Pastor, Gospel Singer Drops Dead During Performance

Shawn Jones
Shawn Jones (Shawn Jones/Facebook)

Shawn Jones, gospel singer and the founding pastor of the New Thing Empowerment Church in Auburn, Alabama, collapsed and died during a performance with his band recently in Pensacola, Florida. Jones was 32.

The church and Jones' supporters are holding The Shawn Jones Legacy Concert on Monday, Nov. 27, at 6:00 pm, as well as a memorial service on Tuesday morning at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. You can watch both events LIVE here. 

According to The Christian Post, shortly after Jones began singing "Worthy Is He," he passed out on stage, to the shock of the audience.
"They were doing a fantastic job. It was a nice show," Kenneth Woodson, manager of The Event Center, recalled to The Christian Post of the Shawn Jones & The Believers band Monday evening.

Woodson recalled the band had just finished singing their first song and begun "Worthy Is He."  The audience joined in standing, clapping and singing along. Then it appeared that Jones was having trouble.

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"I guess the young man got hot. He took some water and he drank some more water (for a second time), sat down and was speaking and he passed out," Woodson told the Post.

"Everyone went into shock. I think everybody did what they felt was right in trying to revive him until the EMT got here. It was a shock because he is a young man," he continued.

"They contained themselves well and they were praying for him in their own little spirit. They took him to the back and were trying to revive him but then, of course, the sorrow was in the building," the manager said. "There were several medical people in the building and they tried to revive him. They tried to do what they could for him before the EMT got there."

The cause of Jones' death was not announced. However, The Echoaires Band of Memphis, Tennessee, also scheduled to appear at the same event, said Jones died of a heart attack.

"He was truly a man of God. He had a heart attack after performing in Florida Saturday night. Rest well, my friend and brother. We will always love you @theshawnjones85," the group said in an Instagram post.

Yashica LaRease Williams, who identified herself as the preacher's cousin, told mourners on Instagram that he suffered a stroke and lamented her final moments with him.

"It's hard to wrap my head around the thought that I will never see your smile again. I was just joking and talking to you Tuesday telling you, 'You need to sit down somewhere' and your response with a big grin was 'I promise I'm going to slow down lil cuz' and we both laughed and I said, 'No you won't. You'll be in another state by the weekend.' And you laughed and said 'you 'bout right.' If only then I knew that would be my last time talking to you I would have hugged you a little longer or remembered to take a picture with you," Williams wrote.

"Your passing has not only devastated the ones that know you, not even just the people of Alabama, but hundreds and thousands around the country. You had such a loving spirit that people enjoyed being in the presence of and a beautiful talent that touched many hearts. Rest Easy Shawn! You will truly be missed!" she added.

A special legacy concert will be held at the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama on Monday, Nov. 27. The concert will be streamed live at

Jones' memorial service will be held Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 10:30 a.m. The service will also be streamed on the website.

Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., All rights reserved.

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