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The Henderson family doesn’t believe all rap music is a negative influence. In fact, to their Media Messengers Evangelistic Association, it’s quite the opposite.
The group will host its Flow Fest concert at Adado Riverfront Park this Friday, showcasing numerous rap, hip hop and R&B artists performing “positive songs with clean lyrics.”
“We like to call it rap with a reason,” said Daniel Henderson, son of Media Messengers Director Rev. Rudy Henderson. “We want to be able to give these kids music with a positive message and a purpose.”
Flow Fest began four years ago when Rev. Henderson and his wife, Collette, noticed a lot of interest in hip hop and rap music at their other Christian concerts.
“We have another annual concert called Bless Fest coming up on Saturday that plays a range of music from hard-core rap to country gospel and everything in between,” Daniel Henderson said, “and we noticed that whenever we had a rap or hip hop artist up there it really resonated with the younger community of Lansing. So we started the idea of having a separate venue of it for the kids.”
The majority of the performers are from Michigan, including some local artists like Mizz Reality.
“Over the years, more and more people have heard about this,” Henderson said. “They come from all over: Bay City, Saginaw, Traverse City. They hear about this event and want to come out and volunteer their abilities and help get their message out there. We’ve even had to turn people away sometimes, which is quite sad. But it’s still great to see so much interest.”
The concert will feature two stages for the performances as well as booths for various service organizations. Many other groups have collaborated with Media Messengers to put on the show, Henderson said, including other ministries and organizations like the Salvation Army.
Media Messengers stresses that everything at the concert is free.
“We really want to hang our hats on that,” Henderson said. “We want people to know that they can come out and enjoy themselves for free. We want them to be able to listen to some great music, meet people in their community and really feel that they’re a part of our family and share in our positive message without having to pay a dime.”
Media Messengers is a non-profit, inter-denominational organization that aims to communicate a Christian message through creative mediums.
Daniel and his siblings help his parents put on the concerts. Rudy and Collette Henderson have been hosting Christian music events since the 1970s, when they had a church in North Lansing.
Daniel said this concert has been a great opportunity to expand their community.
“We’ve just really enjoyed sharing the blessings of our church family and faith,” he said. “We found a good thing in our faith and we want to share it with anyone and make them feel like they’re a part of our family. That’s really what it’s all about.”
5:30 p.m.–10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, Adado Riverfront Park, Lansing
12:30 p.m.–10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, Adado Riverfront Park