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When the Church Becomes Your Party:


A 2009 Michigan Notable Book

When the Church Becomes Your Party examines some of the more controversial aspects of today’s gospel music, including praise and worship in the urban church, the gospel musical stage plays, the changing dress code within the church and gospel music arena, women gospel announcers, and Christian rap/holy hip hop. . The critics of these forms denounce them for breaking with tradition as they feature new aesthetics in attire, language, and other aspects of performance. But this book argues that if we go beyond the unconventional packaging, we can find that these contemporary performances are as tied to the time-honored principles of the gospel as is more traditional gospel music.


How to Purchase


Wayne State University Press

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God's World, Detroit
Accents by Vickie Winans, Southfield

Deborah Smith Pollard

is blessed to have two jobs that she loves, one in academia and one in radio. Since 1994, Dr. Pollard has been heard on FM 98 WJLB, the Detroit area’s top rated urban station for young adults, as host and producer of “Strong Inspirations” which is broadcast Sundays from 6 until 10 AM. In 2005 she was named Gospel Announcer of the Year during the Twentieth Annual Stellar Music Awards, often called “The Grammys” of Gospel. She is Associate Professor of English Literature and Humanities at University of Michigan-Dearborn where she has been on faculty since 1995. She was Director of U of M-Dearborn’s African and African American Studies program from 2002-2006. Dr. Deb, who earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from Michigan State University, is author of the book When the Church Becomes Your Party: Contemporary Gospel (Wayne State University Press, 2008).