New Prison Fellowship Partnership with Platinum Selling Artist Lecrae Opens Door to First Prison Event Since COVID-19 Pandemic Began at St. Clair Prison in Springville, AL
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Prison Fellowship®, the nation’s largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, is partnering with multi Grammy Award-winning platinum artist Lecrae to perform at a Hope Event™ for men at the St. Clair Prison in Springville, AL. The Hope Event will take place on Friday, September 11, 2020.
The media is invited to attend but must R.S.V.P. three days before the event.
The Hope Event will take place Friday, September 11, 2020 beginning at 5:30 pm, with The Birdsongs, a Christian rock band based out of Knoxville, TN, opening the program. Lecrae will take the stage following The Birdsongs and end with a Q&A session with the men attending the Hope Event. The event is scheduled to end at 7:30 pm.
“We are thrilled to have Lecrae and The Birdsongs join us and perform for our first Hope Event since this coronavirus pandemic began,” said James Ackerman, President and CEO of Prison Fellowship. "Their God-given talents come at a perfect time for these men after losing many critical in-prison services, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Not only will Lecrae perform for the men, but he’s also taking the time to talk with them about God’s incredible transforming power, for those who desire a second chance at life. We know that God will use him in a powerful way.
Honoring the biblical verse Matthew 20:16, "the last will be first, and the first will be last," tthis is not the first time Lecrae has partnered with Prison Fellowship. In fact, he has a history of connecting his music and message with prisons.
"When Anomaly dropped and was the #1 album in the country, our first stop on the tour was Riker’s Island and LA County Jail because I wanted the people in prison to understand that they were not forgotten," said Lecrae. "I remember the impact of those visits not just on them, but on me! Prison Fellowship and I have the same mission, to restore a sense of value, worth, meaning, and purpose to the lives of those who feel hopeless. I want everyone to know that restoration is possible. You are never too far gone, [and] with God, change is always possible!"
A multi Grammy Award-winning platinum selling artist, Lecrae has evolved into a New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker, thought leader, philanthropist, and co-owner/President of Reach Records. He is part of the new wave of thought leaders who are engaging the culture and taking Jesus out of the pulpits into the wider world in hopes of restoring faith.
His seven studio albums and multiple mixtapes are now nearing the two million mark in sales, with the acclaimed artist winning two Grammy awards, eight Dove Awards, a Billboard Music Award, multiple BET and Soul Train awards, and an Honorary Doctorate of Music. Critics have praised the sociological component of his work and his heightened sensitivity toward the disenfranchised.
Lecrae released his new album, Restoration, to prisons nationwide through J-Pay a week before it was available to the general public. He will also be distributing 5,000 free copies of his forthcoming book, "I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion, But Gained My Faith", to people in the system. As part of his "Masks for The People" partnership with Live Free USA, Lecrae raised funds for over 70,000 masks to be distributed throughout the prison system, to essential workers, and corrections officers. A quantity of the PPE has been set aside for families when visitation restrictions are lifted.
He also recently partnered with Prison Fellowship on Mother’s Day 2020 as part of a compassionate release campaign to raise awareness about the tragic death of Andrea High Bear, the first woman to die of COVID-19 in the Bureau of Prisons, and to urge followers to take action to ensure this never happens again. High Bear passed away after giving birth while on a ventilator. Lecrae posted a video message to his followers, educating them on the issue and encouraging them to take action. As a result, nearly 600 advocates sent over 2,000 letters to the President and federal lawmakers urging them to include measures to prevent and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks in corrections facilities and to ensure those with a criminal record have access to reentry services.
The Birdsongs are a Christian rock band originally from Seattle, WA, now living near Knoxville, TN, composed of three brothers and a sister. Their music has been played consistently on Christian Rock and Internet Radio with their single "This Isn't Love (Radio Edit)" peaking at #9 on Billboard's Christian Rock Chart and their single "Will You Save Me?" reaching over 1.5 Million listeners around the world on Spotify. Their new album "The Journey, Act II: The War" focuses on finding hope amidst depression, anxiety, temptations, and trials and using Christ's promises to keep fighting. The group’s first single "Reality" and album were released last year.
In prison yards across the country, men and women are being introduced to the hope of Jesus Christ through one- and two-day Prison Fellowship Hope Events that feature a variety of inspirational speakers and musicians. While providing a brief respite from the challenges of prison life, these events give prisoners the chance to respond to Christ and take the next step of joining a faith community behind bars.