Last weekend, more than 16,000 attendees gathered at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ to experience the nation’s biggest Gospel event – McDonald’s Gospelfest 2016. Following the opening prayer delivered by Reverend Terry D. Gadson, Sr. of Next Dimension Word Church in East Orange, NJ, more than 3,000 finalists from across the country showcased their musical talents onstage. The International category featured the astounding “Don’t Give Up Choir” who came all the way from Japan (in attendance was also the Japanese Ambassador to the U.S.)
Hosted by FOX’s Good Day NY’s Greg Kelly, the evening segment kicked off with opening remarks by Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and a prayer led by Reverend Lulu Baker of Cross and Crown Christian Church in Orange, NJ. McDonald’s Gospelfest brought one-of-a-kind entertainment and spirited fun to the Gospel community, who celebrated all night long in song, dance and praise. Artists in attendance included Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, Tamela Mann, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Shirley Caesar, Jennifer Holliday, Karen Clark-Sheard and Tye Tribbett.
Midway through the evening, McDonald’s franchisee Josh Kaufman addressed the audience and spoke about Ronald McDonald House Charities, accompanied by local McDonald’s franchisees (Paul Hendel, Josh Kaufman, Brian Hairston, Linda Dunham, Cort Norman, Ron & Johnnie Bailey, Angela Adderley, Celest Quintana, Julio Morgan, Dave Hatton, Marty Gillis, Jim Swanson and Nellie Thomas). New York City Councilman Andy King recognized Paul Hendel and Brian Hairston for the outstanding work McDonald’s does for the New York Tri-State community.