CHICAGO — The Lord has been good this month to Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.
Earlier this month it received a donated church building at 8522 S. Lafayette Ave. in the Chatham community on the South Side. And last week the South Side church won five awards, including Choir of the Year, at the 28th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.
"It was a stellar weekend," said Rev. Charles Jenkins, pastor of the 4,000-member South Side church. "They could not have given me enough time on stage to thank everyone who contributed to our success."
The other four categories Fellowship Church, 4543 S. Princeton Ave., won were Song of the Year, CD of the Year, Traditional Choir of the Year and Recorded Music Package of the Year. Jenkins is also founder and chief executive officer of the online record company Inspired People Music, which produced the winning songs.
Writing music comes naturally for the 2006 Grammy winner for Best Traditional Gospel Album ("Alive in South Africa").
"It’s [music] in my DNA. Since a teenager I’ve been very involved in gospel music. Music is in my blood and I took classical piano for seven years as a child and I’ve been writing 20 years," said Jenkins.
The community activist added that he traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in festivities honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama. The pastor delivered prayer at the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral in the nation's capital.
"It is an amazing honor to participate in such a significant moment in history as the celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King is divinely aligned with the inauguration of our President — it has truly been a once in a lifetime experience," said Jenkins.