist with hits such as “Stronger,” “Set Me Free,” and his current single, “Revealed.”
Baker said, “Myron Butler is an incredibly anointed and gifted artist, songwriter, and producer.  I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work with him.  I’m equally thankful that Kingdom Records’ A&R director Michael Weatherspoon was able to make it happen.”
For more information about Tonya Baker’s recording, call (708) 339-9301 or visit
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Phil Tarver to release project “Place of Worship”

According to a recent news release, Kingdom Records is preparing for the highly anticipated rollout of Elder Phil Tarver’s third solo U.S. CD release. 
Tarver’s new praise-and-worship project “Place of Worship” will hit stores nationwide on May 18, 2010. The project was recorded live before 3,000 people at Valley Kingdom Ministries International in Oak Forest, IL, in February. 
The million-selling Shekinah Glory Ministry is a dynamic ensemble of psalmists, minstrels, praise dancers, encouragers and banner bearers who say that they perform “under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. “ Their Hebrew name means “the glorified presence of God.” The group’s projects Praise is What I Do” (#5 peak Top Gospel Albums) and Shekinah Glory Ministry Live” (#3 peak Top Gospel Albums – 103 weeks on the chart) were both certified gold in 2005 and 2008 respectively. The Shekinah Glory Ministry Live” DVD was certified gold and platinum in the summer of 2008. Tarver is their worship and praise leader. He’s recorded four solo CDs (including one only available in South America), and his latest CD “Draw Nearer” features the Top 20 single “Better Than That.” For more information, go to

Editor’s note: Release dates are subject to change by record label. Mr. Tarver’s project is now set to drop on June 29.

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Brown Sisters named Best Gospel Entertainer of Year at Chicago Music Awards

Gospel group The Brown Sisters (consisting of Vanessa, Phyllis, Lavette, 
Adrienne & Andrea Brown) continue to win new fans and accolades with their debut CD “The Brown Sisters Live in Chicago” on Kingdom Records. According to a news release, the group recently won Best Gospel Entertainer of the Year and Best Gospel Album of the Year Awards at the 29th Annual Chicago Music Awards (CMA) that took place at the Windy City’s Alhambra Palace. 

Other winners included Jennifer Hudson, Jeremih, R. Kelly, jazz great Ramsey Lewis, rapper Common, classic soul legends The Chi-Lites, blues star Buddy Guy and rock band Smashing Pumpkins.
The Brown Sisters have developed a sterling reputation in the Chicago for their riveting gospel stage performances that date back to the early 1990s. They have appeared onstage with stellar acts as Aretha Franklin, Bobby McFerrin and Mavis Staples, among others. They have performed in Europe for a decade (and recorded
a successful traditional gospel CD of hymns and church standards for the European market) and have appeared at the prestigious Montreux Jazz and New Orleans Jazz Festivals. They also spent a decade as the house background vocal group for the nationally syndicated “Testify” television program.

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Mitch’s Reflection: The Whispers “Thankful”

Legendary R&B group The Whispers release their first gospel project “Thankful” this week on Kingdom Records. Grammy-winning gospel artist Fred Hammond lends his creative production skills to the project, along with the songwriting and vocal skills of Magic of Magic Muzik Productions Inc., Ralph Hawkins of ND Hawk Entertainment and Nicholas Caldwell of Heavens Gate and Unified Tribe.

“Working with The Whispers was truly a dream come true,” Hammond said in a news release. “I grew up listening to The Whispers and patterned a large part of my personal vocal style after, who have now become affectionately known as, uncles Scottie and Walker.”

The Whispers’ perfect, harmonious style is prevalent throughout the 10-track CD. Fans will appreciate up-tempo tracks such as “Praise His Holy Name” and the soft disco rhythm track of “In the Name of Jesus.” For a bit of Quiet Storm, The Whispers offers the track “For Thou Art With Me,” now viewed as a hit for Urban AC and gospel radio formats.

With almost 50 R&B chart singles, The Whispers are one of the most successful vocal groups in soul music history. The Grammy and American Music Award nominated ensemble has earned seven gold or platinum singles/albums, a 2002 NAACP Image Award and an induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.

Editor’s Note: Review CD was provided by record label.

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