Queen Latifah’s Film, ‘Joyful Noise,’ Right on Point in Hard Times, Says Bishop Greg Davis

Bishop Gregory M. Davis Sr. is a founding father of the Full Gospel Baptist Church, International where he serves on the Bishops Council under the leadership of his spiritual father, Bishop Paul S. Morton; and he is founder of The River of Life Church, located in Wilmington, Del., where he is the senior pastor.

Bishop Davis is at the forefront of incorporating new media into his ministry, and he spreads his message across several media platforms through television shows (“The Greg Davis Morning Show,” “Good News with Greg Davis” and “Greg Davis Ministries”), and social media, Twitter, Facebook, and Constant Contact.

Today, the multimedia man of faith is spreading the good word about Joyful Noise, the new film starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton. Bishop Davis  spoke with rolling out recently about the issues facing the black church, the importance of new media, and why Joyful Noise is a must-see film for everybody.

What do you think of the film Joyful Noise?

The timing of Joyful Noise is right on point, as so many people have had setbacks in their lives. The movie is well put together, the cast is great, and the balance to have Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, who could have thought of that? It’s a wonderful movie; I think it’s a movie for the family.

What life lessons can be gleaned from Joyful Noise?
You still can make it, no matter what. Joyful Noise says, no matter what, you still can go after your dreams and ambitions, despite obstacles, despite challenges.

So many people are facing these challenges, and even in the movie you can laugh, you can cry, you can see yourself on the screen. It shows us everyday life through a choir competition and we see ourselves through the challenge and difficulty.

What challenges are facing the black church right now?
Economy has hit every level of our community and the church has always been the pillar of our community. We see many churches closing down and if they’re not closing down, they have to look at the way they run the ministry now.

Churches have to be more creative in helping the community because people don’t have money; some are unemployed now. we have those that are facing foreclosing on their houses, so we have to heed what the Bible says, we have to look out for one another and love one another. It’s hard, never in our time have we seen the church hit so hard.

Let’s face it, if the parishioners are hit in their livelihood, they can’t give much, so we’re learning now how to come together. Like the old days, you take your little bit and I take my little bit and we help one another as the Bible has taught us.

Is the black church community making progress on that front?
Definitely, we are making progress … the economy has forced us to come out of the four walls because we are our brothers’ keeper.

We are the church that is going from house to house, even during this holiday season. More churches are heeding purely what the Bible says. [Progress] may not be as fast as we want it to be, but we are seeing progress, I see it every day as I travel, and from my television broadcast and radio.

You spread your message across several media platforms and social networks. What is your advice for other ministries to get the word out, if they are on a limited production budget?
You may not be able to get a television or radio broadcast, but I think you should get a Twitter account. Get a Facebook account, there’s something you can do to reach those that are not in your four walls. Many pastors are Tweeting, getting messages of hope to those who may not ever come in the four walls of their churches.
Get a camera so you can stream your services for free. We can reach the masses, when we get online.

Please complete this sentence. Healing begins when …
Healing begins when … we begin to let go of the past.
So many of us have past hurt on the inside of us. I say often after Christmas is over, we celebrate the new year and nothing is going to be different about the new year, unless we take this time to upset ourselves on the inside and begin to be healed of pain.

When you begin to heal within, everything around us becomes healed and better.

Bishop Greg Davis is on Twitter: @BishopGregDavis. To learn more about Joyful Noise, log on to joyfulnoisemovie.warnerbros.com.

Deputy Editor, Rolling Out

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