McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour took the Chicago Gospel Music Festival by storm. Over the past eight years, the tour has evolved and become the headline for many festivals around the country. Several artists have performed throughout the years bringing attention to and helping raise funds in support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. The Black McDonald’s Operators Association (BMOA) of Chicago and NW Indiana strives to uplift the inner-city communities and support families during their time of crisis.
As we all know, McDonald’s is just about in every community across the nation. We enjoy their delicious french fries and children can’t go without their Happy Meals. Perhaps you didn’t know that McDonald’s endeavors to work with critically ill children and their families through the Ronald McDonald House Charities established in 1974. They’ve created programs, dispersed grants, given away scholarships and built facilities to support those in need. Their reach doesn’t stop with the United States, but around the globe their generosity is felt by many.
In step with the mission/vision of the McDonald’s Corporation, the Black McDonald’s Operators Association (BMOA) of Chicago and NW Indiana have called on some of the biggest names in the Gospel music industry to raise their voices in song and awareness. Over the weekend of June 27- June 29, the BMOA took over Ellis Park with shouts of praise. Despite the looming dark clouds and sporadic down pours of rain, the crowd gathered. People from all over the Chicago area and beyond set up lawn chairs, brought their families and set out a spread of their favorite foods in preparation of a great time. To say the least, they were ready to give God praise and see some of the best in Gospel music perform. This year the Tour consisted of renowned organist extraordinaire Moses Tyson, Jr., Erica Campbell of the multi-award winning Gospel dynamic duo Mary Mary, spoken word/Gospel hip hop artist Uncle Reece, Kurt Carr & the Kurt Carr Singers, Anthony Brown & Group TherAPy, and the legendary famed Mississippi Mass Choir with 80 years young fireball Mama Mosie Burke co-hosted by Radio Personality/Singer Lonnie Hunter and funny man comedian Jonathan Slocumb.
The Chicago Gospel Music Festival showcased a plethora of home grown talent and nationally recognized artists as well. Over the weekend, to the glory of God, there were no accidents or shootings in the park. Everyone came on one accord. If this can be done for one weekend out of the year, why can’t it be done 365 days? Chicago has been numbered among one of the top cities where crime is incredibly high. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV), “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” The Chicago Gospel Music Festival weekend demonstrated that if people would stop and give God what is due Him, then He will surely meet the needs of our communities.