Juanita Bynum's 50th Birthday

Juanita Bynum's 50th Birthday

ESSENCE.COM Jan, 26, 2009

1 of 33 Crystal Power

Prophetess Juanita Bynum’s hairstylist, Quita Tiller, puts the finishing touches on her tresses.

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2 of 33 Crystal Power

Dressed in her wedding gown, Bynun had her dress altered after dropping two sizes since her wedding. Adorned with Swarovski crystals, the dress, which took nine months to make, cost $65,000 and her wedding ceremony cost $1.2 million.

“One of the greatest moments of my life was the day that I married,” she says. “That day was supposed to be the defining moment of my life when I would show the world that I had stepped into my womanhood, which was always the original intention of my dress and I refused to let it not be [by wearing it again].”

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3 of 33 Crystal Power

For Bynum, 50, never looked better.

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4 of 33 Crystal Power

This headband, adorned with Swarovski crystals and designed by Bynum, was also worn on her wedding day and reportedly cost $6,000.

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5 of 33 Crystal Power

Prophetess Bynum throws a peace sign to represent the calm she’s found in her new life.

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6 of 33 Crystal Power

Prophetess Bynum addresses family and friends at her sacred ceremony. She explains the powerful meaning behind her sword, which is to fight off all evil from her past so it will not meet her in her future. “When I held that sword up I felt I was fighting for every woman who ever had low self-esteem, feels like she can’t get herself together, and has been made to feel like trash,” she says. “That fight is in me now.”

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7 of 33 Crystal Power

Bynum is all smiles as she greets guests at her sacred ceremony in the Georgian Ballroom at the Biltmore in Atlanta.

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8 of 33 Crystal Power

Prophetess Bynum lifts her hands in prayer.

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9 of 33 Crystal Power

Bynum revels in the memories of things she plans to take into her promising future.

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10 of 33 Candace Hight

Monique Walker, the ex-wife of Hezekiah Walker, serenades Bynum with “This Is My Season” from her debut album, “My Genesis.”

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11 of 33 Crystal Power

Bynum plants a tender kiss on her mom, Katherine, better known as Mother Bynum.

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12 of 33 Crystal Power

Bynum made her own skirt to celebrate her 50 years. The front of the skirt is made of photos of her; the right side of the skirt has photos of her mom; and the left and back are of her dad.

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13 of 33 Crystal Power

Bynum gives praise and thanks on the dance floor all while keeping the beat.

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14 of 33 Crystal Power

Bynum commands the dance floor as she shows her gratitude for her redefinition of self.

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15 of 33 Crystal Power

Several items that Juanita purged from her life are laid to rest. “I declared that my past would not be a part of any mockery, shame or error,” she says.

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16 of 33

Bynum designed her own skirt by adding personal memorabilia and photos of herself and her parents from past to present. “My dad was my rock,” says Bynum, who lost her father to a sudden heart attack seven months ago.

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17 of 33 Crystal Power

Prophetess Juanita Bynum pictured here with her late father, who surprised her in Dallas during a conference she had. “My dad always taught me to face my fears head-on,” says Bynum.

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18 of 33 Candace Hight

Gospel artist Darwin Hobbs and wife Traci share birthday wishes with Bynum.

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19 of 33 Candace Hight

Gospel great Byron Cage helps Bynum celebrate her special day.

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20 of 33 Candace Hight

Gospel artist Duane Woods makes his way inside the birthday celebration.

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21 of 33 Candace Hight

Q of 112 left, and Isaac, a member of gospel quartet Men of Standard, also show their love and support for Prophetess Bynum.

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22 of 33 Crystal Power

Dr. Bynum and mom Katherine celebrate the special milestone.

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23 of 33 Crystal Power

Gospel artist Myron Williams wishes his boss a happy b-day. Williams is an artist on Bynum’s Flow Records in Dallas, Texas.

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24 of 33 Alex Benigno

Bynum’s older sister Kathy and mother are all smiles celebrating their loved one.

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25 of 33 Crystal Power

Zevik, Bynum’s 5-year-old nephew, cuddles up to his auntie.

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26 of 33 Crystal Power

Minister Carolyn Showell and Prophetess Juanita Bynum enjoy the spotlight for a little bit.

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27 of 33 Crystal Power

Pastor Tom Melnichuk and Sidney Melnichuk of The Prayer Palace in Ontario, Canada, make the trip to enjoy the festivities with Prophetess Bynum.

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28 of 33 Candace Hight

The sacred ceremony was held in The Georgian Ballroom in the Biltmore Hotel in Atlanta.

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29 of 33 Candace Hight

The table centerpiece, a three-foot cracked glass vase, holds three dozen white roses and orchids.

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30 of 33 Alvalyn Benign

An eight-tier vanilla cake with fresh pink flowers and photos of her family. “I dedicated the top layer of the cake to my mom, which had a photo of me and father on it,” she says.

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31 of 33 Candace Hight

Close-up of Bynum’s birthday cake, which was made with real pink roses and family photos.

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32 of 33 Candace Hight

A table reserved for Bynum, Mother Bynum and her older sister Kathy.

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33 of 33 Candace Hight

Prophetess Bynum gifted her 300 guests—men and women—with this crystal rock ring inscribed with he words “Redefine Yourself” and challenged everyone to get married to their destiny.

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