Legend gospel musician visits the Pine Belt for worship

Updated: Feb. 28, 2020 at 5:22 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Mount Carmel Ministries opened its doors to host a community worship featuring leaders from around the area and a gospel music legend, The Rev. Donnie McClurkin.

He was raised in Long Island, N.Y. From an early age, McClurkin learned a tradition of rhythm and songs.

“I was born to Francis and Donald McClurkin. That’s how I got into gospel music. I was born to a mother who was a musician and a singer,” McClurkin said.

Reminiscing on his childhood, he talked about the first time the spotlight shined on him.

“My first solo, I was 4 years old. It was during a church service. They stood me on the altar table and I sang, ‘I had a talk with god last night. He said he made everything alright.' That was my first solo. From that time on, I stopped singing. I didn’t sing again until I was 14,” said McClurkin.

He joined the church choir, and from there, his harmonies helped pave his path of spreading the gospel through sing and praise.

“The greatest thing anybody can ever give to generations is multi-culture,” McClurkin said.

As his journey carries him around the world, McClurkin said it’s important to remember we are all one, and separation of color is antiquated.

Three Grammy Awards, 13 Stellar Awards and the list continues. Noted as one of the top selling gospel music artists around the world, McClurkin is regarded as a global sensation.

But, he said most importantly; he’s a man of faith, admitted failures and his scars show perseverance. Through his Christian faith, McClurkin said God’s grace allows him to encourage people around the country. It’s also what brought him to the Pine Belt.

“Hattiesburg, Hattiesburg. Let me say this. I’m here with Pastor Kenneth Fairley, and the church is more than just an entity that sits on the corner of a block. The church is a community property that calls people from all walks of life to come in, and when they enter through the door, leave all of your differences outside,” McClurkin said.

McClurkin spoke to the crowd, sharing words rooted deep within his heart. As people from all walks of life sat in the pews, his passion was felt and his determination was heard.

As the night of worship ended, McClurkin said he hoped his prayers were multiplied to end a divided community for the better good.

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