GOSPELflava has been informed of the passing of Minister Henry Hanq Neal as a result of complications after suffering a massive heart attack earlier during the week. Neal is a recognizable fixture in Gospel music circles having performed with, the Pentecostal Ambassadors, Donald Vails’ Choraleers and more notably with the late Rev. James Cleveland and the Gospel Music Workshop of America.
An accomplished singer, songwriter, choir director and musician, Neal relocated to Houston, Texas in 1984 to serve at a small Windsor Village United Methodist Church under Reverend KirbyJohn Caldwell. At the time, the choir began with a modest 25 voices. Under Neal’s tenure, the choir grew from one to five choirs with over 500 active participants. Neal was serving in music ministry at the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston at the time of his passing.
GOSPELflava extends sympathies to JJ Hairston in the loss of his mother, Evangelist Sandra Johnson. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, February 20th at the Mt Sinai Cathedral, 1916 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, NY. Visitation begins at 5 and the service of celebration following at 7 pm
GOSPELflava joins others across the country and the world in remembering the life’s work of Dr. Charles G. Hayes (known as Father Hayes), founder and pastor of Chicago’s Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer who passed away on Wednesday, February 13th. Active in the GOSPEL music ministry for over 50 years, Father Hayes and the choir have travelled extensively throughout the US and abroad proclaiming the good news in song. Funeral services celebrating his life are as follows:
Noted preacher, pastor, singer, disc jockey and businessman Dr. Morgan Babb transitioned from this life on Friday, February 7th at the age of 84. Babb and his brothers united to form the Radio Four in the early 50s recording for Republic and Nashboro Records. He served as lead singer, songwriter and accompanist for the group. Babb would later relocate to Nashville and begin a 50 + year stint as a gospel music disc jockey.
The Gospel community mourns the passing of Dr. Joyce Taylor, lead singer for the famed Institutional Radio Choir. Known for her fiery, evangelistic vocal delivery, Taylor’s voice rang out on a number of Institutional’s hits including I Feel The Spirit Moving, If You Hold Out, Let’s Go to the Top of the Mountain, Behold and Come Over Here to Stay Lord.
Congratulations to model Tish and singer/songwriter/producer Eric Dawkins on the birth of their first child over the holidays. A son, Parker Alexander Dawkins is the new addition for the happy couple who married back in 2012. Parker shares a birthdate with Eric Dawkins’ father. We are both so in love with this baby,” the couple exclaims. “God has truly blessed our lives with Parker Alexander!”
Ten-Time GRAMMY Award Winning Producer Kevin Bond is set to release a tribute single to the late great Nelson Mandela. The Former President of South Africa passed away on Friday December 5th after a long battle with a lung infection. Compelled by the life of this great man, Kevin Bond has composed a personal musical tribute that will be included in the SABC’s home going festivities for the great leader. The single will be played on South African TV and radio stations and is a a rousing uptempo presentation featuring original music by Bond, speech clips by Mandela, and to engage the youth, Kevin’s 16 year old son Alex Bond III is rapping on the single.
GOSPELflava joins others across the country as we pray for Pastor Kim Burrell in the loss of her mother, Helen Graham Spears. Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, December 7 at the Greater Grace Outreach Church in Houston, Texas. Let us continue to keep Pastor Burrell and the family in our thoughts and prayers.
GOSPELflava joins others across the globe mourning the passing of Mother Geneva Gentry at the age of 101. Mother Gentry along with her late husband Joshua were instrumental in the promulgation of Gospel music through their affiliation with Professor Thomas A. Dorsey and the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses. In the early 40s, the Gentrys organized When Singers Meet, a yearly music festival (still in existence) in St. Louis, Missouri introducing various up and coming gospel singers and musicians. Joshua Gentry succeeded Professor Dorsey as President of NCGCC and served until his passing in 1990. Mother Gentry served as the coordinator for the consecration service for many years and was featured in the acclaimed documentary, Say Amen Somebody. Their daughter, Marabeth Gentry now serves as the first woman president of the 80 year old organization.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 19th at the Christ Southern Mission Baptist Church in St. Louis.
Watch a clip of Mother Gentry leading the NCGCC consecration Service from Say Amen Somebody here