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Baltimore's Jonathan Nelson leaving for Florida soon

Baltimore gospel artist Jonathan Nelson is leaving Maryland for new opportunities in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Nelson, the minister of music for Empowerment Temple where the Rev. Jamal Bryant is the pastor, will join the Faith Center International, according to a news release.

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"Bishop Henry Fernandez will be my new pastor and covering," Nelson said about his new church. "This has been a very emotional time for my family and myself to leave this family of believers that we've known and loved for so long but God has called us to a new place."

The release didn't indicate whether Nelson would be minister of music at the Ft. Lauderdale Church.

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Nelson has written or co-written numerous gospel hits, including the Youth for Christ's "The Struggle is Over." In 2007, that song was No. 1 on Billboard magazine's Hot Gospel songs chart for 12 weeks. He also penned Donald Lawrence's "Healed,'' Bishop T.D. Jake's Grammy-winning "A Wing and a Prayer'' CD and "The Right Place'' for Rudolph McKissick Jr.

This year Nelson won several Stellar Awards for songs on his latest CD, Right Now Praise, which includes the ever popular "My Name is Victory."

A farewell concert has been planned at Empowerment Temple in honor of Nelson and his family. The event on May 31 at 6 p.m. will include performances by Karen Clark-Sheard, Tye Tribbett, Chrystal Rucker, VaShawn Mitchell, Stephen Hurd, J.J. Hairston & Youthful praise and more.

I hope to speak with Nelson about the celebration and his plans for the future in Florida later. Stay tuned!

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