Grand Rapids, Michigan
Gospel lovers are quite familiar with the recreational havens that exist for them in cities like New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit. These large cities have become almost as famous for their Mega-Churches, Youth Explosions, and Gospel Jams as they are for their local cuisine and mainstream tourist attractions.
Not to be outdone, the metropolis of Grand Rapids, Michigan is the home of Marvin and MaLinda Sapp, two visionaries who are determined to nurture and cater to the city’s Christian population while putting Grand Rapids on the map.
In preparing to record his sophomore project on Verity Records, Marvin Sapp decided to host the live session in his hometown, exposing the world to Grand Rapids’ talent, it’s dispensation of God’s anointing, and it’s very own...flava!
Verity Records and Sapp saw this as an opportunity to also exhibit the diverse vision of Sapp and his wife, MaLinda. The couple had recently opened the doors of a multi-purposerecreational facility, envisioned, designed, and created solely for the people of God and those curious about Him. To do so, Verity extended invitations to various mass-media, radio, and press representatives from across the country, for a weekend in the up-and-coming Gospel hot spot of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
A chartered bus full of Radio Announcers traveled from Detroit with Jeff Grant, Verity’s Senior Director of Radio Promotions. The bus met other individuals who had flown in from various points nationwide. Those in attendance included Theresa Hairston, Founder of Gospel Today and Gospel Industry Today magazines, Calvin Terrell of Sister 2 Sister Magazine, Kendra Story from Upscale Magazine, Sheilah Belle of The Gospel Times, Denise Lawson from Gospel Truth Magazine, and James D. Robinson Jr. of GospelFlava.com.
The first stop on the tour was the “Selah Records & Books.” The bookstore housed today’s current releases as well as not-so-easy to find independent releases and sermons from an array of pastors and evangelists on audio and video cassette. Just outside the “Selah” was a cozy dining area that the Sapps have named “Jacob’s Well Café.” This eatery is warm and inviting and was already buzzing with customers as we were being escorted throughout. The extensive menu offers such delights as “Hoppin’ John The Baptist,” “Angel Wings,” and “”Fish & Loaves,” in addition to an assortment of smoothies, fruit drinks, and desserts.
Moving on, the tour then took us to “The Vision Center” where the motto is “Our purpose is to help you realize yours.” This room is set up with theater-style seating, and also features an area fit for a full band’s set-up, a stage, and a large projector screen. This area has been designed for seminars, panel discussions, intimate performances, and classes.
Directly behind “The Vision Center” were a row of offices for Praise Place’s Staff, as well as computer rooms where locals can utilize state-of-the-art computer equipment free of charge to research the internet for information on entrepreneurship, ministries, or the music industry.
Needless to say, Praise Place is an impressive effort with mounds limitless potential. Marvin and MaLinda Sapp are already hosting standing-room-only crowds during the weekends and are amazed at the facility’s instant popularity. So, if you ever find yourself bored with the tedium of the other major markets, head to Grand Rapids and pull up a chair at Praise Place!
After the tour, we all had time to return to our rooms to prepare for the main event of the weekend…the LIVE recording of Marvin Sapp’s next project, titled Diary Of A Psalmist, for which a full-length recap is available here.
All content in GospelFlava © copyright 1997 - 2003. No
information to be reprinted or re-broadcast from this site without the expressed
written consent of GospelFlava.com. All rights reserved.