Members of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots Richard Seymour, Don Davis, Ben Watson and David Patten joined event host Antwaan Randle El of the Pittsburgh Steelers and several other NFL players in an inspirational-filled Super Bowl Gospel Celebration recently.
It was an evening of uplifting music, soul-stirring testimonies from NFL players, the presentation of a pair of tickets to the "Big Game," presented by Super Bowl Gospel Celebration media partner Ebony Magazine and sponsor McDonalds Corporation, ending with a wonderful concert held at Jacksonville's Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church. The event was a big hit with more than 4,000 attendees.
This year's event featured award-winning, singing sensation Patti LaBelle who shared the stage with gospel artists Donnie McClurkin, Karen Clark Sheard, Byron Cage and Kierra KiKi Sheard. Ms. LaBelle serenaded the audience with some gospel favorites and a few inspirational tunes of her own. She was introduced on stage by Samuel and Wilma McNabb, parents of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donavan McNabb.
Other NFL players (all top draft picks) who participated in the program were:
Tommie Harris, Chicago Bears
Michael Gaines, Carolina Panthers
Roland Williams, Oakland Raiders
Alphonso Rountree, Miami Dolphins
Bryant McKinnie, Minnesota Vikings
Marcus Stroud, Jacksonville Jaguars
Mike Logan, Pittsburgh Steelers
Willie Whitehead, New Orleans Saints
The 2005 event was phenomenal," says Melanie Few, concert founder and manager, and owner of Results Inc., an Atlanta-based marketing and entertainment agency. "It was a true highlight of Super Bowl weekend from the inspirational music and testimonies to the ticket giveaways. The audience was wowed with this soul-stirring, star-studded event."
In its sixth year, The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration evolved from Christian NFL players wanting an inspirational, family-oriented event during Super Bowl Weekend. The event, a part of the NFL Concert Series, has drawn thousands and has proven to be one of the most attended events during Super Bowl Weekend. Each year, the gospel concert features the industries top artists joined by several current and former Christian NFL players. In the past, NFL greats Cris Carter, Curtis Martin, Kurt Warner, Michael Barrow, Troy Vincent, Qadry Ismail, Aneas Williams, Deion Sanders, Quincy Carter, Levar Arrington, Bryan Scott and more have given their time to the event. Players share their testimonies and inspirational messages with the audience.
The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration also serves as a fundraiser for a non-profit organization in the Super Bowl host city. A portion of the 2005 event proceeds benefits the NFL YET Center in Jacksonville. Additionally, over the last seven years, more than $150,000 has been given away to the event beneficiaries.
The 2005 Super Bowl Gospel Celebration was presented in part by Ebony Magazine, McDonalds, Publix, Fox 30, The Florida Times Union, Blackgospelpromo.com and V101.5 WSOL FM in Jacksonville.