Unity and Diversity: Orange Mound’s 5hr. Concert

Saturday we had a wonderful opportunity to play an outreach concert on Orange Mound in Memphis, TN. I have read that Orange Mound was a neighborhood formed in the late 1800s to provide refuge for the black community. Strangely enough it was just over the tracks from the KKK stronghold. For years it was billed as the largest black community in the USA. And though that may no longer be true, I would safely say that most all of its residents are still of African American decent.

These days Orange Mound is dotted with boarded up windows, gangsters. Drugsters and hookers with all that lifestyle brings. Among all of this you find children. Many, many children. But the Lord is using Rev. Reggie Tucker and his wife, Mary to make an impact in this part of Memphis inner city. Forming the Orange Mound Outreach Center, their slogan is “Lord, do what you do” with the vision of “taking our children back”.

Rev. Reggie & Mary Tucker

Rev. Reggie & Mary Tucker

We arrived at Orange Mound at 11AM to set up in the lot next to the outreach center. With a backdrop of a chain linked fence topped with razor wire, Howie and I set up the sound system. Howie had planned ahead of time to have a keyboardist, drummer and guitar player join us, as we often assemble pick up bands for events like this, but as the day arrived each one was unable to join us. The Lord knew our plans, but He had other plans.

As the final microphone was in place and the guitar was coming out I noticed two vans pulled up really close to where we were. Actually, I wondered why they didn’t park on the street like everyone else. Then these guys get out, say “Hi” and start pulling out drums and a keyboard stand. The funny part was we didn’t know who they were, or how they knew we could use a band….

The band setting up

Setting up

Taurus, Henry, Andrew and Tye were from the “Praise is What We Do” ministry located in the next hood over. They had heard about the event the night before and decided to come down, support the Tuckers work and were eager to sit in. I love it when God knits his family together for the common cause! Quickly we set up 4 extra mics and soon we were ready to roll.

A Diverse Band

A Diverse Band of Christians

Unity and Diversity: Memphis has long been known for its racial tensions and hatred. This was probably most clearly displayed when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4th, 1968. In fact, when we first moved to Memphis from New York State in ”93 I was shocked by this tension, on both sides, how obvious it was and how folks seemed to view it as the norm, even within the church at times.


Happy Girls

A lot of kids were there. It was really cool that the kids got to see a mixed racial band playing together. Actually, as Howie said, we are brothers and sisters. We have the same spiritual Father! This is a powerful message to the children today. Jesus unites across all differences!
Reggie had his cooker out and was barbequing up chicken, burgers and hot dogs. It was so tasty and the smell brought in folks from all directions.
Happy kids

Happy Children

For a moment of time, in this space on Orange Mound, color did not matter. Together we celebrated the day, uplifted the name of Jesus, enjoyed food and good music.
A moment of joy

A Moment of Joy

The name of Jesus was strongly proclaimed and the forces of darkness were pushed back. We continued to pray that God will “do what he does” and that the children will be spared from a life of addiction and hatred. May the Lord turn the city right side up, one heart at a time.

2 Responses to “Unity and Diversity: Orange Mound’s 5hr. Concert”

  • Howie Campbell Says:

    This was a move of the Holy Spirit. God wanted to show Himself to the folks assembled on Saturday and He did. In fact, Reggie and Mary have been surprised at this and the Christmas concert at how many adults showed up. They told me in the seven years they’ve been doing this, they haven’t had as many adults show up. Praise God for doing this amazing thing in front of our eyes. We bear witness to God bringing people together in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.

  • Jennifer Guarino Says:

    I was thinking of you all during your ministry on Orange Mound and offering up petitions. Thank God for Reggie and Mary Tucker and for the extra band of angels…I mean, musicians! Lord, “DO WHAT YOU DO!” in Memphis. I need to look around your site to see what your schedule is for the upcoming months… Bless you guys.

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