Memphis gospel lovers will be happy to know the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour (ICGT) is coming to the city for the third straight year, making a stop at Brown Missionary Baptist Church on Thursday (Aug. 9) at 7 p.m.
ICGT, in its 12th year, is a free concert hosted by Lonnie Hunter and features performances from gospel artists Deitrick Haddon, Donald Lawrence, Ricky Dillard, JJ Hairston, Todd Dulaney, Le’Andria Johnson and Canton Jones.
It is the longest-running, brand-owned gospel tour, running from May 12 through Oct. 20 each year and covering 13 cities along the way.
The tour is a way to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities. In the last five years, more than $800,000 has been raised. Because each house is tied directly to a McDonald’s regional area, the proceeds raised in each city goes directly to that specific city’s Ronald McDonald House.
Jerry Mannery, president of Faith-Based Communications, Inc., which produces the McDonald’s ICGT, said the people of Memphis really support the event.
“It’s a free and unforgettable music experience for the entire family,” said Mannery. “It shows McDonald’s unwavering commitment to the community.”
While the event is free, pre-registration is required on Eventbrite and tickets must be shown at the door. Doors open one hour before the start time and early arrival is suggested.
Dana Mister, director of events and activities at Brown Missionary Baptist, said the church’s sanctuary, which holds approximately 2,600 people, was filled to capacity for the event last year.
“We’ve been so grateful for the partnership with McDonald’s,” said Mister. “We definitely want to play a part in outreach and focus on ministry.”
During the concert, a love offering will be collected and 100 percent of the donations will go to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis.
Jill Crocker, executive director of RMHC of Memphis, said there is always a budget need.
“We try to use every dollar in the best way possible,” said Crocker. “We always have a need for the funds and we are just so appreciative.”
Last year more than $13,000 was donated to RMHC of Memphis, which roughly covers its monthly electric bill during this time of the year.
Crocker said she’s not surprised by the success of the event because Memphis is a generous city. “I am so overwhelmed at [what] Brown has done to help us and how caring and compassionate their Christian community is.”
Some of the families being supported by RMHC of Memphis will be in attendance.
“The families enjoy getting to come out and hear good gospel music and be a part of sharing the mission,” said Crocker.
(To register: https://bit.ly/2OV5URw)