Stay Prayed Up


Lena Mae Perry is a treasure, one of North Carolina’s storied gospel singers whose career spans decades. As one of the founders and last original members of the gospel trio The Branchettes, she is still going strong at the age of 82. D.L. Anderson and Matt Durning’s film documents Perry and the other members of the group as they prepare to record a live album produced by enthusiastic fan and fellow musician Phil Cook. Through anecdotes about Perry’s lifefrom starting The Branchettes with her friends Ethel Elliot and Mary Ellen Bennett to founding her restaurant, Mae’s Country Kitchenand lots of good gospel music, Stay Prayed Up takes us on a journey through time and space. A documentary, a musical odyssey, a portrait of a woman, and a love letter to a community, Stay Prayed Up is more than the sum of its parts.  TS 


Filmmaker Q&A available

Closed captioning available



D.L. Anderson, Matt Durning


Shirlette Ammons, D.L. Anderson, Mikel Barton, Phil Cook, Matt Durning, Leslie Raymond, Lena C. Williams

Executive Producers

Pamela Hamel, George Hamel, Kim Miller, Fielding Miller


D.L. Anderson, Matt Durning


D.L. Anderson, Matt Durning

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

72 minutes