Stevie Wonder walked into the New Salem Baptist Church in Minneapolis on Sunday, surprising many of the congregants who didn’t know that he was a friend of their pastor, the Rev. Jerry McAfee. Things only got better when the famous musician stood up and sang the hymn “I Won’t Complain.” And then, the singer donated $10,000 to the congregation.
The McAfees invited Wonder, a Christian, to church while he was passing through town on tour. “The possibility of him coming by was a great chance,” Carmen McAfee told WCCO, “However he was rather tired because he’s been on tour.”
“As much as it is true that tonight I have a concert,” Wonder said, referring to his Sunday show at the Target Center, “my first celebration of this day is giving praise to God.” Wonder then started into the hymn, “a song that I sang time and again,” he said.
WCCO has a video of the performance — the hymn itself begins at around 2:50:
Wonder sat in the front row for the service. Later, he took the microphone again to say that at each stop on his tour, he’s donated money to a group to help stop gun violence, and that he would also make a community donation in Minneapolis.
“I would like to, from the heart, donate to New Salem Baptist, $10,000,” a donation that McAfee said was a total surprise to their church. “Don’t act like it’s in my pocket right now because it’s not but you will get it,” Wonder told the cheering congregation.
McAfee added that the congregation would use the money for their ongoing community work in north Minneapolis.
Wonder apparently had enough pre-concert energy to go shopping at The Wedge, a local Minneapolis co-op