REVIEWS

Deyontay & Nu Direction art work

“Praise You” – Deyontay & Nu Direction

“Praise You”
Deyontay & Nu Direction (2022)
Available at Apple Music

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Deyontay & Nu Direction art work

Deyontay & Nu Direction, true to their name, take Maurette Brown Clark’s “I Just Want to Praise You” in a new direction, driving the praise and worship song up the quartet highway.

Their rendition of “Praise You,” written by Troy Felder, starts modestly – just a lead guitar, clap track, and harmonious vocals. Keys and auxiliary elements enhance the track as it cruises along. Deyontay & Nu Direction finesse “Praise You” while maintaining the melodic structure of Clark’s version at the “blessings and glory” turn. Once the group approaches the run, the song is a full-on drive.

Deyontay & Nu Direction meld the styles of praise and worship and quartet to present “Praise You” as a tasteful remix.

Zak Williams & 1/Akord art work

“Jesus I’ll Never Forget” – Zak Williams & 1/Akord

“Jesus I’ll Never Forget”
Zak Williams & 1/Akord (October 7, 2022)
Enon Music Group

Zak Williams & 1/Akord art work

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Pretty much any song with the words, “Jesus I’ll never forget” will charge a church atmosphere. Zak Williams & 1/Akord’s “Jesus I’ll Never Forget” featuring Lowell Pye is a banger in both message and delivery.

The song itself, written by Gabriel Sharpe, is reminiscent of the great choir music from the ’90s; and Stellar Award-winning vocalist Lowell Pye is just the powerhouse to take “Jesus I’ll Never Forget” to church, sharing his personal testimony along the way. The high energy of the choir is captured excellently as their enthusiastic, dynamic vocals leap through the speakers.

Zak Williams & 1/Akord, torchbearers of the “Philly choir” sound, are planning to release an album in 2023, from which “Jesus I’ll Never Forget” is the single.

NEWS

Dr. Earl Bynum seated at piano

Dr. Earl Bynum walks away from horrifying car crash

Dr. Earl Bynum seated at piano

Chesapeake, VA  —  Dr. Earl Bynum is a Stellar award-winning singer, songwriter, and choir director who has a syndicated radio show, “On Stage With Earl Bynum” and a new television show of the same name.  He wears many hats as a record label executive of Lrae Entertainment and the Executive Director of Music, Worship, and Arts at The Mount in Chesapeake, VA.  But we sometimes forget that high-profile individuals like Dr. Bynum also go through life daily as we all do.  With that comes tests and trials, journeys with family and friends, and private moments that can instantly change our lives. Dr. Bynum’s life was almost tragically changed in the blink of an eye last week while driving on a Virginia highway.  

Dr. Bynum shares the account of this terrible car accident that could have turned tragic.  

“I was on Interstate 64 in heavy traffic, and a truck pulled out too slowly into the fast traffic. Everyone had to swerve to avoid hitting each other. The car behind me swerved to my right to avoid hitting me, so I couldn’t go to the right or left because of a barrier. The vehicle in front of me came to a complete stop. I had no place to go but to directly crash into the back of the jeep in front of me at high speed.”

Bynum continues, “My entire car nearly folded in half with the hood completely bending in half.  However, surprisingly, no glass broke, nor did my airbag deploy.  It was as if the heavenly Father lifted me and covered me at that moment.” 

Bynum was able to get out of his car and walk around without any injury whatsoever. Miraculously, no other person involved in the horrifying crash suffered any harm. Bynum’s vehicle suffered extensive damage, but God completely protected him.

We often take for granted small things like driving a car and arriving at our destination safely. For Dr. Bynum, this commute is a miracle to share. He offers this as a testimony and proof to those who may question God’s hand of protection for us and His presence among us.  

Dr. Bynum encourages us to remember that “He Is JEHOVAH NISSI – He protected the Israelites, He protected David, He protected ME, and He will protect You!”

Maverick City Music is nominated for five Grammys

2023 GRAMMY Nominees in Gospel/CCM

Nominees for the 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards, were announced today, November 15, and here are artists who received nominations in the Gospel/CCM categories.

Best Gospel Performance/Song

DOE - "When I Pray" cover art
  • “Positive”
    Erica Campbell; Erica Campbell, Warryn Campbell & Juan Winans, songwriters
  • “When I Pray”
    DOE; Dominique Jones & Dewitt Jones, songwriters
  • “Kingdom”
    Maverick City Music & Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, Jonathan Jay, Chandler Moore & Jacob Poole, songwriters
  • “The Better Benediction”
    PJ Morton Featuring Zacardi Cortez, Gene Moore, Samoht, Tim Rogers & Darrel Walls; PJ Morton, songwriter
  • “Get Up”
    Tye Tribbett; Brandon Jones, Christopher Michael Stevens, Thaddaeus Tribbett & Tye Tribbett, songwriters

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

  • “God Really Loves Us (Radio Version)”
    Crowder Featuring Dante Bowe and Maverick City Music; Dante Bowe, David Crowder, Ben Glover & Jeff Sojka, songwriters
  • “So Good”
    DOE; Chuck Butler, Dominique Jones & Ethan Hulse, songwriters
  • “For God Is With Us”
    for KING & COUNTRY & Hillary Scott; Josh Kerr, Jordan Reynolds, Joel Smallbone & Luke Smallbone, songwriters
  • “Fear Is Not My Future”
    Maverick City Music & Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, Nicole Hannel, Jonathan Jay, Brandon Lake & Hannah Shackelford, songwriters
  • “Holy Forever”
    Chris Tomlin; Jason Ingram, Brian Johnson, Jenn Johnson, Chris Tomlin & Phil Wickham, songwriters
  • “Hymn Of Heaven (Radio Version)”
    Phil Wickham; Chris Davenport, Bill Johnson, Brian Johnson & Phil Wickham, songwriters
Maverick City Music cover art

Best Gospel Album

  • Die To Live
    Maranda Curtis
  • Breakthrough: The Exodus (Live)
    Ricky Dillard
  • Clarity
    DOE
  • One Deluxe
    Maverick City Music & Kirk Franklin
  • All Things New
    Tye Tribbett

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album

  • Lion
    Elevation Worship
  • Breathe
    Maverick City Music
  • Life After Death
    TobyMac
  • Always
    Chris Tomlin
  • My Jesus
    Anne Wilson
TSU cover art

Best Roots Gospel Album

  • Let’s Just Praise The Lord
    Gaither Vocal Band
  • Confessio – Irish American Roots
    Keith & Kristyn Getty
  • The Willie Nelson Family
    Willie Nelson
  • 2:22
    Karen Peck & New River
  • The Urban Hymnal
    Tennessee State University Marching Band

The Blind Boys of Alabama also earned another GRAMMY nomination this year in the Best Americana Performance category. The legendary group is nominated for their performance of “The Message,” featuring Black Violin.

Check out the list of nominees in all categories here. The GRAMMYs are set to air live Sunday, February 5, on CBS and stream live on-demand on Paramount+ at 8 pm ET.

INTERVIEWS

Pastor Nell Smith Ward

Pastor Nell Smith Ward talks ministry, new music, and the regimen that keeps her going

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Pastor Nell Smith Ward

Pastor Nell Smith Ward has been preaching since the tender age of three and singing nearly as long. From then til now, “Little Nell,” as she is better known, has graced platforms with numerous notables including Pastor Shirley Caesar, Dr. Bobby Jones, Beverly Crawford, and Dr. Maya Angelou. In 2018, she took social media by storm when Facebook footage of her wedding serenade (Jason Nelson’s “Forever”) to husband Bishop Timothy Ward went viral. As of April 2022, the video is at 733,000 views and counting.

From humble beginnings as the young preaching machine and singer-musician who served at Miracle Center Holiness Church, founded by her mother Overseer Cora Smith, God birthed Living Waters Christian Church (presently based in Zebulon, NC) in 2000. She remains the pastor alongside her husband. In our GMF Q&A, Pastor Ward chats about the early days of her ministry, her new music project, and how she brings balance into her life in the midst of ongoing demands.

Describe Pastor Nell Smith Ward in three words.

Passionate, fair, loving.

You started preaching when you were three and ran your first revival at age six. I’m sure many people were fascinated to hear about you. Do you remember what that first revival experience was like for you and possibly for those who attended? 

Yes, I remember my first revival. It was in Henderson, NC at the Jesus House of Prayer. They had to build a stool for me to stand on top of for the people to see me. People would come from miles around to hear me. My mom, Overseer Cora Smith, was there, as well as Sister Doris Busby, Donald Morgan, and Julia Johnson, my aunt. I was a sweet little girl who wanted to pray for everyone. The people were excited to see a child used by God. The churches were packed from wall to wall. I wasn’t afraid or shy. I knew my calling even back then. 

When and how did you recognize singing to be a part of your ministry?

At the age of eight. I remember when my dad came home from work and he said, “Nell, I leave for work [and] you’re singing. I come home, you’re singing.” I knew I had a gift right then and there.

Tell us all about your latest project, It’s Your Time.

This is a 20-year project in the making. I started this journey over 20 years ago. It wasn’t easy. I kept on preaching and singing and pastoring Living Waters. Yes, I had to wait on the Lord – wait on his timing – and now it’s my time! 

That’s certainly a fitting album title for your journey. What is your favorite track on the new album?

“Holy Ghost”! [And it’s] because I see how the power of God changed my life and it changes the lives of so many people. I love every song on the album. WOW! This is a hard choice.

Speaking of “Holy Ghost,” you reached back and got that classic from Rev. Milton Brunson and The Thompson Community Singers’ There Is Hope album. Why did you decide to make it part of yours?

When I was praying about the songs for the album, I started thinking about a place and time in my life. Childhood times came back to my memory. Hanging out with my cousin Darrell Johnson, he would play Rev. Milton Brunson’s music. We would listen to the album over and over again. It was a happy place in my life, so that’s why I chose that song. 

Don’t say it’s an unfair question (smile), but between singing and preaching, which is your favorite to do?

Preaching is, but singing is too. I can’t choose. They go hand-in-hand with my type of ministry.

You’ve been doing both practically all your life. In a time when we see pastors, preachers, and others in ministry experiencing burnout, what, in addition to your relationship with God, keeps you going?

Prayer keeps me going; having faith and trust in God. I’ve learned to live my life being dependent on Jesus! Staying focused on my assignment and saying “no” to some things is one way to keep your sanity as well. You can’t be everything to all people. Let God be God, and you’ll get through it.

______________________________

Pastor Ward wants you to know the single “Holy Ghost” is available on all major digital platforms.

James Dxon

James Dixon to host annual birthday musical – April 3

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

James Dixon

This is the time of year James Dixon looks forward to, and it’s not just because of college basketball’s March Madness and the fact that he’s a diehard Duke fan. James, a lover and loyal supporter of gospel music, has a special day coming up. The radio announcer and former drummer for The Sensational Nightingales uses his birthday to bring family, friends, and great gospel singers together.

Libra: Who is James Dixon?

James: A child of the most High God, a servant of God!

Libra: Let’s go back some years. When did you realize your love for gospel music?

James: You can’t help but love gospel music when you’re born into a gospel music family. My mom and my aunts had a group; and my brothers, my two cousins, my uncle and myself had a group. If we weren’t singing anywhere, me and my mom were going to a quartet program.

Libra: How did you get started with the Sensational Nightingales and what was that experience like? Is there a concert moment or conversation etched in your mind from the time spent with The Gales?

James: I got started with The Sensational Nightingales in 1997. The Sensational Nightingales performed a charity concert with Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers in Charlotte. That’s a concert moment I won’t ever forget.

Libra: You’re a radio host as well. Tell us about Church Time Radio Show and the kind of gospel music that grabs your attention.

James: Yes, I’m a radio host. Well, I got started with Church Time Radio Show in 2020, [and] quartet music, well, good gospel music [is what grabs my attention].

_______________________

James’ birthday musical has become an annual tradition. This year, it is set for Sunday, April 3, at 3 PM. The celebration takes place at the Mebane Arts Community Center in Mebane, NC. Admission is $10 for persons 13 and above.

James Dixon 46th birthday musical flyer
Singer-songwriter Tevis Harris

Tevis Harris on his full circle experience, his ‘sound,’ and the courage to ‘begin again’

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Gospel artist Tevis Harris could be called a hope dealer. Just take a look at his song and album titles. In 2019, he released his first single, “Fight,” which features a group of friends and family that go by the name faVor. The independent release was followed in 2021 by his album Keep Winning, a compilation of praise and worship, contemporary, and urban gospel music for multiple generations of listeners. Then, in late 2021, the Rocky Mount, NC-based singer-songwriter released the Christmas single, “Hope is Alive.” 

Singer-Songwriter Tevis Harris

But Harris is not only a singer-songwriter and conveyor of messages of hope. He’s also a worship leader, director, and producer whose musical giftedness became apparent as a young boy in the church choir. Through the years, Harris has provided backing vocals in musical productions and for other artists; even so, you can still find him in his hometown, singing and serving in ministry. You can also find him collaborating with hometown friends Luther Barnes (“Victory”) and Wanda Barnes (“Begin Again”) of gospel’s legendary Barnes family. 

In our GMF Q&A, Harris talks about his experiences working alongside the Barnes family, the crafting of his signature sound, and, of course, he gives us a dose of hope from his songwriting catalog.

You are from Rocky Mount, NC, which is also the home of gospel’s renowned Barnes Family. How has your music ministry intertwined with theirs?

I was 13 years old when I first began singing with the Barnes Family. I was 18 when I started singing with F.C. Barnes & Company. For years I developed my gift through the mentorship of both Bishop F.C. Barnes and Pastor Luther Barnes. I also sang background for Deborah Barnes. I currently still sing background for Pastor Luther Barnes and the Restoration Gospel Choir. My sound, style, and musicianship have a foundation that was built from my time singing and being with the Barnes Family. And now, they sing with me. Wanda Barnes is featured on a song, Pastor Luther is featured on a song, and Pastor Luther’s daughter, Bonita, is also featured on a song on my album. Everything has come full circle.

You started singing in the choir as a young boy and realized you were musically gifted. What was the moment that affirmed this for you?

Yes, I started singing at a very early age and it was affirmed at a very early age that I was musically gifted at Mount Olive Baptist Church. I started directing the choir and leading songs. I learned to play the piano and when the church pianist was absent, I was called upon to play. I was just a young boy when my musical giftedness was affirmed.

Tell GMF about your latest music.

My single “Hope Is Alive” recently debuted in November 2021. It is an amazing song that opens with Handel’s “For unto us a child is born.” It ends with an intense musical proclamation for a life full of hope, joy, peace, and bliss because of Jesus. In the spring of 2022, I will release my newest single, “It Will Work Out.”

You write, produce, direct, and sing. How would you describe the Tevis Harris sound?

The Tevis Harris sound is inspired by Luther Barnes, Anthony Brown, Kirk Franklin, and James Fortune. I absolutely love and appreciate their giftedness and approach to music. Anthony Brown is definitely my favorite. The classical touch that he adds to his music production is incredible.

Take a title or lyric from your catalog and share a word of inspiration with the GMF audience.

I want to remind each of us that no matter where you find yourself in life, no matter the past mistakes or failures or poor choices, with God, you can begin again. Life is going to throw us curve balls and we will find ourselves in some of the most difficult and dark places and spaces; some from no fault of our own. Yet most will be because we’ve messed up and have fallen short. BUT we can begin again. This song (“Begin Again” from the album Keep Winning) was birthed out of the experience of having to begin again. 

Since I’ve written “Begin Again,” I’ve realized that the Bible is simply a compilation of stories that share begin again moments and experiences. These moments are filled with people living in their humanism, just like you and me, receiving opportunity after opportunity to begin again. God gives grace and pushes hope on us through His son Jesus Christ and in the word of God that encourages us to live in the freedom of new beginnings. He’s not expecting us to be perfect; yet when we fall, get up, dust yourself off, get better, begin again, and do better. New beginnings are just a part of life and a part of how God has instructed and constructed us to live.

Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness.” We are going to fall and make mistakes, sin, mess up, fall short of the glory, and make poor choices; but God doesn’t want us to stay there in the mess. He gives us the opportunity and wants us to begin again. He wants us to repent for Him to only pour his forgiveness and love all over us. You can begin again!

IN MEMORIAM

Sheila Wilson

Singer/Evangelist Sheila Wilson, mother of Bryan Andrew Wilson, has died

Media Release – Sheila Wilson, a worship leader who had recorded with her gospel star son Bryan Andrew Wilson, passed away November 9, 2022, at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA. She was battling stage 4 cancer when she suffered a cardiac arrest. She was 65 years old.

Sheila Wilson was born May 25, 1957, in Danville, IL. Her father Tommy Davis was a quartet singer who grew up with B.B. King in the Mississippi delta. Her mother, Clair Bell Davis, was also a singer, so their household was full of music and church. Although she aspired to become a schoolteacher, music was Wilson’s early calling. In her teens, she began directing church choirs, and in the 1980s she became a singer with the R&B band, W.Q.B.C. They toured throughout the decade and released one LP, Wanna Quit But Can’t, for Thunderbay Records in 1985. It featured the radio single, “Love Me Anyway,” which reached the Top Ten on various R&B radio playlists throughout the south.  

When Wilson’s 10 year-old son Bryan Wilson secured a record deal with Malaco Records in the 1990s and scored radio hits such as “His Eye is on the Sparrow” (with the Mississippi Children’s Choir), she initially managed his career before she returned to work in the insurance and education fields.

In 2005, Wilson became an ordained minister and continued to coach choirs in both Danville, IL, and Toledo, OH. In that period, she co-wrote a ballad entitled, “Secret Place,” with her son, Bryan. They recorded it as a duet for his 2007 album, A Second Coming. The song became popular on gospel radio stations, particularly in the south. It was later reissued on bestselling compilations such as Shanachie Records’ A Praise and Worship Celebration in 2007 and Time Life Music’s Encouraged: Today’s Greatest Gospel Anthems in 2011. In 2017, Wilson stepped into the spotlight with the song “Just Fine” on her son’s Bryan’s Songs recording label.

Wilson graduated from Danville High School in 1974. Years later, she returned to school in the 2010s. She earned an associate’s degree in early childhood education from Davis College and a B.S. in social work from Spring Arbor University. She moved to Atlanta circa 2018 and had recently been working in the music department and overall ministry at Freedom of Atlanta church.

Wilson, who was divorced, is survived by her three sons: Aaron Wilson, Bryan Wilson, and Chris Wilson, who is known as Official Apxllo on the urban music scene. She is also survived by daughters-in-love Tiffany Morriar Wilson and Amy Vogel, several grandchildren, and extended family. Contributions may be sent to $freedombaw and resolutions to [email protected].

Keith 'Wonderboy' Johnson dies at 50

Keith ‘Wonderboy’ Johnson dies suddenly at 50

Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson is dead at 50

September 30, 2022 – One of the current kings of gospel quartet music, Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson, has died suddenly at the age of 50. Johnson was found dead in his Atlanta, GA home this morning. An autopsy is scheduled. Johnson was known for big gospel radio hits such as “Let Go and Let God Have His Way,” “Be Right,” and “Hide Behind the Mountain.”

“I’m in total disbelief,” says Black Smoke Music Worldwide founder Kerry Douglas, who first discovered Johnson when he was performing at the American Gospel Quartet Convention in Birmingham, AL in the late 1990s. “I saw Keith perform there and I was just taken by how he moved the audience,” Douglas recalls. “He was an electrifying performer. He was the second act I ever signed, and he was my first signing to become a major artist. We used to sell CDs and The Gospel Truth magazines out of the trunks of our cars. We sold over 10,000 copies back in the day. Keith was like a brother. I was there when his first child was born. We fussed and fought with each other since we met, but that relationship built this company. A lot of the big artists today stand on Keith’s shoulders because of those sacrifices we both made in those early days. Keith began his career with Black Smoke and ended with Black Smoke.”

Johnson was born Keith Lamar Johnson on May 17, 1972, in Brooklyn, NY.  When he was five years old, Johnson’s family started calling him “Wonderboy” for his wonderous musical talents. As a teenager, he enjoyed going to Harlem’s Apollo Theater to see great gospel acts such as John P. Kee and the Rev. James Cleveland. During his teens, he sang with the Boys Choir of Harlem and with his father’s quartet group,  The Spiritual Voices.

Johnson’s first Black Smoke Music Worldwide hit was 1998’s “Hide Behind the Mountain,” a rootsy a cappella track with a steady drumbeat. Then came other hits such as the massive “Be Right,” “Send A Revival,” “I’ll Fly Away,” and “I’ve Got a Feeling,” which showcased the singer’s gravelly tenor. In 2004, he moved on to RCA-owned Verity Records  where he released two albums and scored his biggest hit of all, “Let Go and Let God.” Over the years, Johnson’s bouncy rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” has become an annual favorite on gospel radio stations.

After one-off albums with Malaco Records and Motown Gospel, Johnson scored a production deal with SRT Entertainment which released his album, Keep Pushin’, through a distribution deal with Shanachie Records. “I am saddened to hear of the passing of Keith ‘Wonderboy’ Johnson,” says Shanachie General Manager, Randall Grass. “I first heard his song ‘Let Go and Let God’ around 20 years ago and was immediately impressed; here was an artist injecting the quartet tradition into a contemporary style and it was great. A few years ago, we had the opportunity to release a new album by him which was an equally satisfying melding of traditional and contemporary gospel. His contribution has been great, and he will be missed.”

Homegoing Arrangements flyer for Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson

This past spring, Johnson returned to Black Smoke Worldwide where he released the album, Restructure, Renew & Reunion, which featured the radio single, “It Was You.” Johnson has also acted in touring musicals such as “PMS” and “What A Man Wants, What A Woman Needs.” “He had a bubbly personality,” says Glinda Perkins, Program Director for WXVI in Montgomery, AL. “He was very personable and very serious about music. He was his own best pitchman and even though he had people who worked for him, he was always the best promoter for his music.”

A wake and musical tribute will take place Friday, October 14, 2022, at 6 PM ET, with a homegoing service (funeral) taking place on Friday, October 15, 2022, at 9 AM ET. Both events take place at The Concord Baptist Church of Christ, 833 Gardner C. Taylor Blvd. (Formerly Marcy Avenue) in Brooklyn, NY 11216. Attendees should enter through the red doors on Madison Street. Interment will take place immediately after the Saturday service at The Evergreens Cemetery at 1629 Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, NY 11207. The Evergreens is the resting place of entertainment giants such as tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Jazz musician Lester Young. The service will stream live via YouTube: @ConcordBrooklyn

Johnson is survived by his parents, Susan and Phillip Johnson; a sister, Attorney Sonya Denise Johnson; and two daughters, Brianna Destiny Johnson and Elyse Victoria Johnson.

– From a media release

Nancy Carree Wilson

Pastor Nancy Wilson passes away

Pastor Nancy Carree Wilson

Pastor and singer Nancy Wilson has died, her family announced today. Pastor Wilson was 73 years old.

“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved wife and mother, Pastor Nancy Wilson,” her husband and children announced on social media. “We are thankful to God for the impact she has made on all of our lives through her ministry of singing, preaching and intercession. We are grateful for your prayers, love and encouragement.”

Pastor Wilson, a Greensboro native, was a renowned presence in North Carolina and beyond. Her musical résumé includes recordings with Bishop Larry Trotter & Sweet Holy Spirit, Pastor Debra Morton & the Women of Excellence Choir, Men of Standard (of which her son Isaac Carree is a founding member), and others. In 2004, she released her own project, recorded live at Chicago’s Sweet Holy Spirit Church, entitled, Nancy Wilson – Designed for Worship. Additionally, Pastor Wilson was a host of the long-running weekly television program, “Gospel Expo,” which aired locally on ABC and FOX8 WGHP. In 1994, the songstress and media personality became pastor of Greensboro’s New Beginnings Community Outreach Church.

GMF extends condolences to and prayers for husband Pastor J. Teddy Wilson, children Angela, Kimberly and Isaac, and the entire family.

Pastor Nancy Wilson official death announcement
David "Ready Writa" Felder of the popular gospel group Half Mile Home unexpectedly passed away on July 3rd at the age of 42.

R.I.P. David ‘Ready Writa’ Felder of Half Mile Home

David "Ready Writa" Felder of the popular gospel group Half Mile Home unexpectedly passed away on July 3rd at the age of 42.

David “Ready Writa” Felder of the popular gospel group Half Mile Home unexpectedly passed away on July 3rd at the age of 42. David was a loyal member of the Billboard chart-topping group. He was also a dedicated father of four and known throughout the industry for his talents as a writer, producer, and singer.

With their 2022 return, Half Mile Home’s latest single “Closet” has been trending in the Top 40s for several weeks on the Billboard chart. The message of “Closet” will resonate personally with the remaining group members, Todd Burton and Darryl Brownlee. The song references the prayer closet, where people of faith go into a secret place to pray and cast all their cares over situations that are bigger than them. Once they emerge from the closet they watch their faith work on the issue that was prayed about. The group members will need their closet in the coming days to stay strong and continue their work without David.

Half Mile Home and the family of David Felder request prayers as they go through this difficult time. Services will be announced in the forthcoming days. GMF extends its deepest condolences.

– From a media release