Entertainment

Casey J’s ‘The Gathering’ Debuts at #2 on Billboard

“People have a misconception that gathering [In God’s name] is just on Sundays,” said contemporary gospel artist Casey J (Casey Janice Hobbs) about the meaning behind the title of her new album, “The Gathering” (Tyscot Records). “I think its more than that, it’s in the park, in the car. … So we decided to do it different. We took 50 friends to the park and recorded the album.”

“The Gathering,” coming four years after Casey’s first album, “The Truth,” debuted at #2 on Billboard’s gospel chart. It isn’t her first taste of success — a single from her debut, “Fill Me Up,” topped Billboard’s gospel chart.

Casey J’s labelmates on Tyscot Records include VaShawn Mitchell, Deitrick Haddon, the Anointed Pace Sisters, Bishop Noel Jones and Rev. John P. Kee. The label was founded in 1976 by Dr. Leonard Scott and his nephew Craig Tyson to record their group, the Christ Church Apostolic Radio Choir.

An Atlanta native, Casey J sings in the choir at Lilly Hill Baptist Church, the church of her mother and grandmother.

“I grew up singing in the choir,” she said.

Casey said her decision to record her latest project in a park also stemmed from the experiences of her younger days.

“Me and my friends did pop-up worship in local parks … and it was a success,” she said.

Casey J and friends were able to minister to people who didn’t or couldn’t come to church on Sundays.

“We never took up any money offering,” she said. “That was never our purpose. One week someone dropped off a case of water, someone brought bug spray.”

Casey J said some souls were even saved at the pop-up worship ministries.

“Even to this day … I have seen people genuinely respond to the spirit of God,” the 11-time Stellar Award nominee said. “A natural response … the lights turn on.”

Eunice Moseley has an estimated weekly readership of over 1/4 million with The Pulse of Entertainment column.

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