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AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 36 YEARS

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From Blakey to Brown, Como to Costa, Eckstine to Eldridge, Galbraith to Garner, Harris to Hines, Horne to Hyman, Jamal to Jefferson, Kelly to Klook; Mancini to Marmarosa, May to Mitchell, Negri to Nestico, Parlan to Ponder, Reed to Ruther, Strayhorn to Sullivan, Turk to Turrentine, Wade to Williams… the forthcoming publication Treasury of Pittsburgh Jazz Connections by Dr. Nelson Harrison and Dr. Ralph Proctor, Jr. will document the legacy of one of the world’s greatest jazz capitals.

 

Do you want to know who Dizzy Gillespie  idolized? Did you ever wonder who inspired Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey? Who was the pianist that mentored Monk, Bud Powell, Tad Dameron, Elmo Hope, Sarah Vaughan and Mel Torme? Who was Art Tatum’s idol and Nat Cole’s mentor? What musical quartet pioneered the concept adopted later by the Modern Jazz Quartet? Were you ever curious to know who taught saxophone to Stanley Turrentine or who taught piano to Ahmad Jamal? What community music school trained Robert McFerrin, Sr. for his history-making debut with the Metropolitan Opera? What virtually unknown pianist was a significant influence on young John Coltrane, Shirley Scott, McCoy Tyner, Bobby Timmons and Ray Bryant when he moved to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh in the 1940s?  Would you be surprised to know that Erroll Garner attended classes at the Julliard School of Music in New York and was at the top of his class in writing and arranging proficiency?

 

Some answers  can be gleaned from the postings on the Pittsburgh Jazz Network.

 

For almost 100 years the Pittsburgh region has been a metacenter of jazz originality that is second to no other in the history of jazz.  One of the best kept secrets in jazz folklore, the Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy has heretofore remained mythical.  We have dubbed it “the greatest story never told” since it has not been represented in writing before now in such a way as to be accessible to anyone seeking to know more about it.  When it was happening, little did we know how priceless the memories would become when the times were gone.

 

Today jazz is still king in Pittsburgh, with events, performances and activities happening all the time. The Pittsburgh Jazz Network is dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the places, artists and fans that carry on the legacy of Pittsburgh's jazz heritage.

 

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Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words

Bishop Loran Mann, a trailblazer and Pittsburgh icon, dies at 74

Bishop Loran Mann, a trailblazer and Pittsburgh icon, dies at 74


by Rob Taylor Jr.
Courier Staff Writer
Church Of God In Christ. Six and a half million members. More than 100 countries.

What are the odds that a person could elevate all the way up to a board of such distinction as the COGIC General Board, which consists of just 12 Bishops, responsible for establishing and executing policies for the membership, as well as sustaining and perpetuating spiritual order within the Church?

But then again, we’re talking about The Right Reverend Loran Edward Mann. The man who was determined to start a church under a tent in 1969 with just 19 members. Today, there are hundreds who call themselves current members of Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ, at a can’t-miss, $1.2 million facility on the corner of Larimer Avenue and East Liberty Boulevard in East Liberty.

Bishop Mann, who was loved, revered and admired, died on Sunday, May 2. He was 74.

 

‘Pittsburgh lost a Lion.’
– Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto

 

Just weeks before his passing, Bishop Mann indeed was elected to a four-year term on the COGIC’s General Board. The congratulatory messages for Bishop Mann at the time were innumerable.

Prior to the General Board elections, Bishop Mann had received support and endorsements from many in the COGIC family, including Bishop Felton M. Smith Jr., of Tennessee.

“He is a consummate leader, a man of impeccable lifestyle, he’s a preacher of righteousness, a lover of God’s people,” Bishop Smith said of Bishop Mann during a COGIC virtual event on Feb. 17. “And it’s been my joy to know him these many years and to see his fidelity, his devotion, his loyalty to the church and the people of God…The Lord has prepared him for such a time as this. We need these kind of salient thinking individuals for such a challenging time in which we live. He has my full endorsement.”

The New Pittsburgh Courier learned that Bishop Mann was born in Ocala, Fla., a small city nestled between Tallahassee and Orlando, on Aug. 8, 1946. His family moved to Pittsburgh in 1959, but Bishop Mann recalled in a 2019 interview with Cornerstone Television Network how he was reluctant to move from his hometown, away from so many of his friends.

“I heard the voice of the Lord say that he wanted me in Pittsburgh,” Bishop Mann said in the interview. “I had no idea then, what he had in mind.”

THE FAMILY OF BISHOP MANN—Loran Mann II, First Lady Barbara Mann, Bishop Loran Mann, Tiana Mann, in this photo from 2009.

Bishop Mann attended both Westinghouse High School and the University of Pittsburgh, and later became the first African American newscaster on KDKA Radio, in 1968, around age 22. He spent 10 years at KDKA Radio, and when the opportunity came for him to jump to television full-time, he took the leap to WPXI-TV (Channel 11). It’s there where “Loran Mann” became a household name, reporting any and everywhere at any hour of the day or night, his booming voice commanding attention in every report.

After more than 20 years at WPXI, Bishop Mann retired from TV and made sure his ministry was full-time.

In 1992, Bishop Mann led Pentecostal Temple COGIC into ownership in the broadcasting industry with the acquisition of WGBN-AM (1150), which was the city’s first 24-hour-a-day Gospel music station. In 2006, Bishop Mann became a founding member of the “Rejoice Musical Soulfood Network,” which offers Gospel music programming by satellite to stations across the country.





BISHOP LORAN MANN, right, with Gospel music superstar Donnie McClurkin, in a photo from 2018.

In 2011, Bishop Mann, who holds an honorary doctorate degree from Waynesburg University, was elevated to the Episcopacy and appointed Bishop of the state of Vermont Jurisdiction on June 2. He was consecrated to the office on Nov. 7, 2011, during the 104th International Holy Convocation of the Church of God in Christ in St. Louis.

In 2009, the Courier covered the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Pentecostal Temple COGIC, which was held at the Churchill Valley Country Club. The members reminisced on the church congregation’s humble beginnings—Bishop Mann was originally the pastor of First Baptist Church in Braddock Hills, but then left the church to start his own Pentecostal church; 19 members from First Baptist joined him. The members eventually settled on a church home at 1675 Laketon Rd. in Wilkinsburg, in 1971. Looking back, the members recalled how that building had “no air conditioning, limited seating and even fewer parking spaces,” the Courier’s report read. “Many members testified that there is no place like home when it comes to Pentecostal Temple.”

Some may remember Bishop Mann’s many outdoor “tent revivals” that he held over the years, as all were welcome to hear God’s message.

News of Bishop Mann’s passing was confirmed by the Bishop’s immediate family via Facebook, on May 2.

Since then, the condolences for Bishop Mann and his family have poured in from all over the country.

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, representing Pa.’s 18th Congressional District, extended his “deepest condolences to the friends and family of Bishop Loran Mann…He will be missed.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said: “Pittsburgh lost a Lion. To the family of Bishop Loran Mann, thank you for sharing him with all of us. A gentle giant who shed love onto our city. A man who lived by the rule of compassion. A friend.”

State Rep. Ed Gainey, whose House District includes the area where Pentecostal Temple COGIC resides, said: “CommUnity. Please pray for the family of Bishop Loran Mann. A great man was called home. Rest With God Bishop Mann. We truly love you. Peace.”

Dee Thompson, who worked with Bishop Mann at WPXI, said in a Pittsburgh Black Media Federation news release, May 2, that “Loran was a pioneer in journalism, not only in Pittsburgh’s Black community but also the community at-large; and not only in Pittsburgh, but nationally. In fact, he was one of the first Black journalists in radio and television in Pittsburgh and because of his outstanding work in the church as a pastor and as a Bishop, he was very well-known throughout the country and the world.”

PBMF President Brian Cook said Bishop Mann’s passing “is not only a loss for the church community, but for those who enjoyed his television and radio reports. He was a trusted newsperson and will be missed for his pioneering inspiration and his dedication to community coverage.”

And COGIC Presiding Bishop J. Drew Sheard simply said: “To know (Bishop Mann) was to love him. His presence will be surely missed by all.”

Bishop Mann is survived by his wife, Barbara; and two children, Loran II and Tiana.

As of Tuesday afternoon, May 4, funeral arrangements had not been publicly announced. 

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The legacy honoree for this year’s Men of Excellence was Bishop Loran E. Mann, senior pastor at Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ in East Liberty. He was unable to attend the April 16 event, and it saddened many in the Pittsburgh area who learned of his passing on May 2. Bishop Mann was 74, and was a pioneering figure in Pittsburgh media as the first Black full-time news anchor on KDKA Radio, then had a 20 year run as a reporter on WPXI-TV.
MEN OF EXCELLENCE CLASS OF 2021 LEGACY HONOREE
Bishop Loran E. Mann
Aug. 8, 1946—May 2, 2021
The New Pittsburgh Courier expresses its most heartfelt condolences to the family of the revered late Bishop Loran E. Mann.
Each time that the Courier holds its Men of Excellence Awards Ceremony, we honor a legacy honoree who, usually for decades, has been an immovable force in Pittsburgh in his profession and in his benevolence. We couldn’t think of a more deserving person for the award than Bishop Loran E. Mann, whose larger-than-life presence and voice was heard first on KDKA Radio (1020) and then WPXI-TV (Channel 11) until his retirement in the early 1990s.
But there was more to Bishop Mann than the microphone and the video camera.
When a person is driven, led by the power of the Lord, they know that anything is possible. Before the age of 25, Bishop Mann had become a pastor at a Baptist church in Braddock Hills. But at the heart, he was always Pentecostal. He left First Baptist Church to start his own Pentecostal church—but he had no physical building. And less than 20 members.
No problem.
Bishop Mann would have services underneath tents, until he was able to find a small physical location in Wilkinsburg beginning in 1971. Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ continued to grow, and eventually, a million-dollar sanctuary was constructed at Larimer Avenue and East Liberty Boulevard, where services have been held now for almost 30 years, and home to nearly 1,000 members.
Bishop Mann rose up the ranks in the Church of God in Christ, becoming Bishop of the state of Vermont Jurisdiction in 2011, a crowning achievement. And just a few months ago, Bishop Mann was elected to the COGIC General Board, a select group of 12 Bishops in the Church that set the direction and its policies. Another crowning achievement.
The Courier had its Men of Excellence Awards Ceremony at Savoy Restaurant, in the Strip District, on April 16. We learned, however, that Bishop Mann would be unable to attend. A few weeks later, on Sunday, May 2, we learned that Bishop Mann had died.
A Lying in Honor ceremony will be held on Monday, May 24, from noon to 9 p.m. at the church, 6300 East Liberty Boulevard. A Jurisdictional and Family Homegoing Celebration will be held, Tuesday, May 25, at 6 p.m. also at the church. A National Homegoing Celebration will be held on Wednesday, May 26, at 10 a.m. at Victory Family Church, 21150 Route 19, Cranberry Township.
Bishop Mann is survived by his wife, Barbara, and children, Tiana and Loran II.

Bishop Loran Mann remembered during homegoing celebrations


by Jacquelyn McDonald
For New Pittsburgh Courier

Whether you knew him as Bishop, Pastor, Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) Media Host, Local Newscaster, Community Leader, Toastmaster or simply as “the Voice,” the late Bishop Loran Edward Mann left an immeasurable impact on those that encountered him. The sure evidence of that impact was the overwhelming attendance of the Pittsburgh community and beyond during his Homegoing Celebration, which spanned three days, May 24-26.

The remembrance began with a walk-through viewing on May 24, followed on May 25 by the first local memorial service, which also included his assigned Vermont Jurisdiction of the past 10 years. That service was held at 6 p.m. at the 1,200 seat Pentecostal Temple Church Of God In Christ in East Liberty, where Bishop Mann was the pastor.

The final remembrance for Bishop Mann was held at Victory Family Church, in Cranberry Township, to accommodate the large National Church presence that was expected and to meet the CDC’s social distancing measures. Former Pentecostal Temple members and COGIC hierarchy arrived from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

BISHOP LORAN MANN, the venerable pastor and media personality, died on May 2. He was 74.

Presiding COGIC Bishop J. Drew Sheard, from Detroit, was on hand to give the final eulogy, preaching from the biblical scripture Matt 25:21 and entitled his sermon, “The Greatest Commendation.” He spoke of Bishop Mann’s talents being put to good use in the marketplace of human needs and demands. He also emphasized Bishop Mann’s servitude and personal investment and commitment to his God-given assignments.

The Homegoing Celebration culmination consisted of the Church Of God In Christ royal ceremonial, “The Sealing Of The Bier,” a regalia skillfully conducted by the National Adjutants of the Church designated by members of the COGIC General Board, the governing entity of the 6.5 million-member denomination. Bishop Loran Mann was a newly elected General Board member, a few months prior to his passing.

FIRST LADY BARBARA MANN, during the funeral for her late husband, Bishop Loran Mann, at Pentecostal Temple COGIC, May 25. (Photos by Courier photographer J.L. Martello)

Each gathering was unique in acknowledging Bishop Mann’s contributions to the ecumenical community. His alumni choir, which now consists of several pastors, popular psalmists and minstrels throughout the tri-state area, gathered to pay tribute in song to their beloved pastor and initial choir director. They were known as the “Sounds of Pentecost.” Bishop Mann was an accomplished musician, as is his wife, Evangelist Barbara Mann. They often sang and played the keyboards during his services.

LORAN MANN II speaks during the funeral for his father, Bishop Loran Mann, at Pentecostal Temple COGIC, May 25.

Others, like Church Mother Denise White, remarked of the spirit-filled worship services that Bishop Mann led at Pentecostal Temple. White raised the praise as she testified of how God healed her of an affliction that rendered her wheelchair-bound for 10 years. Now walking, she shared of the convalescent ministry of Bishop Mann and how he petitioned God on her behalf.

Bishop Mann’s “sons in the gospel,” of which there are many, came from far and near to tell of Bishop Mann’s biblical guidance and tutoring. His ability to articulate scripture was considered superior; and as the founder of Pittsburgh’s only 24-hour Gospel radio station, WGBN (1360 AM), several of the present and former on-air personalities shared their stories of how the Bishop mentored them in broadcasting and journalism.

Bishop Mann died on May 2 at age 74. He was the founder of Pentecostal Temple, and grew its church membership from roughly 20 to more than 1,000, and was instrumental in the completion of the church’s million-dollar sanctuary that rises above Larimer Avenue and East Liberty Boulevard.

Bishop Mann was known for his career as a young anchor/reporter on KDKA-AM (1020) in 1968, then moved to television as an anchor/reporter for WPXI (Channel 11). He spent more than 20 years there, becoming a household name in Pittsburgh. Following his retirement from WPXI, he rose up the ranks of the Church Of God In Christ, becoming Bishop of the Vermont Jurisdiction in 2011.

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