Todd Dulaney & Isabel Davis to host sixth SOAR Awards

ROCKFORD, IL: The Stellar Gospel Music Award winning online radio station, SOAR Radio, has announced the sixth annual SOAR Awards television taping that takes place on Monday, March 6, 2023, at 7 PM at The Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main Street, Rockford, IL. The star-studded program, which will be taped for future television broadcast, will feature performances honoring pioneers from all genres of gospel music. The multi-award-winning recording artists Todd Dulaney and Isabel Davis will serve as co-hosts.

Artist/Producer Donald Lawrence is one of the most celebrated names in the gospel genre with 15 GRAMMY® Award nominations and a win for producing The Clark Sisters’ Live – One Last Time in the category of Best Traditional Gospel Album. As an artist and choir leader, he’s charted with 22 songs, including five Billboard No. 1 hits such as “The Blessing of Abraham” and the RIAA gold-certified track, “Deliver Me (This is My Exodus).” He will receive a Legend Award.

Singer/Actress Kierra Sheard Kelly is one of the most popular artists of the millennial generation with No. 1 hits such as her collaboration with GEI on “Hang On” and her duet of “Something Has to Break” with her mother, Karen Clark Sheard. She also owns the Eleven60 designer clothing line that targets the “professional curvy woman.” Another shining star is Jekalyn Carr who has earned six Billboard No. 1 singles over the last decade with power hits such as “You’re Bigger” and “You Will Win.” Aside from singing, she’s written many of her hit songs such as “Changing Your Story” and “You Will Win.” The enterprising artist also has a line of skincare products and fragrances, Jekalyn Beauty. Kelly and Carr will both receive the Industry Impact Award.

Dr. Holly Carter is the President and CEO of Relevé Entertainment, a multifaceted firm specializing in talent management, brand development, and television/film production. After years of casting actors on shows such as Fresh Prince of Bel Air and 7th Heaven, she founded The Merge Summit in 2009. The annual event is one of the largest education events for people of faith in the entertainment world. Through her company, she created Oxygen’s hit reality series Preachers of LAPreachers of Detroit, and Preachers of Atlanta. She was integral to bringing The Lifetime Channel’s hit film The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel to life. It was the highest rated original movie of 2020 with a 3+ million audience on premiere night and 11+ million debut week streams. She has produced other programs for the OWN Network, BET, and VH1. Dr. Carter is also chair of the Freedom of Spirit, an outreach ministry founded over 35 years ago by her parents Rev. Billy and Mrs. Ruth Watkins to serve the homeless and less fortunate in Los Angeles. She also holds a Doctor of Divinity degree from the Southern California School of Ministry. She will receive the Luminary Award.

This evening will also boast dynamic performances or appearances by a who’s who of mainstream and inspirational music with KeKe Wyatt, Le’Andria Johnson, Bryan Andrew Wilson, The Clark Sisters, Darrel Walls, Kelontae Gavin, Tasha Page Lockhart, Deon Kipping, Aldren McCullar, Otis Kemp, Tim Bowman, SEMAJE, Randy Weston, Jovonta Patton, and others. Phillip Feaster, an accomplished musician, and producer known for his work with Fred Hammond and VaShawn Mitchell, will serve as the music director.  

Tickets are available at or  

Flyer for Sixth SOAR Awards

Hez House Entertainment on the passing of Kevin Lemons

Kevin Lemons official transition announcement

The gospel music community is still reeling from the passing Kevin Lemons. The notable choir director, songwriter, and recording artist’s family announced his passing Saturday morning, January 7, 2023.

Memorial service details are forthcoming.

Hez House Entertainment released an official statement, which includes the sentiments below.

Bishop Hezekiah Walker is heartbroken, saying, “Kevin Lemons was one of the kindest, most humble artists that I know, even though his gift and talents were enormous. His love for God seasoned everything that he did, and his palpable love for people was an extension of that. Kevin Lemons was just a beautiful human being and he will be sorely missed.”

Lemons’ Hez House Entertainment labelmates are also devastated by his sudden passing.

Vincent Bohanan says, “I am in total disbelief concerning the untimely transition of my labelmate Kevin Lemons. Kevin has been a light in the gospel community for many years. His stance, leadership and command over the choir was like none other. There are many things in life we may not understand, but we trust the sovereignty of God. My prayers are with the family and Higher Calling. The gospel choir community will forever remember the life and legacy of Kevin Lemons.”

Mark Hubbard says, “My heart is broken! You were more than just my labelmate. You considered me to be your uncle, and one of the mentors that you grew up listening to in the industry. I (we) will miss you in the physical, but your impact, legacy, and spirit will live on forever in our hearts. My prayers are with Lady T, the family, and Higher Calling. Rest Well, Nephew.”

Patrick Riddick says, “My heart is heavy and full of sadness. From the moment the phone call came in, until now, I have been speechless. Maestro Kevin was our Thomas Whitfield and made up a third of OUR generation’s Brat Pack. Our friendship was so genuine, we would challenge one another musically and share our unfiltered thoughts/critiques of each other in a way that only we could. The brotherhood went beyond music; we held each other accountable and integral. I am going to miss my brother. I am praying for Lady T, Higher Calling and every friend, artist, and colleague who will feel the impact of this loss.”

Kevin Lemons was the founder and director of the extraordinary chorale Higher Calling, which will have been together 27 years this year. Their most recent recording, Third Round, garnered Dove and Stellar Gospel Music Award nominations as well as robust acclaim at radio and on social media. Their breakout single, “For Your Good,” accumulated over 100,000 streams and reached #3 on the Billboard Gospel Digital Sales Chart. Additionally, Lemons served as the vocal director for the celebrated Netflix film, Come Sunday.

“Lemons’ passing is a huge loss for the gospel music industry,” says Bishop Hezekiah Walker. “We are keeping Kevin’s wife of 15 years, Tiunna Lemons, in our heartfelt prayers, along with his family, extended family, members of Higher Calling and all those who knew and loved Kevin Lemons.”

About Kevin Lemons

Kevin Lemons & Higher Calling was founded when Kevin and a group of young singers came together for a special music event created by Kevin’s father, Wilbert Lemons. Kevin’s father was the director of the historic Atlanta Masonic Choir, which was founded by Kevin’s grandmother Annie Ruth Lemons. The group enjoyed singing together so much that they decided to stay together. Kevin Lemons & Higher Calling became a 100-member ensemble with 50 Atlanta-based singers and 50 additional singers from California, Virginia, the DMV area, New York, New Orleans, Texas, North Carolina, Florida and Alabama.

Kevin Lemons & Higher Calling have taken their mesmerizing vocals and energetic performances to stages around the world. They have recorded three albums. Their first album, Destined for Greatness, was released to critical acclaim. Its title track caught the attention of choir maestro Ricky Dillard, who later recorded it with his ensemble New Generation. Their second album, The Declaration, peaked at #10 on Billboard’s Gospel Albums Chart. Their third album, Third Round, was released in 2021 and featured the breakout single “For Your Good.” Kevin Lemons & Higher Calling is a staple in Gospel music, and have performed with Gospel greats including Kirk Franklin, Bebe Winans, Donald Lawrence and Hezekiah Walker. Lemons was vocal director for the celebrated film Come Sunday, and has been the choir director for “How Sweet the Sound” and BET’s Sunday Best.

R.I.P. Romance Watson, formerly of The Roberta Martin Singers

Romance Watson
Romance Watson died December 6, 2022. He is pictured here singing at the funeral of Delois Barrett Campbell in 2011. | Photo by David L. Spearman

Romance Watson, formerly of the Roberta Martin Singers, passed December 6, 2022. He was 92. GMF learned of the passing from Bob Marovich, who shared the news in a social media post.

I had the privilege to meet Mr. Watson in 2011 at the homegoing celebration of Delois Barrett Campbell, also formerly of the Roberta Martin Singers. He delivered a moving performance of “He Looked Beyond My Faults” that ended with a thunderous standing ovation.

In 2012, Watson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers, which shares this biography on its site:

Gospel singer Romance Watson was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 4, 1930 to Laura and Amos Watson. He is the youngest of three siblings. Watson graduated Fuller Elementary and Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago in 1943 and 1950, respectively. In 1949, Watson became a member of the gospel music group the Roberta Martin Singers (RMS), led by its venerable namesake, pianist Roberta Martin. He would go on to perform with the co-ed singing group both nationally and abroad, recording gospel standards such as “Old Ship of Zion” (1949), “Yield Not To Temptation” (1947), “He Knows How Much You Can Bear” (1949), “Only a Look” (1949) and the composition, “The Lord Will Make a Way” (1951) for both the Religious and Apollo Records labels. The Roberta Martin Singers would go on to become one of the pre-eminent Gospel groups of the 1940s and 1950s, known for forsaking traditional gospel harmony for compositions that showcased members’ distinct, individual voices. Additionally, the group performed with giants such as James Cleveland and Mahalia Jackson, among many others.

In 1954, Watson relocated from Chicago to Philadelphia and married Phyllis Hoggard a year later. He continued recording with the Roberta Martin Singers, which was under a recording contract with Savoy Records by 1957. He would appear on the group’s first major hit, 1958’s “God Specializes,” which featured member Gloria Griffin on lead. Watson left the group and recorded soul music for Coral Records, a subsidiary of the hugely popular British record label Decca Records. In 1959, Watson appeared as a guest on the legendary music program American Bandstand. He would leave music altogether in 1961, accepting a job as a bus operator for the Philadelphia Transportation Company, later subsumed by the Southeastern Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

In the 1990’s, Watson reunited with members of the Roberta Martin Singers, participating in tributes to Martin, who passed away in 1969. In 1991, Watson performed with RMS singers in a tribute concert honoring their founder, which was sponsored by the Smithsonian. Watson also performed with revered Gospel musicians such as renowned singer-songwriter Bill Gaither.

Philadelphia Cremation Society has announced that services and interment are private. The Watson family is in our prayers during this emotional time.

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!”

“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.

For Person County’s Torains, singing is a family affair

The Torain Family is presently comprised of third and fourth generation relatives. Victor (far left) is the group’s longest active member.

Sponsored by the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex – Fifty-four years ago, 30-ish year-old Frances Torain formed a singing group with her family that would go on to delight audiences throughout northern Piedmont North Carolina and South-Central Virginia. Now with its fourth generation and a new single on deck, the quartet-styled ensemble known simply as The Torain Family is next up to be featured in concert as part of the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex’s “Gospel In Person” series.

“Gospel In Person” is a multipart celebration of the rich Black gospel music history found in North Carolina’s rural Person County, located in the Piedmont region along Virginia’s border. The schedule of events includes live concert performances and a documentary feature film to round out the series.

A Five-Plus-Decade Family Affair

The Torain Family’s beginnings as a singing aggregation date back to 1968, with its earliest members being Frances Torain and her twin brother Frank, along with their siblings Thomas (also a founding member of the St. Luke Gospel Singers the year before), Catherine, Becky, Barbara, and nephew Victor. The family’s matriarch Myrtle also joined in and remained a part of the singing group for 15 years or so. The early years progressed, bringing in another sibling, Ponzell, and eventually yet another, Nathaniel. 

Presently, The Torain Family lineup is comprised of its third and fourth generation of singers and musicians. With the passing of their beloved founding member and lead singer Frances in 2016, Victor became the group’s longest active member and is also the primary lead singer. Alongside him to spread the gospel message in song are several other relatives including Michelle Torain, Kizzy Torain, Sterling Torain, Antonio Torain, Makiyh Allen, and Franklin Torain, who serves as the music director. Their current single is titled “Over There,” with Kizzy on the lead mic. Before that, they released “The Train,” a single in memory of Frances, whose interpretation of the Meditation Singers’ “Don’t You Want to Go” was an audience favorite (see GMF’s music review).

Known for their rustic, churchy singing style, The Torain Family’s concert performance is sure to be a celebration of gospel as well as a homage to Frances and other family on whose shoulders they stand. The event, presented by the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex in partnership with Just Love In Person community service organization and Gentry Visuals production company, takes place at the Kirby Theater in Roxboro, NC, on Saturday, December 3, 2022, at 6 PM. Tickets can be purchased at

The Torain Family at their 41st anniversary, pictured with their founder, Frances Torain
The Torain Family is pictured at their 41st singing anniversary in 2012. Frances Torain, founding member, is seated second from left. | From the Torain Family Singers Facebook Group

Appearance in Gospel In Person Documentary

In addition to their upcoming concert, The Torain Family’s contributions to Person County’s gospel music landscape are highlighted in the documentary, Gospel In Person, set to premiere in June 2023. According to Michael Gentry, the film’s creator and producer, Gospel In Person “will tell the history of the great musical anointing that has rested upon Person County.”

“I admire all of the groups and individuals I have interviewed for this documentary,” says Gentry, “but the Torain family has a special place in my heart because they are indeed a family. The late Frances Torain started the group with her siblings and her mother. By the names that were mentioned throughout the interview, I count at least eight siblings who were members at some point in time, which by itself is incredible.”

He continues, “The current lineup is made of third- and fourth-generation Torains. But I could not tell who were siblings and who were first or second cousins because they all seemed like brothers and sisters, which was just beautiful to me. Some family members who were not part of the interview were sitting in the kitchen lobbing additional facts over to us in the living room and sharing in the laughter of the many humorous memories. And Aunt Lee, who is married to original lead singer Thomas Torain, was working the stove inside and the grill outside. It felt like Christmas on a Sunday afternoon in September.”

(Video courtesy of Gentry Visuals)

“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.

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
  • 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
  • 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.

DunAmis Gospel Awards 2022: List of Winners

DunAmis Gospel Awards logo

T.L. Young Ministries celebrated its 9th year honoring independent gospel artists and faith-based leaders during a spirited weekend of events, which concluded with the sold-out DunAmis Gospel Awards main show Saturday, November 12, at Cedar Grove Tabernacle of Praise in Greensboro, NC. Yves Mckenzie and Mya Fountain shared hosting duties for the evening.

Christian Anderson was among this year’s winners, picking up the Artist of the Year Award. Gospel Music Fever’s Libra Boyd took home the award for Media Publication of the Year. She also was a presenter for the Producer of the Year Award, which Chris Adams won for the song, “We Are One.”

The program featured performances from Mike Yelverton, Dr. Victoria Hanchell, East Coast Mass Choir, Kingdom Sound, Will Harris & Friends, MillUnz DaGospel, St. Thomas Chapel Mass Choir, David Spencer, Voices of BK, Voices of Life Fellowship Chorale, and Sir’Jerry Sadler & SOP. 

Bishop Myron K. Dawson, Will Harris and Friends, and Apostle Alicia F. Lindsay were among this year’s special honorees, receiving the Humanitarian Award, Bishop John H. Heath Music of Excellence Award, and Trailblazer Award, respectively. Also honored were Bishop Tyrone D. Hunter, recipient of the Doris S. Harbor Pioneer Award; Bishop John C. Parks, recipient of the Living Legend Award; and Apostle Janice Thomas, recipient of the Bishop Jerome O. Dawson Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The full list of DunAmis Gospel Award winners and honorees is below, and GMF extends congratulations to all.

Female Pastor of the Year
Apostle Janice Thomas – His Kingdom Ministries

Male Pastor of the Year
Bishop Richard Adkins – Impact Redzone

First Lady of the Year
Lady Tina Hairston – Zion Tabernacle of Deliverance

Praise & Worship Team of the Year
The Remnant Church – Danville, VA

Worship Leader of the Year
Dominique Prunty – The Remnant Church

Choir Director of the Year
Jonathan Parker-Ashley & Higher Dimension Praise Chorale

Church of the Year
The Victory Center – Thomasville, NC

Holy Hip-Hop Artist of the Year
MillUnz DaGospel

Quartet of the Year
Tammy Edwards and the Edwards Sisters

Media Publication of the Year
Gospel Music Fever Online Publication

Dance Ministry of the Year
Unheard Mime – Alexis Lambert

Community Choir of the Year
Anthony Sutton & Fresh Wind

Producer of the Year
Chris Adams
“We Are One”

Female Musician of the Year
Gloria Butler-Graves

Male Musician of the Year
Charles Wright

Songwriter of the Year
Alicia Moore

Female Vocalist of the Year
Jalessa Cade

Male Vocalist of the Year
David Spencer

Artist of the Year
Christian Anderson

Humanitarian Award
Bishop Myron K. Dawson

Bishop John H. Heath Music of Excellence Award
Will Harris & Friends

Trailblazer Award
Apostle Alicia F. Lindsay

Doris S. Harbor Pioneer Award
Bishop Tyrone D. Hunter

Living Legend Award
Bishop John C. Parks

Bishop Jerome O. Dawson Lifetime Achievement Award
Apostle Janice F. Thomas

Inaugural Scholarship Presentation
Northeast Guilford High School

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].