It was cold but that did not stop people from venturing out in their best eveningwear without coats. As we all piled into the Atlanta Civic Center to have our tickets checked, the security personnel checked purses for cameras. NO PHOTOS ALLOWED INSIDE. Oh well. The program was being taped to be broadcast on television. We scrambled to find our seats hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity and hoping that our seats were not too shabby. Once inside, the stage was set and everything was on cue to begin. Shortly before starting, we could see Mary Mary coming in the side door to find their seats. Destinyís Child shortly followed. Also in attendance were Sean "P Diddy" Combs, Faith Evans, and Chris Tucker, to name a few.
Ricky Smiley came on stage to welcome everyone and start the evening with a little comedy. We were told when to applause and when to stand. Things were all set. Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams came out onto the stage. Applause and cheering came from all over. Since there was so much noise, one of the microphones "exploded" with a loud screech. We proceeded to finish the opening with Kurt Carr singing "...we lift our hands in the sanctuary..."only to have to redo the entire opening due to the exploding microphone. That was fine with everyone; we enjoyed seeing Kurt Carr again.
A few performers were Kirk Franklin, Dottie Peoples, Tonex (a new comer), Shirley Caesar featuring Michelle Williams of Destinyís Child, and of course Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams. Especially after Yolanda finished singing. She caught the spirit and started dancing on stage. Donnie McClurkin was supposed to continue, but he caught the spirit also and started praising God. The spirit kept him from reading the teleprompter; he was looking at the Lordís teleprompter. He danced, shouted and broke off into a mini praise session. They tried to get him to calm down and were ready to continue. The Holy Ghost got hold of him and he was no good after that Ė canít stop the spirit when it hits. Now, donít look for this to be televised, they announced that the DVD will not be edited, but the televised show will be. You will not see this part on television. The spirit truly moved in that place. The Atlanta Civic Center will never be the same.
We enjoyed the rest of the program and were left looking for more, hungry for more inspirational music. As we piled out of the doors, we were filled with warmth and hardly felt the cold as we got into our cars to go home. It was a wonderful evening. Looking forward to next year, Lord willing. A good time was had by all.
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Thanks Chanel for bringing this first hand account to BlackandChristian.com.