2009 Super Bowl Gospel Celebration
MannaScript
Mary Mary
Super Bowl Gets Lifted with All-Star Gospel Celebration
By Shamerra T. Brown

Days before the Pittsburgh Steelers stole the show and won their sixth Super Bowl
championship, the real kickoff started. The Spirit-infused sound of victory rumbled
throughout the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome in Tampa, as Gospel music’s
key players took center stage -- to exalt our true Champion.

Friday marked the 10th anniversary for the NFL-sanctioned Super Bowl Gospel Celebration
-- a televised concert featuring an evening of praise, performances by
Mary Mary,
Dr. Marvin Sapp, Pastor Hezekiah Walker, and Pastor Donnie McClurkin
(all Grammy winners), the NFL Players All-Star Choir, and a special tribute honoring
Super Bowl XLI-winning head coach, Tony Dungy.

Pastor Donnie kept the show moving, and the crowd praising and laughing. The praise and
worship aficionado pulled double duty as co-host and performer. With grace and a pleasant
ease, during breaks, he rapidly moved down hallways doing interviews, mingling with
friends, receiving direction from producers, posing for photos, and stealing (somewhat)
private moments of worship. The singer didn’t miss a beat.

While Marvin and Hezekiah delivered their respective creative styles to the Sun Dome (and
they brought it!), Erica and Tina Campbell, aka, Mary Mary -- the only female headliners --
came fully loaded with high-energy praise, unapologetic about rootin’ and rockin’ for Jesus.

Always excited to see God promoted in any arena, the sisters were beaming about joining
the lineup this year. “I’m glad that it’s not in the church because it definitely shows that the
word of God is for all of us; everywhere, in every walk of life, in every culture, He is for us
all,” Erica shared with
MannaScript, shortly after performing. “I’m proud to be a part and
I’m very glad that the NFL is continuing to do this concert.”

In a similar tune, the NFL choir was hyped and all set to go, but then received a greater
boost when Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. took time to counsel and pray with them before they
went on stage. It was something special to see the brawny guys, unashamed and, dare
I say, giddy, about expressing their faith in song. Just before going on, Ovie Mughelli
(Atlanta Falcons) smiled as he told me, “I even have my own solo!” Rev. Jackson’s prayer
availed much, because the choir’s performance was quite impressive.

Other attendees included Chicago Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Head Coach Raheem Morris, Bryant Gumbel, Tommy "Tiny" Lister and Clifton Davis. Of
course, several NFL players came out to support. Among them: Jeremy Parquet (Pittsburgh
Steelers), David Tyree ( New York Giants), Montell Owens (Jacksonville Jaguars), and
Michael Gaines (Detroit Lions).

Tony Dungy sat on the front row with his wife, Lauren, and their three youngest children --
comfy on their parents’ laps. The family moved joyfully to the sweet sounds of worship
music. In addition to the tribute in his honor, Dungy had a lot to rejoice about. He recently
released a new book,
Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance, and the legendary
former NFL coach is preparing for all that God has in store for him within ministry.

ESPN aired a special broadcast of the 10th Anniversary Super Bowl Gospel Celebration,
as part of their Super Bowl Sunday programming lineup. The coverage marked
ESPN’s
first airing of a faith-based program.   

In
2007, the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration -- created by Melanie Few of Results Inc.
-- was acknowledged as an official Super Bowl component, allowing organizers to use the
NFL brand for marketing. A portion of the proceeds from this year's concert ticket sales
benefit the NFL YET (Youth Education Town) Tampa Bay. Local YET participants ages 6 to
18 opened the program.

It’s apparent that the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration has all the necessary ingredients
for longevity. The highs will be remembered for a years to come -- and we barely scratched
the surface.

Special thanks to Jessica Hall for ALL of the assistance.
Pastor Hezekiah Walker
Tony Dungy
Rev. Jesse Jackson & Shamerra
Pastor Donnie
McClurkin
Shamerra manages to steal some
of Pastor Donnie's precious time
... and he owes her $2.55!
Rev. Jackson shares a moment with
Chicago Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith
Clifton Davis rarely misses the SBGC
Pastor Hezekiah doesn't mind
being "Souled Out" for
Christ, even at sound check
Rev. Jackson counsels and prays with the NFL Players
All-Star Choir moments before they take the stage
Ovie Mughelli of the Atlanta Falcons
gets his solo on
The sisters Campbell listen intently as Rev. Jackson
invites them to sing at a program he's organizing
Mary Mary's power-packed set
Erica, Shamerra & Tina
Pastor Marvin with Rev. Jackson & family
Pastor Marvin reminds us that he
"Never Would Have Made It"
... without the Lord!
*Some photos provided by Wire Image
Tony Dungy with the
plaque presented to him
in a moving tribute
More photos at the end of article!
Pastor Donnie as host
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