Central City President and Stellar Awards Founder Don Jackson announced plans for The National Museum of Gospel Music to open in the mecca of Gospel Music, Chicago, Illinois on the old site of the historic Pilgrim Baptist Church where the Father of Gospel Music, Professor Thomas A. Dorsey once served as music director. Pilgrim suffered a devastating fire back in 2006.
In a statement, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel lent his support for the museum. “The museum will pay further tribute to the home-grown genre that’s given life to the legends like Thomas Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson, Albertina Walker, Jessy Dixon, Shirley Caesar and so many more.” Reverend Stanley Keeble, Executive Director of the Chicago Gospel Music Heritage Museum Project echoed those sentiments. “This is long overdue, and I am just grateful to see this taking place as many of the people who lived to see this day have passed on. We have a responsibility to preserve the rich legacy of Gospel music and to pass the history on to future generations.”
The museum has a scheduled opening date of September, 2020. Among the features of the new edifice will be a 350 state of the art auditorium with tv production capabilities, a listening and research library, rental facilities for special events and community use, cafe and retail space and video archives of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards.