On Friday, August 10, The 2018 McDonalds Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour (ICGT) stopped once again in Jackson, MS and was nothing short of amazing. Headlining this year are gospel hitmakers, Ricky Dillard, JJ Hairston, Todd Dulaney, Canton Jones, and Deitrick Haddon. Songwriter and recording artist, Donald Lawrence returned as musical director providing an incredible ensemble of vocalists and musicians for the tour. Recording artist and radio personality, Lonnie Hunter, served once again as host for the evening.
Concert goers experienced a powerful evening which encompassed a wide range of Gospel music, from the explosive energy and urban sounds of Canton Jones and Deitrick Haddon to the iconic Sunday morning sounds of choir masters, Ricky Dillard, JJ Hairston, and Donald Lawrence. Packed with chart topping hits and anthems such as Todd Dulaney’s “Your Great Name”, the celebration brought gospel lovers to their feet, singing along to some of their favorite music.
Donald Lawrence captivated the audience with an impromptu, heartfelt worship set dedicated to tour organizer and industry executive, Hoyett Owens. Owens, who is the Chairman of Faith-Based Communications and Executive Producer of the tour, recently faced health challenges preventing his continued presence during tour dates. “We can’t wait until he’s back bossing us around and telling us what to do”, joked Lawrence. Hoyett Owens and business partner and president of Faith-Based Communications, Jerry Mannery, have managed the ICGT for the last six years raising almost one million dollars nationally for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Both being Jackson natives, Owens and Mannery have committed to including the city of Jackson on the tour each year. This year event’s attracted over 4,600 people inside the Jackson Convention Complex in downtown Jackson, Ms.
For the 12th year, with returning sponsorship from other companies such as Dr. Pepper and support from local owners, McDonalds has presented the free concert series making stops in major cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Philedelphia, Atlanta and more. The Inspiration Celebration raises funds and awareness for local chapters of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. All contributions raised at each event stay in each city and are given to the local Ronald McDonald House which houses and supports families of hospitalized children.
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Written by Chandra Wise
Pictures by Chandra Wise
Chandra Wise is the host of the weekly gospel radio show, The Inspirational Power Hour.