“By The Time I Get To Heaven” (Original)(1973) Star of Bethlehem COGIC Youth Choir



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This is track 4 from the 1973 album “By The Time I Get To Heaven”.
Lead by Tawatha Agee (later to sing with Mtume)
Written by Harvey Lewis Jr.
The Star of Bethlehem Church of God in Christ was founded in May 1955 by the late Mother Ruth Powers. It was located at 1244 5th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. The original name of the church was the “Second Church of God in Christ.” At that time there were only three members, Mother Ruth Powers, who served as General Church Mother until her home-going on January 24, 2000, Mother Janie Jones, and Sister Rosa Walston.

The First pastor appointed to Jurisdictional Bishop Samuel Kelsey to lead this small flock was Elder Gibson. Elder Gibson sowed for two years, and after many obstacles and trials, decided to leave. However, the three members remained. They fasted, prayed, and worked diligently (selling pies, cakes, and dinners) to keep the church doors open.

Later, the late Elder Shaw was appointed by Bishop Kelsey to pastor. Elder Shaw was responsible for changing the name of the church to “Star of Bethlehem Church of God in Christ.” Elder Shaw was not only a preacher, he was also a baker. He worked faithfully in the church, and as a result, the church began to grow. After a year of devoted leadership, Elder Shaw, Bishop Kelsey immediately appointed Elder Wiseman as the pastor. Elder Wiseman served several months and left suddenly.

Elder Metcalf was the fourth pastor appointed to the Star of Bethlehem Church of God in Christ by Bishop Kelsey. He worked very hard and spent his personal monies to help keep the church open. This was a hard time and the church was not progressing very well.

Bishop Kelsey later installed Elder Hammond of Delaware as the fifth pastor of the church. Due to some denominational differences, Elder Hammond served only a few months. Upon the departure of Elder Hammond, Bishop Kelsey reappointed Elder Metcalf as pastor. He again worked faithfully. The progress of the church was slow due to the many changes in leadership. Bishop Kelsey, determined to turn Star of Bethlehem into a “soul saving station” for the Lord, made yet another appointment.

On the third Sunday in March, 1960, Elder Harvey Lee Lewis, Sr. was appointed pastor. Elder Lewis, Sr., the seventh pastor, was accompanied by his wife and their three children, Marie, Harvey, Jr., and Winona. The early years of the ministry were trying and hard, but under Pastor Lewis’ leadership and guidance new members were being added and the church began to grow. Two years after Pastor Lewis’ appointment, Mother Madeline Walston joined the church. The first family to join the church was the family of Mother Esther Jones. Her daughter, Church Mother Shirley Jones Fields and Mother Madeline Walston are yet worshipping with us today.

The first choir was organized by one of the faithful members of the church, Sister Willie Thompson. The choir was made up of children recruited from the neighborhood. Sister Thompson served as president, and Pastor Lewis served as the first choir director, with Mother Lewis as his assistant.

By the fifth year, under Pastor Lewis’ leadership, the church’s membership grew from 3 to 75. The church was progressing spiritually and financially. The church grew to a position where it was able to serve not only the church family, but also the surrounding community. As the church grew, Pastor Lewis saw a need for a larger facility in which to worship. In a tremendous act of faith by the pastor and the Star of Bethlehem congregation, the church family relocated to 2033 11th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., where we continued to grow both spiritually and financially.

As you can see, the “Star” family took an even bigger step of faith and moved into this beautiful edifice at 14th and Colorado. The Lord allowed us to purchase this church without money, when it was not for sale. To God be the glory for the things he has done.

“Things Go Better With Christ” (1977) D. R. Curry Memorial Choir



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This is track 5 from the 1977 album entitled “Things Go Better With Christ”.
Lead by David Curry Jr, Rachell Curry and Dorcus Curry Thigpen
Written by David R. Curry Jr.

Frank Williams, founder of the group, began singing gospel music in churches as a child, spending his evenings immersed in the sounds and ways of the gospel under the guiding hand of his father, Leon. Frank performed with his brothers in an act known as The Williams Brothers, later joining the Jackson Southernaires. After many years of touring as an artist, Frank had a vision that the great and soulful voices of Mississippi needed to be captured in choir. For nine years this idea grew in his mind until he could contain it no longer. He approached his gospel-writing friend, David R. Curry Jr., with his ambitions and the rest is history! The two sent audition announcements via radio across the state of Mississippi and tapes began pouring in. With great enthusiasm, the people of Mississippi thrust themselves into the mission of this choir, to serve God through song. Redefining the choir experience, each concert is like a rousing church service, with a Reverend at the helm. Skillfully weaving a scriptural message into the soul-stirring, roof-raising gospel sounds of the singers, Reverend Benjamin Cone, the choir’s spiritual advisor, delivers with the authority of one who knows God personally. His presence on stage commands attention, his deep articulate voice bears listening. By the end of the concert, there is no one left who has remained in their seat throughout, no voice unsung, no hands left hanging limply at anyone’s side, and no one who hasn’t felt a mountain move within them by what they have just experienced. The Mississippi Mass Choir moves the masses.

“I Know A Man From Galilee” (1982) St. Francis Xavier Gospel Choir



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This is track 5 from the 1982 album “Lord I Am So Grateful”.
Lead by Lee Lewis
Written by Thomas R. Roberts Sr.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Fernando G. Allen has distinguished himself in the field of sacred music, receiving countless awards and accolades. He has led the Towson University and Morgan State University Brass and Percussion Ensembles, and the Peabody Conservatory of Music Orchestra. His accomplishments have included establishment of the Fernando Allen Singers, recording albums which have sold in Europe and elsewhere! He collaborated with the renowned Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in performance of Handel’s “Messiah”, and has conducted performances before Pope John Paul II and throughout the country of Italy. Additionally, he received the “Papal Dispensation” from the Pope for outstanding musical contributions to the Catholic Church, a prestigious honor rarely bestowed upon someone who is non-Catholic.

Mr. Allen offers services in music scoring, marketing, copyrights, music cataloging, and choir performance techniques. He is a master musician, using his keyboard talents in a diverse portfolio of gospel, classical and Negro spiritual music. His superb technical and performance expertise has resulted in substantial demand for his assistance throughout the East Coast of the United States and beyond. He recently released a CD titled, “Bless the Lord”, which displays his talents in arranging, directing, and presenting gospel music. Mr. Allen has a warmth, enthusiasm and exuberance that permeates his musical compositions and his musical performances. Fernando Allen is an exciting personality who strives for and delivers the best in gospel music and his style and his music typify the African-American religious experience.

“I’m Working On The Building” (1976) Dr. C. J. Johnson



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This is track 3 from the 1976 album “I’ll Be Back To See You Afterwhile”.
Recorded live at St. Joseph’s Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Claude Joseph Johnson, pastor, composer, church founder and recording artist was born on May 16, 1913, in Douglasville, Georgia. His father, William Johnson, was a well-known teacher and leader of shape-note hymn singing. His grandmother, Sarah Johnson, was a famous singer of lining-out hymns and spirituals. At the age of 3, the Johnson family moved to Atlanta, where he was raised by his grandmother. At the age of five, Claude led his first shape-note song, “The Prodigal Son,” while standing on a table in front of his church. Five years later, he gave his first trial sermon and was ordained as a minister in the Missionary Baptist Church. He was known as “the boy preacher from Atlanta,” and began his first full-time pastorate at the age of 12.

In 1939, Johnson became determined to complete his education, and over the next 20 years he studied formally for the ministry at the Morehouse School of Religion, the American Theological Seminary, and the Carver Bible Institute. He earned his B.D., B.Th., and D.D. degrees.

In 1965, Johnson started recording his religious music for the Savoy label, featuring himself singing unaccompanied hymns and country spirituals, sometimes joined by his congregation. All of his more than 20 records were produced in his church rather than in a recording studio. In 1970, his recording “I Wanna Go Where Jesus Is” was immensely popular and was a gold-selling record. He was a 1987 recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship, awarded annually to the nation’s most distinguished traditional artists by the National Endowment for the Arts. He is also the founding pastor of the St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church.

Dr. Johnson’s singing embodied a rural styling, marked by a flexible use of every possible expressive effect, from growls to cries. Although he did not use instrumental accompaniment, he had a complex relationship with the accompanying chorus/congregation that is reminiscent of the older black spiritual style. Normally referred to as “lining out,” this style began during slavery when hymnbooks were not available and literacy was punished. Hymns were therefore “dictated,” sung a line at a time by a lead singer, with the congregation often echoing the lead voice in a call-and-response pattern that originated in Africa. Over the centuries, the effects have become subtler, with the lead voice and congregation overlapping, supporting, and decorating the elongated hymn tunes until an extraordinary effect, sometimes called “surge singing,” has been achieved. When Johnson led his congregation, his sure and supple voice encouraged and led the other singers, adding passion and conviction. Dr. Johnson died on July 20, 1990.

“He’s Already Here” Dr. Charles G. Hayes & Voices of Cosmopolitan



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This is track 2 from the album “Where You Going To Run To”.
Lead: Cynthia L. Price
Organist: Charles Clency
Pianist: Edward Winston
Drummer: Patricia Dunlap
The Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir was organized by its Founder, Dr. Charles G. Hayes on October 25, 1959. The Choir was organized with only five (5) persons — consisting of a family of sisters and brothers. As the years passed, the Choir grew and grew, from the original five members to its present count.

The Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir has recorded over 30 albums and five single 45’s throughout the past 50 YEARS. Out of the thirty plus albums, two went “GOLD” (over 50,000 copies sold), and others made the No. 1 spot on the charts around the world. “The Remix” recording in particular, not only went “GOLD”, it was also notes as “The #1 Inspirational Song” according to the R&R Magazine and earned the Choir two Stellar Awards in 2006 for” Choir of the Year” and ” Video of the Year.”

The Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir, known The Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir, known as ‘The Mighty “WARRIORS’, is dedicated to its Church and the people who enjoy their singing ministry. GOD is the head of their lives and they enjoy singing and giving HIM the praise.

The Choir has performed with such great artists as the late Mahalia Jackson – the “World’s Greatest Gospel Singer”, the late Clara Ward and Singers, the late Ruth Davis and Singers, Evangelist Shirley Caesar and Singers, Rev. James Cleveland and Singers, and many more. The Choir has sung in Auditoriums, theatres, fair grounds, ball parks, civic center, store-front churches, Jewish temples, from the smallest to the largest, with all races involved at the same time.

‘The Mighty “WARRIORS”‘ have performed for the Chicago Gospel Festival, and by popular demand, was invited back to the Petrillo Bank Shell on several occasions. In June 1992, Dr. Hayes and the Choir were saluted by the Mayor and City of Chicago for Outstanding Service in the Religious Community. In July 1992, and again by special request in 1995, the Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir represented the City of Chicago in the Umbria Jazz Festival held in various provinces throughout Italy, performing with such greats as B.B. King, Linda Hopkins, etc. The choir also performed in Austria, France, singing for the President of that country, Portugal, Madrid, and several other countries abroad. They were invited and sang at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Montreaux, Switzerland, where they performed with the world famous Mighty Clouds of Joy. The Choir since traveled abroad to Spain twice and brought in 2007 in Italy (singing in various countries: Portugal, — Lifting Up The Name Of Jesus!

After more than 50 YEARS, the Choir is still recording, and is considered as one of the world’s greatest Traditional Gospel Singing Choirs. As a contribution to Chicago-land, the Choir’s home base, the Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir presents their Pre-Memorial Day Midnight Musical each year, and for more than thirty years, this event, starting at 12-Midnight, has attracted over three thousand (3,000) persons with a ticket fee, standing room only, in most cases, if not a turn away crown. God has truly blessed this Choir. The Pre-Memorial Day Midnight Musical has been such a success, that many others have copied it, and now present their own. The credit and vision goes to it’s Founder and Pastor, Dr. Charles G. Hayes.

“Oh Give Thanks To The Lord” (1973) New Jerusalem Baptist Church Choir



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This is track 1 from the 1973 album “For The People Had A Mind To Work”.
This is the first of many albums by New Jerusalem Baptist Church Choir.

Bishop Odis A. Floyd was born August 18, 1940 in Texarkana, Arkansas, the son of Deacon Morris and Mother Ruby (Owens) Ross. He grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, a proud product of “Stoney Hill”, and moved to Flint, Michigan to be reared by his grandparents, Rev. L.W. & Mother Ella Owens.

Bishop Floyd attended Flint Northern High School before entering the military, obtaining his diploma while serving in the United States Army, and earning an Honorable Discharge. Upon returning to Flint, he reunited with his high school sweetheart, Brenda Copeland, whom he married March 2, 1963. He was employed with General Motors for a season.

Bishop Floyd was raised in church, often telling stories about attending mission with his grandmother. However, his life would change drastically when he was called into the ministry in April of 1964. Assisting Rev. Owens in the organizing of the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, he served in various capacities, including assistant pastor, choir director, and Church School superintendent.

In November of 1969, Bishop Floyd was unanimously elected pastor of New Jerusalem, succeeding his grandfather. Considered one of the founding fathers of total Bible preaching and flowing in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, he changed the name of the church to the New Jerusalem Full Gospel Baptist Church in January, 1991. In October 1993, he was consecrated as the 2nd Presiding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship by Bishop Paul S. Morton.

Bishop Floyd oversaw several construction projects, including the NJFGBC Church Campus in 1994, the Rev. L.W.& Ella Owens Educational Center, Operation Blessing, and Community Outreach for Family and Youth (C.O.F.Y.)in 2003, making him the pastor of the largest worship complex in Genesee County.

A noted singer, Bishop Floyd was featured on several recordings, including “Revelation 19:1”, Look Where He Brought Me From”, “Show Me The Way”, “Do You Know Him”, and “The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow”. He is also featured on the Grammy-nominated release of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Mass Choir, “A New Thing—Experience the Fullness.”

The consummate community leader, Bishop Floyd served in numerous areas and received countless awards and accolades including:

2nd Presiding Bishop Emeritus, Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship
Vice-President and Board Member—Concerned Pastors for Social Action
Board Member-Visually Impaired Center
Board Member-New Horizons Realty, Inc.
Past President- The Baptist Assembly of Free Spirit Churches
Past Youth Director- Great Lakes District Congress of Christian Education
N.A.R.A.S. Best Soul Gospel Performance Nominee (Grammy)
Soul Train Award Nominee
Gospel Music Workshop of America Excellence Award Nominee
Past President-Community Outreach for Family and Past President-Community Outreach for Family and Youth
Past Board Member – Flint Bishop Airport Authority Board

On November 28, 2011, after 42 years of leadership, Bishop Odis A. Floyd transitioned from this life to life everlasting. Although his presence is greatly missed, we have this confidence in knowing that although he is absent from this body, he is present with the Lord.

“I Want My Lord To Say Well Done” (1971) Dr. C. J. Johnson



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This is track 11 from the 1971 album “Have Mercy On Me”. Recorded live at the Rocky Mount Bethel Baptist Church in Luthersville, Georgia.
Dr. Claude Joseph Johnson, pastor, composer, church founder and recording artist was born on May 16, 1913, in Douglasville, Georgia. His father, William Johnson, was a well-known teacher and leader of shape-note hymn singing. His grandmother, Sarah Johnson, was a famous singer of lining-out hymns and spirituals. At the age of 3, the Johnson family moved to Atlanta, where he was raised by his grandmother. At the age of five, Claude led his first shape-note song, “The Prodigal Son,” while standing on a table in front of his church. Five years later, he gave his first trial sermon and was ordained as a minister in the Missionary Baptist Church. He was known as “the boy preacher from Atlanta,” and began his first full-time pastorate at the age of 12.

In 1939, Johnson became determined to complete his education, and over the next 20 years he studied formally for the ministry at the Morehouse School of Religion, the American Theological Seminary, and the Carver Bible Institute. He earned his B.D., B.Th., and D.D. degrees.

In 1965, Johnson started recording his religious music for the Savoy label, featuring himself singing unaccompanied hymns and country spirituals, sometimes joined by his congregation. All of his more than 20 records were produced in his church rather than in a recording studio. In 1970, his recording “I Wanna Go Where Jesus Is” was immensely popular and was a gold-selling record. He was a 1987 recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship, awarded annually to the nation’s most distinguished traditional artists by the National Endowment for the Arts. He is also the founding pastor of the St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church.

Dr. Johnson’s singing embodied a rural styling, marked by a flexible use of every possible expressive effect, from growls to cries. Although he did not use instrumental accompaniment, he had a complex relationship with the accompanying chorus/congregation that is reminiscent of the older black spiritual style. Normally referred to as “lining out,” this style began during slavery when hymnbooks were not available and literacy was punished. Hymns were therefore “dictated,” sung a line at a time by a lead singer, with the congregation often echoing the lead voice in a call-and-response pattern that originated in Africa. Over the centuries, the effects have become subtler, with the lead voice and congregation overlapping, supporting, and decorating the elongated hymn tunes until an extraordinary effect, sometimes called “surge singing,” has been achieved. When Johnson led his congregation, his sure and supple voice encouraged and led the other singers, adding passion and conviction. Dr. Johnson died on July 20, 1990.

“I’ve Got A Telephone” (1983) Lannie Spann McBride & Greater Fairview Young Adult Choir



Views:4718|Rating:4.71|View Time:3:29Minutes|Likes:33|Dislikes:2
This is track 1 from the 1983 album entitled “Humble”.
Lead by Lannie Spann McBride
Written by Kaye Lawrence Dunham
The founder and CEO of “F & S Music KC Publishing LLC”, Lannie is a multifaceted woman in the body of Christ. Located in Jackson, Mississippi, she ministers a message of hope to all in her presence.

Lannie has served as Minister of Music for the Greater Fairview Church for over 50 years. She has also completed 30 years in public and private school instruction. She later joined the faculty at Jackson State University as a visiting lecturer in music education. Her emphasis of instruction included: Music in the Elementary Schools, Music in the Secondary Schools, Music for Children, and Applied Secondary Piano. After 7 years at Jackson State University, Lannie is now resourced into the faith and school communities as an independent instructional educator, music consultant, motivational speaker, and solo Gospel artist. Her membership with the Mississippi Arts Commission provides her as a supplier in varied grant opportunities for churches and schools.

As the Lord leads, Lannie travels periodically throughout the year ministering as speaker, worship leader, music clinician, and academic consultant in neighboring cities and states. Her international ministry includes, tours in Spain, Jamaica, and the Bahamas.

Through the creative compositions of Lannie Spann McBride, the world of music has been blessed with anointed recordings, music books, and an abundance of sheet music for adult and children choirs. The Lord has allowed the same pen that wrote music to write words of power in faith books. These books present nuggets from years of research, study, and teachings orchestrated by the power of the Holy Spirit. The passion of her own experiences with hurt, despair, triumph, and victory can be felt as you discover the delivering hand of God upon her life through her work.

Lannie can be seen and/or heard on previously recorded Bobby Jones Gospel Programs, varied recordings, and the motion picture, “Mississippi Burning”, directed by Allan Parker and produced by Robert Colesberry.

From Pre K to college and church to community, Lannie has empowered and strengthened many. She gives God the glory for moments when she knew He intervened and magnified the faith, academic, and holistic learning of her listeners. She has a simple formula for instruction, love your listeners enough to be prepared, creative, and patient.

“Treat Lazarus Right” (Sermon)(1970) Bishop J. O. Patterson Sr.



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This is track 3 and 4 from the 1970 Convention album “Treat Lazarus Right”. This message was recorded at the Official Day Service of the 1970 Church of God in Christ Holy Convocation which was held at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee.
Bishop James Oglethorpe Patterson Sr. (born July 12, 1912-died December 29, 1989) was Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ for over two decades from 1968 until his death in 1989. He was the father of the now deceased COGIC bishop and Chairman of its General Assembly, Bishop J.O. Patterson, Jr. (1935-2011) and was the first elected Presiding Bishop. He was also the uncle of the Late Presiding Bishop Gilbert E. Patterson.
Bishop Patterson was born in Mississippi in 1912. He and his family joined the Church of God in Christ then under Bishop C.H. Mason when he was a youngster. In the 1930’s, as he grew older, his favor with the leaders of the COGIC increased, and according to them, his favor with God also increased. He also married Mother Deborah Indiana Mason-Patterson in 1935 and had 2 children (J.O. Patterson, Jr. and Janet Laverne Patterson-Wheeler). In 1939, he opened J.O. Patterson Funeral Home (ln 1986, changed to J.O. Patterson Mortuary). He was ordained a minister in the COGIC in the 1940s, under Bishop Mason. He was ordained a bishop in the COGIC in the 1950s. In 1961, when Bishop Mason died, Bishop O.T. Jones, Sr., who succeeded Bishop Mason as the Senior Bishop of the COGIC, organized an executive “General Board,” and appointed Bishop J.O. Patterson,Sr. as the assistant leader of the Board. In 1968, after being the Senior Bishop for seven years, BIshop Jones resigned from the office of Senior Bishop due to controversy from the conflict over his tenure as the Senior Bishop. Bishop J.O. Patterson immediately stepped in and became the interim senior bishop. The General Board met in 1968 and organized a General Assembly of all the bishops of the COGIC. The General Assembly voted to create a new office to replace the office of senior bishop. They called this new and ultimately more “powerful” office, “The Office of the Presiding Bishop of the Churches of God in Christ, Incorporated.” The General Assembly, and the millions of members of the COGIC then voted that Bishop Patterson should take the office of Presiding Bishop. After being elected as the first “Presiding Bishop” of the COGIC denomination, he immediately began starting COGIC Christian missions to bring the COGIC to countries outside of the U.S. During his tenure as Presiding Bishop, Bishop Patterson had built and organized COGIC churches in over 44 foreign countries and organized many jurisdictions in those foreign countries. Under his leadership, he appointed over 100 Bishops to lead the COGIC along with him and the General Board of the church. He also founded the COGIC International C.H. Mason Memorial Choir, to serve as the official mass choir of the denomination. He appointed Dr. Mattie Moss Clark as the head director of the choir and as the head president of the church’s music department. In the 1970s and 1980s he appointed Bishops Otha Miema Kelly, F D Wasington, Louis H. Ford and Chandler D. Owens as his Assistant Presiding Bishops (Ford and Owens later became Presiding Bishops in succession) – they served in their respective positions at different periods.

Bishop Patterson was diagnosed in April of 1988 with pancreatic cancer. As his health declined and as his condition got worse in 1989, Bishop Patterson retired from the Office of Presiding Bishop and Bishop L.H. Ford became the acting Presiding Bishop with Bishop Patterson remaining as the honoured elected Presiding Bishop until his death. He finally died on December 29, 1989 at the William F. Bowld Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. His funeral was held at the magnificent Mason Temple COGIC in Memphis, Tennessee in January of 1990. Nearly 10,000 people attended the funeral. The hymn of comfort that was sang at the funeral was “Oh I Want to See Him and Look Upon His Face.” Many famous Gospel singers sang songs of tribute to Bishop Patterson and songs of comfort to the Patterson family. Among the many famous Gospel singers that sung at the funeral were Karen Clark Sheard, Twinkie Clark, Mattie Moss Clark and Vanessa Bell Armstrong. The funeral was attended by a Catholic Cardinal-Bishop who was sent by the Catholic leaders in Vatican City to represent Pope John Paul II. The eulogy was delivered by his successor Bishop Louis Henry Ford (who was elevated to the Office of Presiding Bishop by the General Assembly in early 1990), who urged the people of the COGIC to return to “basic holiness in God.” Bishop J.O. Patterson, Sr. was buried at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Shelby County, Tennessee.

“Walking With The King” (1986) Smokie Norful (10 years old)



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This is track 3 from the 1986 album “Live In Concert”.
Born Willie Ray Norful Jr. in Little Rock, Arkansas on October 31, 1975, to the Rev. W. R. Norful and Teresa Norful, he is the oldest of three boys. Like so many other African-American gospel singers, he found church to be a nurturing environment in which his musical skills could be honed. At a 2012 taping of the TBN flagship program, Praise The Lord, he joked before a studio audience about growing up as a “P. K.” (preacher’s kid) and expressed gratitude for his minister father and no-nonsense mother. He remarked, “Most of the family sermons came from the other end of her belt.”

Having spent his earliest years in Muskogee and Tulsa, Oklahoma, Norful relocated with his family to Pine Bluff, Arkansas where he attended junior high and high school. Earning a bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, he also prepared for the ministry by attending Trinity International Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois, and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, earning a Master of Divinity degree. Thereafter, he taught history for several years at the schools of his youth, Jack Robey Junior High School and Pine Bluff High School, before securing a position at Evanston Township High School in Illinois.

While in Arkansas, he served as educational director for the Pine Bluff Housing Authority’s after-school program, historian for the National Park Service, and congressional aide for the Fourth Congressional District. In Pine Bluff, he was also ordained a church elder and became a licensed minister in 1997. Serving as minister of music, youth pastor, and associate pastor under his father at Pine Bluff’s St. John African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, he was heavily involved in ministry by the time he launched his music career.

His debut album, I Need You Now (2002), received gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The title track, enhanced by his mastery of the piano, became the song for which he is perhaps best known. Another gold record, Nothing without You(2004), garnered the Grammy Award for Contemporary Soul Gospel Album of the Year. Other albums have included: Life Changing (2006); Smokie Norful Live (2009), which features Tony Award winner Heather Headley on “Jesus Is Love”; How I Got Over: Songs That Carried Us(2011), a project on which Norful returned to his traditional gospel roots by recording with the Twelfth District AME Mass Choir and gospel veterans Melvin Williams, Myron Butler, and Sheri Jones-Moffett, as well as his greatest musical influence, Vanessa Bell Armstrong; and Once in a Lifetime (2012), an album that includes his popular compositions “No One Else,” “Justified,” and “God Is Able.” He won his second Grammy in 2015 for “No Greater Love” in the Best Gospel Performance/Song category. In addition, he has won multiple Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association as well as several Stellar Awards. He has also been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, a Soul Train Award, and two BET awards for gospel music.

He now resides in the Chicago area, where he ministers at Victory Cathedral Worship Center, the church he founded in Bolingbrook, Illinois, and its satellite location on Chicago’s South Side. He also serves on the Board of Regents for Trinity International University. With his wife, Carla, he has two sons and an adopted daughter. He and his wife are entrepreneurs, with business interests in real estate, entertainment, and publishing.

“Got 2 Tell It” (1991) Oscar Hayes & Abundant Life Fellowship



Views:9708|Rating:4.88|View Time:6:40Minutes|Likes:119|Dislikes:3
This is track 4 from the 1991 album “Got To Tell It”.
Lead by Darius Twyman
Written by Darius Twyman and Oscar Hayes
Oscar Hayes was born October 12, 1967, in Detroit Michigan to Ms. June Hayes. Oscar grew up on the fast track. Living on the north-end exposed him to the streets at an early age. The tragedy of losing his best friend to gun violence and coming close to death himself slowed him down. Hayes was captivated by Gospel legend, Marvin Winans. One night at a gospel concert, young Hayes gave his life to Christ. Although he had never had any formal training, he asked God for the gift of music, and the world benefited from his entreaty. In 1988, Hayes formed a group comprised of young singers mostly from the ghetto from whence he came: history began. Since that time, Oscar became a driving force in Gospel Music.

In 1990, John P. Kee took note of this young music talent, and demanded a recording contract from Tyscot Records. This recording introduced Hayes to a new world. Hayes’ first recording, “Got 2 Tell It,” placed him immediately among the cream of the crop of Gospel Music. His sophomore project, “Simply Determined” won him the G.M.W.A. Best New Artist of the Year Award, both locally & nationally and again he charted on Billboard for more than thirteen weeks. Oscar then recorded his next project, “Another Level” independently with the Charisma Music Group. The world supported his efforts with great numbers and once again he charted with Billboard. Hayes’ 4th Project, “Live in New Orleans” was recorded with Westbound Records in 2000. Hayes remained on Billboard Charts for 28 weeks and received various awards for his work.

He performed with such notable personalities as: Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Benny Hinn Crusades, Shirley Caesar; Aretha Franklin, Kirk Franklin, Donald Lawrence, Hezekiah Walker, Fred Hammond and was a regular guest on the Dr. Bobby Jones B.E.T. gospel television show. Oscar has written songs for the legendary Craig Brothers, Pastor Edgar Vann and Second Ebenezer Mass Choir, the title song for Derrick Milan & Peter’s Rock Mass Choir and was the guest songwriter & director for the National Progressive Baptist Churches of America. Oscar made guest appearances on the following T.V. shows; Singsation, Mo Gospel videos, C.T.N. The Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade and the prestigious World Fair. Internationally, Oscar toured in the Bahamas, Trinidad, Barbados, Canadian Providences, Prague, Russia and Germany.

He held a Bachelors degree from William Tyndale Christian College, Masters and Th.D, from A.P. Clay Christian Seminary (Baton Rouge, LA.). Hayes pastored Nazarene MBC in Detroit. He was the president and founder of ACCO, a community based company, which feeds clothes and educates more than 100 families weekly. He held two keys from the city of New Orleans and more than fifty social and civic awards from Detroit institutions and houses of worship.

Oscar Hayes died on January 19, 2015.

“Testimony/Mercy” (1985) Leomia Boyd



Views:8242|Rating:4.86|View Time:5:45Minutes|Likes:144|Dislikes:4
This is track 5 of the 1985 album “I Am Ready”.
Written by Leomia Boyd
The Gospel Music Makers are Isaac Gillespie, Eddie Graham and Curtis Johnson.
Leomia Boyd was born August 3, 1950 in Aberdeen, MS (Monroe County). She started singing there in Daniel Baptist Church at the age of thirteen.

Some years later, while in in Nashville, Tennessee she met Jimmy Lancaster (owner of One-Stop Records). He was just starting a record label and asked her if she wanted to record. She did, then his label folded and he transferred all of his artists to the Jewel label out of Shreveport, Louisiana. She was with Jewel for two years. She then recorded three albums on the Big D label out of Anderson, Alabama. She then went to Atlanta International Air Records out of Atlanta, Georgia for five years. She then went to Melendo Records out of Jackson, Mississippi for three years.

She was nominated for a Grammy in 1989 for her 1988 album “That’s The Way The Lord Works”. She received several offers to sing Blues, but she turned them all down.

She was married to James Boyd. They have four daughters: Amelia, Danyell, Christy and Misty (twins). She passed away on May 9, 2016 at her home in Aberdeen, MS.