BET aired a special Easter service during the coronavirus pandemic featuring Bishop T.D. Jakes and The Potter’s House arts and music ministry.
The special titled BET Presents: The Light, An Easter Production ran without commercials on Sunday, April 12 at 10 am ET/PT.
Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran Quentin Darrington (Cats and Memphis) joined the Dallas-based church’s music ministry to tell the story of Jesus from the book of John during the two-hour program.
With millions of Americans under stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus crisis, Jakes said the production would offer hope and strength during these challenging times.
“The first Easter service wasn’t crowded, and it didn’t lose its significance for the lack of a crowd,” he said in a statement Friday. “There were few people around the tomb.”
While Easter in quarantine may feel lonely to some, Jakes maintained that even through social distancing, we are still connected.
“Celebrating Easter in our homes with our families, you can still have a memorable time together with your family around you and have a spiritual moment that’s intimate between you and the people you love,” he added.
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With churches around the nation shuttered, BET said aired the Easter service to help families commemorate the resurrection.
“Many of us around the world are leaning on our spirituality for a sense of calmness, during these times of uncertainty,” said Connie Orlando, EVP of Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET. “We want to provide a way for families to still observe the valued tradition of coming together for Easter services.”
The Potter’s House is a 30,000-member nondenominational church led by Bishop T. D. Jakes.
BET has organized a number of programs to provide resources for communities of color during the outbreak, such as joining with The United Way Worldwide for a broadcast special called Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort, featuring Kelly Rowland, Fantasia Barrino, Kirk Franklin and other music industry insiders.
The cable network has also partnered with the NAACP for a series of virtual town halls on coronavirus called Unmasked: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series Powered by NAACP & BET. The first town hall streamed live at NAACP.org on April 8. The next one will be held on April 15.