Photos by Candace Walker
Veda Brown and Candace Walker
It was a full house at Impacting Your World Christian Church in Cherry Hill, New Jersey recently when some of the biggest names in the Gospel music industry came out to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Black Gospel Promo and its founder Veda Brown.
Vickie Winans and veteran Philadelphia area radio personality Niecy Tribett co-hosted the event. Winans stepped in for celebrity journalist Jawn Murray after he became ill and she did a wonderful job. The talented performances flowed for the entire evening starting with the praise team from Impacting Your World featuring Gospel jazz pianist Michael Norman. Norman performed a powerful rendition of “To God be the Glory” in honor of Brown. Lonnie Hunter and his group Structure was up next and got the people moving. Then Bryan Wilson took the stage and delivered a commanding song.
Along with her co-hosting duties Winans also performed Brown’s favorite song “Safe in His Arms” for the honoree. Winans spoke of her love for Brown and how they have formed a friendship that has endured for many years. She also gave Brown a love offering of $1,000 and told her to spend it on herself.
Brown then asked all who worked in the Gospel industry to come up to the stage and join her as she presented Dr. Bobby Jones with the first ever Black Gospel Promo Award for all that he has done for the industry. Jones thanked Brown and the rest of his peers and shared about his first time meeting Brown. He said she was “little bitty thing” that walked up to him and offered her services should he need them. The two then went on to work on several projects together including his yearly Gospel Artist Retreat. “I really love Veda and I thank her for giving me this award,” said Jones.
The performance of the night went to Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr singers! They shut down the show with an original song written for Brown by Carr called ‘I’ve Seen Him Do It.” The song deals with the ability of God to do miraculous things in our lives even when it seems impossible. Carr shared a personal testimony of how Brown came to him at a time in his life when he was really seeking direction in his career and said she was one of the people who put him back on track. “Veda would say to me ‘no you don’t need to do that you need to do this’. She kept it real with me and was and is a true friend,” said Carr. He then went on to perform and there was so much emotion and spirit flowing in the place that I know everyone left with that song on their hearts.
According to a recent press release over 200,000 people received Veda Brown’s daily Black Gospel Promo e-mail blasts. The colorful, slickly designed emails promote everything from greeting cards, Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Hawthorne” TV series and Kirk Franklin’s chart topping CDs to all of Tyler Perry’s movie promos. “Black Gospel Promo has become the CNN of gospel marketing,” says Grammy nominated producer Steven Ford. “Black Gospel Promo has revolutionized the way that the black church spreads the word about its products.”
A Philadelphia native, Brown started her business while working for a pastor with his own record label. She sent out email blasts on one of the pastor’s CD projects. To her surprise, she received a call from gospel star Fred Hammond’s brother who asked her to send out an email blast on the Commissioned Reunion concert in 2001. “I had no other job at the time,” Brown said in a recent press release. “So, I said, well, let’s try this for a little while.”
A while has turned into a ten-year operation that has allowed the firm to earn six figure revenue grosses in the boom years and to become the leading black gospel marketing company today. We wish her much success for years to come. Check out my slideshow!