Former "Real World" Star Bringing Sozo Children's Choir to the NarroWay Theatre
Connection to NarroWay Founders Goes Back 30 Years
FORT MILL, S.C. - April 11, 2018 - Twenty-five years ago, Jon Brennan was in the thick of the production season as the youngest cast member on MTV's "The Real World: Los Angeles." On Tuesday, April 17, he will lead a group of orphaned and neglected children from Uganda, Africa to the greater Charlotte area to tell their story, performing on stage as the "Sozo Children's Choir." The group performs at 7pm at the NarroWay Theatre, located just off Carowinds Boulevard at I-77 exit 90. Admission is free and contributions will go toward funding the Sozo Children's Village Project in Uganda. Tickets are available through the NarroWay website or by calling 803.802.2300.
Brennan serves as Choir Director and Pastor of Spiritual Development for Sozo Children. He has been with the organization from its start in 2010. But in 1993 he was a fair-skinned teen from Kentucky aspiring to be a country music artist. While studying at Belmont University, Brennan took a sememster off to join the cast of "The Real World" for its second season. On the show, Brennan was known for his conservative values and Christian faith.
But Brennan's real-world connection to the NarroWay Theatre goes back further than his days on the MTV show.
Although Brennan hails from Owensboro, Kentucky, his family moved for a short while to the opposite side of the state. It was there, some 30 years ago, that he intersected paths with NarroWay founders Yvonne Clark and Rebecca Martin. At the time, Martin and Clark were serving as professional staff at First Baptist Church, Pikeville. "Jon was part of the youth program," notes Martin. "We've got a great story about him trying to crawl out of a room through a drop ceiling!" she laughs.
While Brennan's family eventually moved back to Owensboro and Martin and Clark moved on to establish NarroWay, Brennan reconnected with both online with the innovation of social media. Realizing he would pass through Charlotte with the Sozo Children's Choir, Brennan reached out about the possibility of stopping off for a performance at the NarroWay Theatre.
"We were thrilled about the idea!" says Clark. "We are so proud of the work Jon and his group are doing. And we are tremendously excited about hosting them at the NarroWay Theatre."
Sozo Children seeks to save vulnerable children in Uganda, Africa by meeting their needs for shelter, clothing, education, nutrition and medicine as well addressing emotional and spiritual needs. The organization was founded in May 2010 and Brennan has been aligned with the group since its conception. "Sozo" is a Greek word which means "to save" and has both physical and spiritual implications. The ultimate mission for Sozo Children is "to empower vulnerable children to become thriving leaders for Jesus Christ." (sozochildren.org)
Currently, Sozo Children provides care for over 117 children. But the vision of the organization is much greater. Funds raised through the touring group will support The Village Project. The goal is to provide 30 homes for 300 children, creating a Ugandan village with clean water wells, primary and secondary schools, a medical clinic and a church.
More than half of the population of Uganda are children, many of whom have been orphaned or neglected. Sozo Children and The Village Project seek to place these children in homes with a Ugandan house mother, providing a safe place to call home and developing vital resources for the local community.
The Sozo Children's Choir performs on Tuesday, April 17, at 7pm at the NarroWay Theatre on Carowinds Boulevard. The performance includes cultural singing and dancing with authentic African instruments as well as testimonials from Ugandan children and adults. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. All contributions will go directly to the Sozo Children.
More information on the Sozo Children is available at sozochildren.org. Contributions of cash, check or charge will be accepted at the Tuesday performance, but those who would like to donate online may do so at sozovillageproject.org.
The NarroWay Theatre is home to NarroWay Productions, "the Broadway of Christian Entertainment." NarroWay features fun, family-friendly dinner shows every weekend and entertains guests from all over the United States. More information is available at 803.802.2300 or at narroway.net.
Photos used within this article were obtained from sozochildren.org.