Local Writer earns breakthrough on BET flagship show

Egbert Gaye

As one of the lead writers behind Joyful Noise, BET’s recently launched gospel music hour, Montreal gospel maven Christopher Heron is among a privileged group responsible for continuing the station’s tradition of offering viewers inspirational Sunday morning programing.
Heron, long-serving host of CKUT 90.3 FM’s Mind Soul and Spirit, and writer and editor at Black Gospel.Com, a leading online portal for the industry, says the show’s management recognized that he “had the proper skill-set” to fit the position.
“After more than 20 years at various levels in the industry here and across North America, I think they recognized my commitment to the promotion of Gospel music and the wide-ranging knowledge of the industry that I’ll bring to the show,” Heron told the CONTACT.
As one of the lead writers, he will be working closely with host Tye Tribbett, a leading recording artist whose illustrious credentials include being a two-time GRAMMY Award winner and a multiple recipient of the Soul Train, Dove and Stellar awards.
Tribbett’s a new radical singer, songwriter, and preacher who’s known for his edgy and energetic live performances
Tribbett, hailing from Camden, New Jersey, brings real star power to a show that’s following in the footsteps of the legendary Bobby Jones, who created history by carrying the longest running show on network television. His Bobby Jones Gospel ran on BET for 35 years, premiering on January 27, 1980 and ending July 31, 2016.
Heron told the CONTACT that he had an opportunity to catch the premiere episode of Joyful Noise on October 13 when Tribbett welcomed a high profile line-up of guests and performers, including Jonathan McReynolds, Klarkent, The Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir, Uche Agu and Pastor Darryl Hill.
And with his input in writing the introduction, the questions and other parts of the narratives, Heron was duly impressed with the final product that hit the screen.
“It was like giving birth creatively,” he says.
He says he values this opportunity to be involved in this high profile show, as it offers an opportunity for him to showcase the wealth of insight on the gospel industry that he has garnered over the past two decades and more.
His online column at blackgospel.com allows him to interview and profile leading voices and religious leaders on the circuit today, as well as addressing trends and developments in the industry.
In 1999, he was  one of the founders of gospelcity.com, a pioneering  Internet portal  carrying a range of gospel products and services.   .
In the mid-1990s, Heron was one of the driving forces behind the gospel television variety show A Touch Of Heaven that aired on then community station CJNT.
And as testimony to his lifelong commitment to the promotion of gospel music, it was back in 1990 that he recognized the lack of it on the airwaves in Montreal and successfully pitched Mind, Soul and Spirit to CKUT 90.3 FM. He has been serving as host and producer for the past 26 years.
Looking back at his extended and extensive involvement in the industry, Heron says he hopes to impart on viewers of Joyful Noise, the glory of gospel music that he has discovered along the way.
According to its website, the hour-long show “will feature a blend of performances from today’s gospel superstars, rising new artists, powerful personal testimonies, and insightful man-on-the-street interviews.” It will also include “a power-filled sermonette by one of the nation’s leading pastors” and will showcase “amazing local churches from around the nation, giving viewers the opportunity to get their hometown church featured on the show.”

Joyful Noise on BET Sundays at 9:00 AM ( C ) and 8:00 PM (P)