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Birmingham pastor Mike McClure Jr. wins Stellar Award for ‘Best New Artist’

Mike McClure Jr., senior pastor of Birmingham’s Rock City Church, Sunday night won a Stellar Award for Best New Artist.

It was his second award from the organization that recognizes excellence in the gospel music industry.

Last week in early announcements for the gospel music awards show, McClure won his first Stellar Award, Rap Hip-Hop Gospel Album of the Year, for “Live Free,” which hit No. 1 on the Billboard gospel album chart in October 2019, just a month after its release. The album features the hit single “Big,” which would spend 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard gospel chart.

His Stellar nominations were for Best Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year for “Big,” New Artist of the Year for the “Live Free” album, Song of the Year for “Big,” Music Video of the Year for “Big,” and Rap Hip-Hop Gospel Album of the Year for “Live Free.”

McClure was nominated for the five Stellars in January and was a featured performer at the 35th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards program, which was televised Sunday. The event, which was originally scheduled for March 27 in Las Vegas, was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Mike McClure Jr. has a double career as pastor of Rock City Church and as a chart-topping, award-winning gospel music artist. (contributed)

Earlier this year, Senior Pastor Mike McClure Jr., right, joins Curtiss Glenn, left, in a performance for Freedom Night at Rock City Church. (Mark Almond/The Birmingham Times)

Senior Pastor Mike McClure Jr. onstage at Rock City Church during Freedom Night earlier this year. (Mark Almond/The Birmingham Times)

Mike McClure Jr. with his family. (contributed)

Pastor Mike McClure Jr. preaches at Rock City Church earlier this year. (Mark Almond/The Birmingham Times)

Senior Pastor Mike McClure Jr. onstage at Rock City Church during Freedom Night earlier this year. (Mark Almond/The Birmingham Times)

Mike McClure Jr. has a double career as pastor of Rock City Church and as a chart-topping, award-winning gospel music artist. (Amarr Croskey/The Birmingham Times)

Earlier this year, Drae Rudolph, seated, video editor, and Senior Pastor Mike McClure Jr. review footage from a worship service at Rock City Church. (Amarr Croskey/The Birmingham Times)

Senior Pastor Mike McClure Jr. meets with Rock City Church officials earlier this year. (Amarr Croskey/The Birmingham Times)

During an interview with The Birmingham Times earlier this year, McClure said he wants his music to lead people to his message.

After the success of “Big” and “Live Free,” McClure, who has more than 200,000 followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, saw a significant increase in the number of views of his sermons on the Rock City YouTube channel. Livestreams of his sermons increased, too. Online broadcasts and recordings of Rock City services became crucial after the COVID-19 pandemic forced churches to cancel in-person services.

Meanwhile, McClure wants people to see his success as evidence of what God can do their in lives, he said.

“It’s just proof that if you stay faithful, God will bless you,” McClure said. “It tells the person who wants to start a business, if you’re faithful, God can bless it.”

McClure found out last week he’s nominated for a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association for contemporary gospel song of the year, for “Big.” The Dove Awards are scheduled for Oct. 30 on TBN.

This story originally appeared on The Birmingham Times’ website.


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