Church says promoter made off with money after concert

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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Church says this image shows Sharif King taking money from concert goers.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Tabernacle Baptist Church of Augusta sent News 12 surveillance video showing, what they say, is the promoter taking cash for concert tickets.

Promoter Sharif King denies that he received any money from the concert.

Gospel singer Vickie Winans is just one of the performers hundreds were expecting to see at Thursday night's gospel concert.

Winans says she was in Augusta ready to perform, but was never picked up for the performance and said she was never paid.

"I was ready to walk out of the door and to come and do what I do all the time," she said. "I would not leave those people disappointed."

Winans says she has a contract with King, a promoter with Dower Records, for a show at the Bell Auditorium.

She says she bought her ticket to Augusta, but last week, King told her there'd be a venue change -- that he'd found a local church, the Tabernacle, to rent instead.

"Never heard the word canceled, nothing was ever even thought about postponing," Winans said. "He never said anything to me like that."

She says King took her to her hotel and told her to get ready and she hasn't heard from him since.

The church sent a statement that said:
"We would like to apologize to all of the individuals that purchased tickets to see specific Gospel music headliners at our venue. Agreeing to grant the promoter use of the venue is not outside of the scope of our organization. We often lease venue space for community use. In an effort to uplift the dynamic talent of Augusta's local gospel artists, we fell prey to fraudulent behavior on the behalf of the promoter.

The patrons of the concert were also victims of this unethical behavior. Our organization's role was that of the venue lessor ONLY [sic]. Individuals present at any of our venues are considered guests. We appreciate the patience of our guests and their ability to cope with the situation.

We would like to reiterate that this was not a planned or coordinated event by our organization. Our staff did not aid in scheduling the guests that were mentioned in any marketing efforts related to the concert. This was indeed a learning experience for us."

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