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Super Bowl Gospel Celebration Held at Bethel

Super Bowl Gospel Celebration Held at Bethel

Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter takes part in the red carpet event at the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, held at Bethel University on February 1. (Photo credit: Nathan Klok for Bethel University)

The National Football League (NFL)-sanctioned Super Bowl Gospel Celebration held its 19th star-studded music event and live taping on February 1 in Benson Great Hall. The annual event brought together key NFL players, top gospel artists, and special guests on one stage to bring audiences an evening of uplifting music and inspirational messages.

“Super Bowl Gospel Celebration is by far the largest multi-cultural event to take place during Super Bowl weekend in its 19-year run as an NFL-sanctioned event,” says Melanie Few-Harrison, co-founder and producer of the event. “This year’s presentation of Super Bowl Gospel Celebration continued with the theme of ‘United in Love’ as we embrace the beauty of diversity and the impact that faith and football can have in helping us all to find a unifying team spirit off the gridiron.”

This year’s performers included Sounds of Blackness, Tye Tribbett, The Clark Sisters, Faith Evans, Rance Allen, Erica Campbell (of Mary Mary), Sheila E., and Donnie McClurkin, as well as the NFL Choir. Snoop Dogg headlined the event, debuting songs from his upcoming gospel album, “The Bible of Love.”

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson received the first-ever Faith in Action award and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was honored with the Lifetime of Inspiration award, which his father, Larry Fitzgerald Sr., accepted on his behalf.

In addition, more than 20 current and former NFL players sang in the annual NFL Choir. The choir has become one of the most anticipated performances during Super Bowl Weekend, Few-Harrison says. The choir made its debut at the 2008 show with more than 40 members.

The event aired on February 3 and 4 on Black Entertainment Television (BET) and BET Her. Many Bethel students and community members had an opportunity to attend the event, including as ushers, greeters, and to fill the very few empty seats.

“I thought last night was an incredible opportunity for our students to experience gospel music in a new, beautiful, and powerful way,” Assistant Professor of Social Work Eydie Dyke Miller Shypulski said the day after the concert. “I love that we opened our doors to this experience, which was most definitely outside of our tradition, but which as far as I can tell, the students loved. I believe that as we move toward being irenic and understanding things outside of our comfort zone, we grow in our capacity to love and become more like Christ.”

In connection with the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration event, on February 2, former Minnesota Vikings punter and ordained minister Greg Coleman spoke in Chapel for the Bethel community.

For more information about Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, visit the organization’s website

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