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Recently, there has been an uproar over the proliferation of churches singing “harmless” secular music on

Sunday morning, like Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”. While some think it’s no problem, others say songs that were

created to glorify God are the only ones that should be sung in His house.

But what about concert performances outside the four walls of the church? Can secular music ever be an

effective ministry tool?

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Essence Music Festival—the largest event celebrating African-

American music and culture. In its honor, Dove Award-winning gospel recording artist and pastor, Kim Burrell,

41, recently took a stroll down memory lane with Essence Magazine.

According to the leader of Houston-based “Love & Liberty Fellowship International,” the most memorable

moment from EMF came in 2012 as she delivered a vocal performance in tribute to Grammy-winning gospel

duo Mary Mary, that included an on-the-spot remix of a Beyoncé Knowles song.

“I think it went viral,” Burrell said of the video capturing the mini concert performance she called “her greatest

Essence Festival moment,” though, she maintained, it was “unrehearsed” and “so not planned.”

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