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Donnie McClurkin lifts up the needy at Christmas: The church is more than just a place where we pound the pulpit


CamDon Music/RCA InspirationLegendary gospel star Donnie McClurkin fed hundreds of poor and homeless people around Thanksgiving, and once again, the three-time Grammy winner is spreading joy to the needy for Christmas.

As pastor of the Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, N.Y. — a suburb of New York City — every year, he welcomes nearly 400 people for Christmas dinner. Following the feast, he makes sure everyone takes home plenty of clothes and gifts.

“They take the kids downstairs and hundreds of people, all the toys you can carry out, all the clothing you can carry out, new clothes, new shoes, new coats, all sizes, and we make sure that the church is more than just a place where we pound the pulpit,” McClurkin tells ABC Audio.   

The pastor says following Christmas mass, he’s looking forward to a well-deserved vacation.

“Christmas day we have a 12 p.m. service for an hour, then after that I pack a bag and I go to someplace warm and I lay there until December 30,” he says. “I’m gonna stop by England to see my daughter and stay there until the 31st, jump on a plane, and come back home and welcome the new year in a church.”

While McClurkin loves giving to the less fortunate during the holidays, he says doesn’t approve of the more commercial aspects of Christmas.

“I don’t do the Santa, I don’t do the gifts” he says. ”I don’t receive them. I don’t buy them, ’cause my thing is, ‘Hey, if it’s Christ’s birthday, what am I buying you a gift for?'”

McClurkin released his latest album, A Different Song, last month. On November 16, several gospel stars, including Erica Campbell, Cece Winans, and CeCe’s brother, Pastor Marvin Winans, sang his praises at a  60th birthday celebration in New York City. 

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