Travis Green was among the young gospel artists featured during "A Night of Hope" at Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church. (Courtesy photo)

A star-studded spectacle of contemporary, uplifting gospel was recently attended by thousands.

Its host? Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church.

“A Night of Hope” dazzled virtual attendees, who tuned in Friday, June 5.

The event featured the popular stylings of three young gospel artists – Kierra “Ki-Ki” Sheard, Travis Green and Jonathan McReynolds.

At last year’s in-person, benefit concert to support the youth of Mississippi Boulevard who are attending college, more than $90,000 was raised.

Church leaders hope this year’s receipts will exceed last year’s effort.

The Rev. Dr. J. Lawrence Turner (Courtesy photo)

“Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church’s Annual College Scholarship fundraising efforts are always an exciting time for both the scholarship recipients and our congregation as a whole,” said Dr. J. Lawrence Turner, MBCC senior pastor.

Turner said young people look forward to scholarship activities because it shines a light on their, and it helps them take pride in their pursuits and gives them confidence.

“Providing scholarships to graduating seniors, not only helps the young person financially, but also gives them confidence and accountability because their church community believes in their academic potential,” Turner said.

This year was deemed especially important to the church’s high school seniors, who were denied the traditional cap-and-gown graduation ceremony because of the global onset of COVID-19.

Kierra “Ki-Ki” Sheard was among the featured gospel artists. (Courtesy photo)

Not only did the artists perform some of their best-known songs, but former recipients of scholarship assistance told their personal stories.

“Participating in the scholarship program was an awesome experience,” said Taylor Washington. “Knowing that the church community believed in my potential enough to invest in my future was empowering. Having the financial and personal support of The BLVD has been a great experience, an encouraging experience.”

Marcia Wright called the financial support “an amazing opportunity” to receive a scholarship from her own church.

“I knew I was supported and nurtured spiritually by my church, but the scholarship showed love and support tangibly as I entered a new phase in my life,” Wright said. “I know the scholarship was a seed planted that God has allowed to bloom in many successes, all of which I am so thankful.”

Gospel artist Jonathan McReynolds. (Courtesy photo)

Turner said the scholarships are more important than ever for young people aspiring to attend college.

“These scholarships are investments in the next generation,” said Turner. “They have paid off in dividends over the years as scholars graduate college, start successful careers and begin giving back to the community that helped them reach their goals.”

Donations are still being accepted at Cash App.

(For more information, call the church at 901-729-6222.)