Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #51

Entry # 0051 Lady Esther Ford

Lady Esther Ford formerly of  the Philadelphia and Bucks County area, began her musical career at age five. She was billed as the “Child Wonder Gospel Singer”, and toured with her late grandfather Rev. Edgar Haywood on the many southern Maryland revivals. In 1957, Ford  sent her musician to the Caravans and joined the Ward Singers of Philadelphia. After resigning from the Ward Singers in 1958, she formed the “Stars of Faith”. Upon resigning form the group, she organized her theater company, writing and directing several plays. In 1964, she recorded her new group, “The Exodus Singers”, who were the first integrated female  gospel group ever to record in America. In the 70’s she organized the Esther Ford Christian Youth Movement in Bucks County, and was honored in 2009 at Notre Dame College in Baltimore for her 70+ years of contribution to gospel music. Lady Ford was honored at Calvary Baptist Church in west Philadelphia in 2010 for her dedicated contributions to preserving vintage gospel music. She also received citations from the PA State Senate, PA House of Representatives, the City of Philadelphia, and Calvary Baptist Church.



Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God for Week #30

Entry #0030   Praying to know God’s Will, Word, and Ways

The only way we can expect to get an answer from God in prayer is to first develop a relationship with Him. Getting to know the Lord in an intimate way involves spending time with Him, and allowing Him to reveal His will, word, and ways to us on a daily basis. God’s general will for everyone is to be saved, healed and blessed. There are other wills in effect out there that we can tap into; often to our own chagrin. We can access and function in our personal will, Satan’s will for us, other people will for our lives, God’s permissive will and His perfect will. Needless to say, God’s perfect will is the best one for us. When we function in our own personal will, we limit ourselves to our abilities, education, and access to opportunity, and efforts. It makes more sense to express to God what we want to do, but make sure that what we want lines up with what He wants to do in us. Because when we tap into the limitless source of God’s plan, there is no chance for failure; for there is no failure in God. Satan’s will for us is to steal our joy, kill our faith, and destroy our destiny. His ability to do so is directly related to our willingness to trust God’s plan for our lives. Operating in other people’s will for our lives is just as destructive. God has a specific individualized plan for each one of us. Doing what other people want us to do takes us away from our destiny. People may have their own selfish reasons for wanting us to do certain things that are not always in our best interest. God’s permissive will for us allows us to utilize our free choice, ability and desires. God permits it because it does not hinder our destiny; it may just take us longer to get there. When we rest in God’s perfect will for us, we can effortlessly flow from grace to grace and glory to glory. God’s word is the final authority. Whatever He said in His Holy Scriptures, through an anointed minister, or to our spirits directly, He will surely do. In fact, it is done when He said it. It may take some time for it to manifest in the earth realm. We have to hold on to His words and His promises even when we do see the evidence of them in our lives yet. It will come to pass at the right appointed set time. God’s ways are not like our ways, and His thoughts are not like ours. He is perfect, complete and constant in all things. God knows the end from the beginning, and He never sleeps nor slumbers. His ways deal with seeds, seasons and signs.  Everything God made started with a seed that has to go through various seasons to reveal the signs of life and productivity.He doesn’t give us all the answers nor does He reveal all the steps involved. When we pray to understand the seeds God place inside of us, the seasons He want us to plant and harvest them in, and the signs of the seed’s reproduction and germination in our lives, we began to trust Him in an intimate way. We are learning then, to pray to know God’s will, word and ways for our lives.


Simple Sample Prayer

Dear God we surrender our lives to you. We know that your will, word and ways far exceed our best efforts. Help us to rest in you, knowing that you will cause all things to work out for our good. Help us to trust you plan and abandon our own for your great one. Help us to command our souls to be subject to your will, word and ways, and help us to cast down every high thought that exalts itself above the knowledge of  your truth. Teach us how to labor to enter into your rest. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #42

Entry #0042  Alice Martin

One of the most highly regarded gospel choir leaders, Alice Martin is also a gospel singer, recording artist, songwriter, and musical instructor. Martin has served as group musical instructor for the Marion Williams Singers, the acclaimed Bryn Mawr Haverford Gospel Choir, and as a music faculty member for the B.M. Oakley Memorial Temple in Philadelphia. Alice Martin conducts choral workshops, teaches choir singing, and performs locally and abroad.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #40

Entry #0040  Deanna Ransom

Out of Williamstown, New Jersey, Deanna Ransom is an anointed evangelist, award winning gospel recording artist, songwriter and arranger. She is a graduate of Camden County College and Rowan University. Ransom has been singing since age 5, and is a humanitarian and advocate for charitable causes. She is the Founder and Director of the Virtuous Women of Destiny Women’s Ministry, and is a speaker and workshop teacher. Ransom has shared the stage with many gospel greats from Dorinda Clark Cole to Marvin Sapp, and travels extensively spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Showcase for Week # 38

Entry # 0038  Paul Owens and A.P.C.

The Philadelphia-based group Paul Owens and A.P.C. has a polished sound, and blends traditional, contemporary and urban gospel music. Formed by Paul Owen in 1993, the A.P.C. began as a small ensemble in a Philadelphia church. The group grew to 30 members, and they began ministering in local churches, events and neighboring states. Paul Owens and A.P.C. shared the stage with many gospel greats from John P. Kee to Kirk Franklin. Their hope is that their music will reach many generations and all around the world.

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God for Week#20

Entry# 020 Praying to see God’s People as He Does

It is often easy to get caught up into seeing people differently than how God see them. We are often surrounded by people who are incompetent, uneducated, and unskilled. There are many of those who make poor choices, waste other’s time and resources, are menaces to society, and who are well below our social/economical status. In business we can start to see people as a number or a dollar sign. At home we can begin to see family members as needy, financial and emotional blood suckers. On television we can start seeing certain people as idols and icons. But God sees us all the same; as His beloved creation. When we accept His love and salvation, He sees us as His sons, heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, covered by His blood. God loves people who are smart, unattractive, mistreated, rich, and hurting. No one is better than anyone else; we all are dependent on someone. We may make better choices than other people, open ourselves to receive higher revelations than others, and we may reap a better harvest because of the seeds we have sown. But God see everyone as relevant and necessary to His plan. The value of a thing is noted by how much we are willing to give up obtaining it. God was willing to give up His only begotten beloved Son to save humanity from the curse of sin and death. Jesus became willing and obedient to lay down His life for us to redeem us back to the Father. Greater love has no man than this that he would die for another. God chooses to use us to effect change in the earth. He gives us free choice to serve Him or reject Him. God see us as great in His kingdom when we serve His most prized possession, His people. When we are more conscious of how God sees His people, we will be more careful in how we treat each other. Praying to see God’s people how he sees them is praying for the eyes of love, the hands of hope, and the heart of a servant.

Simple Sample Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for seeing us as your beloved redeemed. Help us to see each other in that same light, especially those who are different from us. You value all human life; help us to do the same. Teach us how to love and respect the most vulnerable in our society, the children, the ill and the elderly. Help us to be reminded that if not for your grace, we would be in similar or worst situations of the people we look down on. And as we serve your most prized possession, your people, bless us indeed so that we can continually be a blessing. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #18

Entry# 0018 The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Church of God in Christ Mass Choir

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Church of God in Christ Mass Choir is comprised of choir members from various churches in the Commonwealth of PA Jurisdiction of the COGIC denomination.  Musical Leadership includes the late Madame Kitty Parham-State Music Department President, Harold J. Thompson-Jurisdiction Minister of Music, Daren K. Miller-Assistant Jurisdiction Minister of Music, and Ernest Sauders-Assistant Minister of Music.


Based in the Philadelphia and Harrisburg areas, churches come together annually for their Holy Convocation. This gathering provides opportunities for new songwriters, singers, and musicians to display their gifts and talents, while having some of their original material sung and recorded by the mass choir. The Commonwealth of PA COGIC Mass Choir continues to minister locally and abroad throughout the year.

Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #49

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight  #101

Entry #101 Tye Tribett

Raised in a Pentecostal Apostolic church in Camden, New Jersey, Christian and Gospel music songwriter, record producer, music director and singer Tyrone Tribbett is a force to be reckoned with. Tribett served as choir director and founder of the Grammy-nominated and Stellar-Award winning gospel group Tye Tribbett and Greater Anointing, known as G.A. Instruments of vocal, keyboard and drums are a part of his repertoire, and he began producing albums in 2004.  Tye Tribbett toured with Faith Hill, and worked with the likes of Will Smith, Usher, Justin Timberlake and Sting. He has been also been associated with artist like Kim Burrell, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, and Cheneta Jones. The group’s first official recording appeared on Dreamworks Prince of Egypt’ compilation in 1998. For him, gospel and music is a family affair.  His father served as a pastor, and his mother was a minister and radio announcer in the Philadelphia area. Tye Tribett’s wife was a member of Greater Anointing along with one of his sisters. His brother was a member of the band ‘Soundcheck’, and served as bassist for artist Estelle. Tye Tribbett successfully blends praise, worship, strong beats, powerful lyrics, and theatrical stage presentations all for the glory of God.

Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God for Week #46

Entry #046   Praying to not be Judgmental

The Bible tells us to judge not least we be judged. People often use this scripture to avoid being held accountable for particular actions. But it also declares that people will know we are believers by our love and by our fruit. Simply pointing out negative fruit in a person’s life is not necessarily judging them. But making assumptions about whether people are going to heaven of hell, or presuming to know about a person’s personal relationship with God, may be. There are ways to attempt to correct negative behaviors by offering constructive criticism.  We just have to be sure that it is coming from a purely caring place, and not use it as an opportunity to read someone like a book. Productive constructive criticism entails timing it properly, checking motives, using tact and sensitivity, focusing on the actions not the person, and sharing feedback at the appropriate time. We can do this by sandwiching positive reinforcement or praise with the needed improvement in the middle of that conversation. We can detach the situation from the person so that they don’t feel like they are under attack.  We can be specific and to the point, commenting on things that can actually be acted upon, without making assumptions. Bottom line, no one is perfect; everyone could use constructive criticism at some point in time. When we are the giver of the criticism, we must remember that we too are works in process. And  when we share the benefit of our observations, knowledge, experience and expertise with someone struggling, we must do it privately, and in love. Many things can be overcome in the world with basic respect and courtesy. If we are the recipient of the criticism we need to always consider the source and the motivation behind it. We can take it all with a grain of salt, and ask God for the wisdom to discern whether or not these changes that are suggested really need to be made or not in order to improve. We can use God’s word as our filter, and attempt to follow basic protocol that the situations require. In the end, God is the ultimate judge, not man.

When Praises Go Up Praise Verses for Week #41-48

Entry#041   Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Entry #042  I Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Entry#043 Psalm 138:1

I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.

Entry#044 Acts 16:25

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to god, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

Entry#045  Psalm 135:3

Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praises to his name, for that is pleasant.

Entry#046 Luke 17:15-16

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him-and he was a Samaritan.

Entry#047 Hebrew 13:15

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to god a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that confess his name.

Entry#048 Revelation 5:13

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power,for ever and ever!”