Benson Great Hall will host 19th annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration.
By Callie Schmidt
Snoop Dogg will debut songs from his new gospel album, “Snoop Dogg Presents the Bible of Love” at the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Bethel University’s Benson Great Hall.
Sponsored by the NFL, other artists include Sheila E., Sounds of Blackness, Tye Tribbett, The Clark Sisters, Faith Evans and more. The NFL Choir will also perform, who will be celebrating their 10-year anniversary, according to a Billboard article.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will receive faith and inspiration awards while other active and retired NFL players will share their faith stories, according to the event description.
$25 tickets are sold out, but a limited number of $55 and $75 tickets are on sale now.
Snoop Dogg first announced his gospel album on Instagram last June. He posted a screenshot of a text conversation with his mother, thanking her for showing him “how to live and to spread the word,” according to the Billboard article.
But some people have told Bethel campus ministries dean Laurel Bunker that “Bethel is going to hell for allowing this man on stage at Bethel,” according to a Facebook post by Bunker on Jan. 25.
“Bethel is the host site, not the sponsor of the event,” Bunker said in the post. “The NFL is paying to use the space. The lineup was determined just last week – we had no say in who was performing.”
A Bethel community announcement on Monday echoed Bunker’s statements.
“The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration’s overall mission—to celebrate where faith and football meet—aligns with Bethel’s mission,” the announcement said. “However, Bethel does not get involved in the specific content of any events staged by rental groups, including this one.”
Taz Song’ony, executive director of United Cultures of Bethel, tweeted at Snoop Dogg Jan. 25 asking him to perform at a pre-show party. Bethel’s Black Student Union hopes to host Snoop Dogg in Bethel’s Cultural Connection Center on Thursday, which is the first day of Black History Month.
“I wish UCB could have know about it to get student tickets for folks,” Song’ony said. “I need to meet him.”
Uncle Snoop! This is Zeke and were bethel university students. The BSU here is hoping if we can host a pre show party for yall, we can’t afford tickets to hear your new gospel album. It would be mf legendary is we could see you the first day of BHM. Hope to see you soon! ✊🏾✌🏾 pic.twitter.com/ve0gsrYWe1
— Taz §ong'ony (@Tazelberry) January 25, 2018
Many areas will be closed to the Bethel community Monday through Thursday, including the Benson Great Hall, Underground, sports and recreation center (SRC) parking lot, maintenance parking lot and adjacent sidewalks and the Brushaber Common main entrance.
Chapel will be held Wednesday in the Robertson Center gym, then back in Benson Great Hall on Friday with former Minnesota Vikings punter and ordained minister Greg Coleman, according to the announcement.
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