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Soon and Very Soon: West Angeles Honors Gospel Legend Andrae’ Crouch

"Soon and Very Soon": West Angeles Honors Gospel Legend Andrae' Crouch

INTRODUCTION

Born July 1, 1942, vocal arranger, songwriter, choir leader and pastor Andrae Crouch bridged the worlds of church and mainstream music for more than 50 years.  Dubbed as “The Father of Modern Gospel Music,” Crouch brought a contemporary sound and melodic sensibility to gospel.  This made him uniquely suited to appeal to both black and white audiences during the early days of the countercultural “Jesus Movement,” and it also brought him attention beyond the church.

A California native who grew up in the Church of God in Christ, Crouch wrote his first gospel song at age 14. That song, “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power,” went on to become one of Crouch’s signature hits, gracing churches everywhere.

His contribution to the worship of the church include songs such as:

  •  My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)
  • Bless the Lord Oh My Soul
  • Through it All
  • Let the Church Say Amen

His recordings garnered him 7 Grammy Awards, 6 GMA Dove Awards, an Academy Award nomination for his arranging work on the 1985 film The Color Purple, and an induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998.

Crouch’s career was formed during a period of great unrest in America. The Civil Rights Movement, assassinations, the Vietnam War, race riots and a rising drug subculture defined the times, as did the Jesus Movement. Crouch left college and went to work for Teen Challenge, a Christian organization which rehabilitated drug addicts and gang members. He formed the Addicts Choir there and began writing songs to comfort and encourage the troubled teens he counseled.

Soon and Very Soon Andrae Crouch

Bobby Jones, Marvin Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Bebe Winans as the Donnie McClurkin & The Disciples Tribute Ensemble at the Andrae Crouch Memorial service at West Angeles Church, January 2015.

During the same period, Andrae and his sister Sandra formed Andraé Crouch and the Disciples from members of his church. In 1969 they were signed to Light Records, a mainstream Christian label. Crouch was inspired as much by contemporary pop, rock, and R&B as he was by traditional gospel.  The crossover appeal of the group and Crouch’s contemporary gospel style also garnered them popularity on the white church circuit. It catapulted the group to prominence during a time when the nation was in need of a clear message of hope.

The Disciples’ contemporary style also brought some criticism from some gospel music purists who challenged the authenticity of Crouch’s contemporary sound. The popular gospel style of the day followed the more traditional gospel sound, such as that of the Reverend James Cleveland; also a driving force in modern gospel music. Still, because Crouch’s songwriting followed familiar gospel music structure and reflected traditional church doctrine, his music’s purity has earned a place in hymnals around the world.

It wasn’t long before Andrae Crouch also caught the attention of the pop music world. He was best known to the mainstream music audience for his choral work on Michael Jackson’s hit Man in the Mirror (1988), Madonna’s Like a Prayer (1989) and the soundtrack to the Disney film The Lion King (1994). His passion, however, would forever be for creating the music that expressed his faith and for preaching and teaching at his parent’s home church in Pacoima, California.  He passed away on January 8, 2015, at the age of 72.

“That’s all I want in life is to be remembered as a guy that really loved God” – Andrae Crouch

Introduction, Dr. Judith McAllister.  History, Karen Lascaris.

Hear West Angeles’ Revelation Choir, under the direction of Brother Ron Taylor,  honor the anointed work of Andraé Crouch by singing one of his most heralded songs entitled, “Soon & Very Soon”:

 

021818_Andre Crouch Tribute from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.

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Elder Kenneth Hammonds – What Is Holiness? Part 1

The world today calls for the church to live in holiness and righteousness. God calls us as His people to maintain our connection to Him; to be a people set apart from the ways of society, and to use our lives to bring light into the darkness of the world. In the first of a 3-part series for “The Elders’ Corner,” Dr. Kenneth Hammonds discusses the meaning of holiness through linguistics, and through understanding the nature and wonder of God Himself.  Presented at West Angeles’ Wednesday Night Bible Study.

What Is Holiness?

In order to study the meaning of holiness, we must start with God. God is the beginning of holiness. Before the beginning of creation was God, who existed in all of His splendor by Himself, of course in the persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But some theologians assert that God’s holiness – or His “otherness” – is His key attribute; the central core and foundational attribute of His nature and character.

One pastor, Pastor Jim McClarty, made a great statement which said, “God is unlike any other, and His holiness is the essence of His otherness.”

Defining Holiness through Language

Let’s look at some of the basic concepts of holiness through linguistics, in both its Hebrew and Greek foundations in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

In Hebrew, the word is Kadosh, which means “sacred or holy.” This word is used many times in the Old Testament, in the book of Leviticus. In the Greek (in the New Testament), the word is Hagios, which means, to be holy; to be sacred, to be set apart by or for God as holy or sacred.” The Greeks used the word in their temples. A third word, Ekklesia means “church, assembly, congregation, convocation.” It is made of two words: ek which means “out of,” and klesia, from the word kaleo, which means “to be called.” The church is not the building! To be the church is to be called out as the assembly for God’s purpose.

Three words summarize the linguistic foundation of holiness and what it is. Holiness is:

  1. DIFFERENT – standing out from the ordinary
  2. SET APART – for purpose, mission, and service to God
  3. BEAUTIFUL – the splendor, the beauty of our life and of our witness; holiness is attractiveness

In other words, to live holy means that we are called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light.

What Does Holiness Mean To Me?

Some questions about holiness we may ask:

  • “How do we know God is holy?” We know because God reveals, proclaims, and declares Himself as Holy to mankind. Leviticus 11:44 says, “Be Holy because I am Holy.”
  • “God is holy, but can He impart holiness to humans?” God says that it is possible, and it can be done.  Indeed without Him, you cannot be Holy. His nature makes it possible. You can be different; you can be set apart, but it takes His impartation of holiness to be set apart to God.
  • “Why is holiness required or indispensable?” Holiness is indispensable in the time in which we live, and in New Testament theology. It is absolutely required and indispensable to show God’s work in the lives of human beings. In you, as a holy human being, others have seen a difference in your life! The impartation of God’s holiness speaks to others about God’s work in our lives, which is for the benefit of mankind. Because others live holy, mankind benefits, simply because someone is set apart for God’s service. Most importantly, the reason we do anything and everything is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31 –

“We do all things for the glory of God.”

So, holiness is to be lived and enjoyed!

Conclusion

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. That is the holiness that God gives, and it is also the holiness of what God is. As you look at the words we’ve discussed above, you see that the nature of holiness is good. Holiness means being set apart. If you are a set apart being, then you are beautiful.

Therefore:

Be beautiful! Called-out! Set apart!

God Bless you!

Adapted from “Let’s Talk About It: Holiness,” by Dr. Kenneth Hammonds, Dr. Wilfred Graves and Elder Oscar Owens, 11/11/2015, at the West Angeles North Campus Sanctuary.


FOR FURTHER STUDY:

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 2 Peter; Isaiah 6:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Romans 1:6, Leviticus 11:44 , 1 Corinthians 10:31.  See also: Strong’s Concordance, and the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon.

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THE WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM –  Want to learn about the promises of God? Hear this entire sermon in its entirety on CD or DVD.  Visit us at the West Angeles Christian Emporium where you’ll find a variety of Bible translations, books on Christian life, devotionals, and more. Visit us in the lobby after each service, or visit us at  3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone: (323) 731-3012 for hours and directions.