Hopeville Goes to San Diego

Dec 31, 1969 07:00 PM EST

SAN DIEGO CA - More than 7,000 joined in the 2003 Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. The Jan 24 event continued through an energetic movement of worship with the "Hopeville" crew, featuring Grammy-winning artists Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin.

"This year's Super Bowl Gospel Celebration offered the audience a unique blend of entertainment," event spokesperson Melanie Few said. "Our event is designed to allow the community to experience the star-studded Super Bowl weekend with a star-studded family oriented event."

Christian NFL players who wanted an inspirational event during the Super Bowl weekend motivated this Gospel Celebration. This non-alcoholic concert was even sanctioned officially by the National Football League.

"Too many times in the past we didn't have a really positive event to attend," said NFL star Cris Carter. "This gives us a chance to fellowship, worship together and celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords."

"Worship is what it's all about," said Ahmed Plummer, a born-again Christian and a cornerback with the San Francisco 49'ers. "What better place to have a gospel concert than the Super Bowl? In my book the true stars of the Super Bowl are people like Kirk Franklin and Yolanda Adams. These are people who are witnessing every day."

Franklin, known for his highly spirited performances, gets his energy from the Lord, Plummer said. "He's all over the place."

The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration along with the NFL Concert Series brought forth "Hopeville" to San Diego.

Hopeful, promoted by ALW entertainment gathered over 200,000 people in over 40 cities in a "tour de force." Created by Kirk Franklin, "Hopeville" is more than a concert; it is a village, a home where hope lingers for all of God's people. The show offers Broadway staging, short skits, soul-stirring music, words of encouragement, the spirit of unity, and interaction among the artists as it presents the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Worshipers enjoyed the night of celebration - the first of its kind in the city.

"This is our first time coming to a Super Bowl event that focuses on the Lord and I'm sure glad I'm here," said Loretta Allen of San Diego. "This shows that the body of Christ is alive and well in San Diego."

Jacqueline Jackson, also of San Diego, said the worship service shows that Christians can have a good time. "I think it's wonderful that we can have a good time and not have to go out and drink and get crazy," Jackson said.

Attendees also had the chance to win 2 tickets to the Super Bowl XXXVII.

More than 500 people attended the pre-show concert outside the arena, featuring a number of San Diego's gospel and contemporary Christian choirs and groups.

By Pauline C.