David “DT” Taylor (Boris Kodjoe) is on the fast track to the top of the RandB charts when his career is put on hold by the illness of his father, Bishop Taylor (Clifton Powell). This tragedy takes him back to the childhood home in Atlanta from which he ran nearly 15 years ago. Once a young ministerial prodigy, David has since become the proverbial prodigal. His return home puts him on a journey of self-evaluation, redemption and reconciliation. David meets up with his childhood friend, Charles Frank (Idris Elba), who has replaced David’s father as pastor of New Revelations Church. David sees that Frank’s love for God and His people has been replaced by pride and blind ambition and that Frank’s marriage is on rocky ground. David Taylor is a charming character, and his quick-witted manager, Wesley (Omar Gooding), keeps this sometimes somber film light. Audiences will tap their toes, laugh heartily and become misty eyed.
David Taylor, the minister’s son, and his friend, Charles Frank, are one class shy of graduating from the Youth Ministry Program. Then they’ll be moving on to become ministers. Minister Hunter, a teacher in the YMP, is quietly called to the door. Both boys look at each other as they receive some news. David Taylor rushes down the hospital corridor, Bible clutched tightly in hand, looking for Irene Taylor, his mother. David kneels at her bedside and cries out to the Lord to spare his mother’s life. Then Bishop Taylor is on his way back from a church conference and, when he arrives, he is greeted by an angry David who turns on his father with bitter words. David storms from the hospital, inwardly vowing never to return to the church or the God who failed him. Meanwhile, Charles Frank goes on to complete his training and, eventually, becomes minister of the church they grew up in. But greed starts to take over.
Fifteen years later, David has become a big rock star. He drinks liquor, hangs out in smoke-filled rooms, has fist fights and this lifestyle has become a part of his daily life. Outwardly, he seems on the top of the world but, inwardly, David is not happy.
Then he gets a call that is father is sick. Should he abandon the tour and go back home? Should he try to make peace with his father? Why should he? His father was not there when he needed him growing up. The music is exhilarating, the praise and worship is heartfelt, and the storyline is totally believable. “The Gospel” has values and life lessons worth viewing as a family and well worth discussing. We award the film our Dove Seal.