The Crusader Newspaper Group

Platinum-selling group Shekinah Glory Ministry pre-screens new doc series

Shekinah Glory Ministry put worship and praise music into Black church pulpits around the globe in the early 2000s with million-selling anthems such as “Praise is What I Do,” “Yes,” and “Before the Throne.” They have announced a forthcoming seven-episode documentary series entitled, “Shekinah Glory Ministry: Beyond the Praise,” that will air on a yet unnamed media outlet later this year. In the meantime, there will be a sneak-peak premiere of the first two episodes of the series on Friday, June 9, at 7 p.m., at Valley Kingdom Ministries International, 5300 W. 151st St., Oak Forest, Illinois.

For tickets, visit

The series explores the 20-year journey of the small suburban musical praise team that catapulted to overnight success and global fanfare under the banner of Shekinah Glory Ministry. The ensemble redefined traditional concepts of gospel choir music and became the face of a new and exciting praise and worship experience and music genre in African American churches across the world with a string of best-selling album and visual media projects.

Along the way, they earned five RIAA gold or platinum album or video certifications for projects that featured beloved hits such as “Jesus,” “Fall on Me,” and their signature track, “Praise is What I Do.”

The series begins with reflections of the visionary who launched the group, Apostle H. Daniel Wilson. The documentary series takes gospel fans behind the fame and into the choir loft for a candid examination of the personalities, internal conflicts and the problems that developed when the group became one of the most popular and sought after acts in gospel music.

Past and present members of Shekinah Glory Ministry and its staff leadership share the good and sometimes sad stories behind the music. Grammy® Award nominated gospel music historian, Robert M. Marovich; Stellar Gospel Music Awards founder, Don Jackson; radio personality Aundrae Russell of KJLH Radio in Los Angeles; and author, television personality and spiritual life coach, Iyanla Vanzant all share stories of how Shekinah Glory Music changed the musical landscape. Rhoda N. Lawrence is director and producer. Joel Kapity is director of photography and supervising producer. Joan Sullivan is the executive producer.

‘The October Storm’ brings South Side realities to the North Side

Raven Theatre, Chicago’s newest Equity-affiliated theatre, is pleased to conclude its 40th Anniversary Season with the Chicago premiere of “The October Storm,” by Joshua Allen, a follow up to Allen’s smash-hit The Last Pair of Earlies.

Directed by Malkia Stampley, this riveting and edgy new drama set in the 1960s on the South Side of Chicago plays through June 25, in Raven’s newly-dedicated, 85-seat Johnson Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville) in Chicago. Single tickets are now on sale at or by calling (773) 338-2177.

The cast includes Nathaniel Andrew, Jaeda LaVonne, Felisha D. McNeal, Shariba Rivers and Brandon J. Sapp.

It’s the fall of 1960 on Chicago’s South Side. Rain pounds the city, but the real storm rages in the basement apartment where landlady Mrs. Elkins lives with her teenage granddaughter Gloria. Mrs. Elkins is a widow, and Gloria is essentially an orphan. For better or worse, all they have is each other. But when Louis, a troubled war vet, walks into their already fraught lives looking for shelter, both literally and figuratively, the emotional whirlwind he sets off will change all their lives forever.

Comments Director Malkia Stampley, “It is an honor to work with Chicago native playwright, Joshua Allen, on his second Chicago production. Joshua has captured the beauty and complexity of what change – and the resistance to it – looks like in a 3-flat building in 1960, South Side of Chicago, where a Black grandmother is determined to keep control of the home and protect her granddaughter. Allen’s characters are familiar, and I love that no one escapes the October storm of change and growth in the play. I’m thrilled to make my debut at Raven Theatre and to work with this amazing cast and designers.”

COVID-19 safety: Raven Theatre will require patrons to wear a face mask at all times inside the building (when not eating or drinking in the lobby). The theatre will no longer require patrons to provide proof of vaccination to attend a production. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact the box office to reschedule your tickets free of charge.

Performance dates through Sunday, June 25. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets: $40. Students/active military and veterans $15.

Among special closed captioned, neighborhood night and a touch tour performance, a Black Out Night will be held on Thursday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m. This is a performance specially dedicated to and celebrating Black audience members.

For further information, call the theatre or visit

Free parking is provided in a lot adjacent to the theatre – additional street parking is available.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.
Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is the Entertainment Editor for the Chicago Crusader. She is a National Newspaper Publishers Association ‘Entertainment Writing’ award winner, contributor to “Rust Belt Chicago” and the author of “Old School Adventures from Englewood: South Side of Chicago.” For info, Old School Adventures from Englewood—South Side of Chicago ( or email: [email protected].

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