Altartainment takes Atlanta Third Thursdays

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Atlanta journalist brings Atlanta's best Christian talent under one roof for a sizzling summer Altartainment series and the best desserts in town.

Last month, Rejoice Christian News’ own long-time contributing writer, Davidae “Dee” Stewart successfully launched Third Thursdays, a house reading summer series designed to showcase the creativity of Kingdom artists and to provide another form of Altartainment (a term Davidae herself coined), for Atlanta’s diverse Christian audiences.

The idea for Third Thursdays was birthed in Stewart after reading an article about house readings in an issue of Poets & Writers magazine. According to Dee, house readings are "gathering places for slam poets, spoken word artists, creative non-fiction essayists, flash fiction writers, novelists, and playwrights to gather and share their work with their community.”

Last year after completing a study of Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life, Davidae realized the lack of true fellowship amongst believers, and particularly Christian artists. An avid reader and writer, Stewart wanted an outlet that would be easy and non-confining environment or preachy. She specifically wanted to reach out to Atlanta’s ethnically diverse Christian community while showcasing various genres of Christian artistic expression.

The premiere of Third Thursdays on June 16, 2005, at Somethin’s Brewin Coffee & Tea House located in Suwanee, Georgia, surpassed expectations as one after one; each of the featured performers blessed the multi-ethnic audience with creative expressions of praise and worship to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The evening began with the angelic voices of The Jones Edwards Trio featuring vocalists Taniqua T. Jones who will be heading off to Oxford College in the Fall, MeLana Jones, who performed as a choir member in the upcoming movie “The Gospel,” and John Edwards, who was recently accepted into the acclaimed American Music & Dramatic Academy in New York, New York.

Poet Theresa Harvard Johnson, founder of Voices of Christ Prophetic Poetry Team and author of Thank God for Salvation. With a voice like honey, the verses of her tongue twister poem “My People Repent,” oozed out of her mouth with sweet conviction.

Proving that Christian fiction is no longer boring and outdated, author Creston Mapes, former creative director for Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, read from his debut novel Dark Star: Confessions of a Rock Star Idol which is the first of a three part series published by Multnomah.

Holy Hip Hop Artist Ahmed Karim Muhammed, also a member of the Voices of Christ Prophetic Poetry Team, proved he could not only rap but could sang too, with his song “Don’t Give Up!”

Stewart tickled our funny bones as she read her own satirical flash fiction piece entitled “Straddling the Fence.”

Gospel Recording Artist Delores Burgess took us straight to church while saluting our troops fighting in Iraq with her own soulful rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

And concluding the Spirit-filled night was Eulene Evans, Former Miss Black Atlanta USA 2004, who engaged us with the dramatic monologue “God, Why Did You Make Me Black?” by Eulene Evans.

For more information about Third Thursdays, visit the blog site at http://thirdthursdays.blogspot.com. To get onto the performance roster contact Dee Stewart at vidae@writing.com

Future artists coming up in July and August include: young adult author Stephanie Perry Moore and Christian Romance authors Kendra Bellamy and Tia McCollors.

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Dee Stewart