Tonight Show of Praise started as a project by Cornelius Patton (C C) and Undra Watts of Sumrall Mississippi.
The two of them worked out a plan to do something special for local communities in the area. According to C C, they wanted to inspire the young, gifted and talented community dwellers that just because you are in a small town with minimal resources and exposure, don't mean you have to settle for small things. That's when he and Undra (former Lead Guitarist for the Mississippi Mass Choir) began their journey to make a difference. The two of them began a ministry that started as the Underground Worship and later became the Tonight Show of Praise.
They had their first show at the Morning Star Baptist Church in Sumrall. The stage was set with lights, an interviewer's table, a band and local talent as the Tonight Show of Praise Singers. Very similar to the Tonight show but with a host full of praise. The program featured local businesses, ministries, artists and musicians who would be interviewed by the host. also, guest performers were scheduled throughout the program. It was something special that the community had never seen before in Sumrall and was carried out to perfection. The impact they intended to make was immediately beginning to show as the night progressed is what attendees have told me. Although I didn't get to attend the first one for scheduling reasons, I was able to attend one this year.
When I attended the program in April 2013, I can tell you it was more than I imagined it would be. What I witnessed was amazing! It was a packed house with standing room only which seemed fine since no one hardly ever sat down anyway. The praise and spirit was so high from the choirs and groups that performed that chairs and pews seemed in the way or more for resting when interviews took place. although it was on a Friday Night it reminded me of what church should feel like on weekends.