The Essence Music Festival going on in New Orleans this weekend has some big names in Christian music performing.

On Saturday evening, Mary Mary will be on the main stage. They, along with singer-producer Fred Hammond, will be honored Sunday for their work.

This event will feature Tramaine Hawkins, Marvin Winans, Israel Houghton, Yolanda Adams and others.

On Sunday evening, Kirk Franklin will perform on the main stage.

Visit for information.

For good

In July 2009, a bus carrying teens on the way to church camp from First Baptist Church, Shreveport, flipped on Interstate 20 in Meridian, Miss.

One teenager died on the scene.

A second, Maggie Lee Henson, daughter of the church’s associate pastor, died weeks later.

Her parents have written a book about the experience and the movement that took place to honor their daughter’s life.

“Maggie Lee for Good,” by Jinny and John Henson, was released in June.

Thousands of people followed Maggie Lee’s story online. Her funeral was webcast live.

And as what would have been her October birthday approached in 2009, a stranger who had followed the online prayer requests developed an idea.

She suggested the day be publicized as a day for helping others. The Hensons agreed, setting a goal of 1,300 people. That year, almost 18,000 people participated in Maggie Lee for Good Day.

The project has continued, and in 2011, the mayor of Shreveport proclaimed “Maggie Lee for Good Day.”

The Associated Baptist Press said the parents’ book tells the family’s experiences and deals with the theological challenges faced in such a loss.

The book includes a group study guide.

For people interested in joining the projects this year, visit

Organizations wanting materials to participate can visit

For rights

The Rev. Robert Jefferson died June 21 at age 70.

The Baton Rouge native was the pastor and founder of Cullen Missionary Baptist Church in Houston.

The Houston Chronicle reported Jefferson was active in Texas, serving on a school board and helping better the neighborhood around his church. He was also active in the criminal justice system and a leader in Ministers Against Crime in Houston.

Sources: Advocate reports and files; Associated Baptist Press,, http//

Contact Leila Pitchford-English by email at