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  • community event
  • no alcohol
  • no dogs
  • no picnics


ABOUT THE FILM: The only thing mightier than Lena Mae Perry’s electrifying voice is her faith. She’s spent close to 50 years sharing and sharpening both as the steadfast bandleader of The Branchettes, a legendary North Carolina gospel group that has packed churches throughout the South and lifted weary hearts as far away as Ireland. STAY PRAYED UP is a spirited celebration, inviting audiences into “Mother” Perry’s close-knit community as the 83-year-old strives to extend The Branchettes’ sacred song ministry ever forward. The film documents The Branchettes as they record their first fully live album, a hallmark in the canon of Black gospel groups. Health concerns for beloved long-time pianist and friend Wilbur Tharpe underscore the importance of“capturing the spirit” for producer Phil Cook, a white Wisconsin-born gospel enthusiast and musical polyglot half of Perry’s age. Through shared prayer, laughter, hardship and praise, this“church gospel noisy crew” demonstrates that music, like faith, ain’t nothing without heart behind it.

Please note that this event will require masks worn inside the church along with social distancing. Masks will be provided for those who need them. Thank you for your understanding.

Photographs will be taken at this event. Images may be used by newportFILM for promotional purposes.

Venue: Community Baptist Church; 50 Dr Marcus Wheatland Blvd, Newport
6:00 PM: Door Opens
7:00 PM: Film
8:15 PM: Post film conversation with Sister Lena May Perry and Filmmakers
Parking: There will be parking offered on-site.
Run time: 72 min
Directors: D.L. Anderson, Matt Durning
Producers: Lena C. William, Phil Cook, Shirlette Ammons, Leslie Raymond
Stay Prayed Up
This is a past event

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