How Gay Gospel Artists Left a Tainted Legacy [Part 2 of 3]
[NEW] How Gay Gospel Artists Left a Tainted Legacy for Today’s Generation [Part 2]
This is part two of this article about how gay gospel artists left a tainted legacy for our generation today. We felt the need to expand this subject especially today as gospel music has evolved in something much more than just ‘singing’. Gospel music has turned into a industry of hefty money makers and revolutionaries. Though many artists from the early 1960’s and earlier sang gospel music because they ‘love the Lord’, grew up in the church and wanted to spread the gospel, it quickly turned into a money making machine that created more than just records. The gospel music industry became a way of expressing the views of society both political and sexual. Let’s speak on the sexual part because this is what is taking over our society today through homosexuality and gay rights.
Gospel Music was a calling and a gift
Firstly, gospel music in the black church was very prevalent. Over the years, it became a vehicle in which to express their love for God and salvation for those who listened and sang along. This is evident because gospel music is still a driving force in America and in the black church. Now we have to say, that many of the gospel artists from the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s have touched our hearts. The artists behind some of the most beautiful and talented voices were called by God to do what they do: sing praises to the Lord. This was not only their calling but their gift. We were supposed to be touched, delivered, saved and ushered into the spirit of God by their music. We do believe that was God’s intention and mandate on their lives. But… there was a problem. When God gave them the calling to sing gospel music, we are sure He did not leave a clause in there stating they could live the way they wanted in disregard to the Word of God: the bible. It appears singing gospel music was their gift but a vehicle to make a lot of money and express themselves in ways God had not intended and this is in regards to their sexual preferences.
Reverend James Cleveland and his Influential Presence on the Gospel Industry
When we take a look at gospel’s King, singer, composer and pastor Reverend James Cleveland, you may first think of his talents and the influence he had on some of the most popular singers today. James Cleveland was the man of the hour and helped many gospel artists to where they are today, but how did he do this? Cleveland was the main instrument back in the days that recruited many talented people. Many men and women flocked to him for inspiration and instruction but it was the groves of men that followed him that gave way to hush hush rumors of his sexual preference for men. One article stated the GMWA, Gospel Music Workshop of America, found by Cleveland was a place where people came for ‘sexual hook ups’. Rev. James Cleveland may have written over 400 songs and over 100 albums all in the name of Jesus but he allowed and created a place where talents blossoms in exchange for sexual favors. From what some have stated, GMWA, also known as ‘gay men, women of america‘, was strictly a gospel music gay club and everyone there knew this at one point of another. While James Cleveland pastored a church in Southern California, he had many, many ‘foster’ sons that lived in his home from as young as 13 years old. He catered to the young teenage boys and older who had single mothers and were fatherless. (Sounds pretty familiar to to Bishop Eddie Long’s pursuit). In the end, he had dominated the gospel music industry for 40 years and succumbed to the AIDS virus as a result his sinful desires for the same sex. Even one of his lovers, (updated) Christopher Harris whom sued him for his estate, allegedly has AIDS.
This was the culture of gospel music then and Rev. James Cleveland was a prominent and influential figure in the making of the gay gospel revolution acceptable for other gospel artists and ultimately the world, but silently. Lesbians and gays in the church were free to live the way they wanted because they had a larger than life figure endorsing it: Rev. James Cleveland. Not every person that came in contact with Cleveland was already gay. Many of the men and women a part of his GMWA or church were ‘turned out’ which created another cycle of misguided church folk.
Daryl Coley and His ‘Sassy’ Gospel Trend
Secondly, we have gospel singer Daryl Coley. Daryl Coley was born in Berkeley, California by is mother who separated from his father at age 5. In Oakland, he spend many of his years, joining choirs and groups to develop his voice that essentially ‘wowed’ the church and people all over the world. Though Daryl could sing a song like no one could with his unique style, he was very flamboyant with is singing, movements and style of music. He brought out a ‘sassy-ness’ to gospel music that not everyone was doing. Again, Coley was a student and was mentored by Rev. James Cleveland. He was said to have been very close to James Cleveland and also Bishop Walter Hawkins. He also sang for drag queen disco singer Sylvester, Pete Escovedo (father of Sheila E.), jazz singer Nancy Wilson and Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire.
After it was known James Cleveland influenced homosexuality in his circle, artists like Daryl Coley were bold to come out as he did. Later in years, it surely seems like the hush hush acceptance of homosexuality in the church and gospel music circles made more and more artists more flashy in the way they performed and lived their lives in and out of the church.
In the 1995, Daryl Coley surprisingly admitted openly he had been inveigled in the gay scene. This admittance of living a homosexual lifestyle was not practiced in the black church. Though he broke ground in gospel music, he did so also as one of many that would outright testify about their sexual sin as a Christian gospel artist. In one article, Daryl stated his struggle with homosexuality:
“So there’s not a ‘distinction’ in feeling for people and for situations. The Enemy really makes himself prevalent in (sexual) situations and it takes the Lord to help you overcome. We’ve got to deal with sexuality across the board. Not just the gay life. Sometimes we feel like (when) we get wrapped up in a person, (then) maybe the Lord will make allowances, but if it’s not the way the Word says, it stems from unrighteousness. It’s a spirit that’s transferred throughout the whole thing. So you have to be very careful. Young men and young women are impressionable. There’s a line we just have to teach our children to maintain. As a church, we preach against homosexuality, but we don’t deal with the subtleness of the Enemy. How it can woo you and get you at your lowest point.”
Daryl further states he could have trusted God more but he says his testimony has touched many people:
“That would have never happened unless I had total trust in the Lord and spiritually stepped totally outside of Daryl and allowed God to step in. But there were so many people that came up to me and let me know, ‘Daryl, (your testimony) was a point of deliverance for me. It becomes a point of being transparent and trusting God.”
These statements of Coley’s are all very good if he had truly left the gay scene. Daryl Coley later got married with children and he founded a church- Love Fellowship Tabernacle in Los Angeles, Ca. While claiming to have abandoned all forms of homosexuality, his church just happened to be under Love Center Ministries of Bishop Walter Hawkins, known for his gay ministry in Oakland, Ca. In 2009, Daryl Coley and other gospel artists performed at a gay accepting church, UPPC under Bishop O. C. Allen. This is the problem of gay gospel artists today. They have not truly surrendered to God and live on by dabbling here and there in the gay scene or gay accepting churches.
Tonex’s Sac-Religious Secular Sounds and Behavior
Thirdly, we will discuss one young man who has impacted and changed how we all see what can be bred out of the gospel music industry. Anthony Charles Williams II, known as Tonex and recently known as B Slade, is a gospel music figure that has shocked the world and the church. Tonex was brought up listening to gospel music as both his parents were ministers of their church in San Diego but his preacher played saxophone for James Brown and Jackie Wilson and his mother sang in various ‘girl groups’.
While brought up already in a twisted household with secular and gospel music influences, he explored not only gospel but many other genres as you can see by the photo to the left. He appeared to be interested in hypocritically singing gospel but using the influences of the world to make his own sound that not everyone was ready to hear.
Later, his father passed in 2004, he divorces his wife of 5 years, retired and then re-emerged on the scene by admitting he was now a homosexual. Also, he took over his father’s church which he has made gay affirming, the point of his ministry. Consequently, his wife came out strongly after the divorce with a book about how the homosexual revolution is taking over in our society called: “Satan’s Agenda Exposed.” This book surely gives a hint of how their marriage must be been.
AT2W’s Take on Gospel’s Tainted Legacy
As you can see, our history of gospel music and the church has truly evolved. It has went from anointed music that stirred our souls to a scene of a gay revolution that not only changed the church but America. It has been proven that the black church held the secret sexual sins in the closet in order to appear sanctified and holy. The gospel music industry was a way to not only sing for God as it was intended but for gospel artists to express their sexuality in ways God did not intend.
We just want to know one thing: Did any of these gospel artists and the like think once about the songs they sang and the sins they committed? Were they ever aware of the consequences of their blatant sexual sins and where would it land them in eternity?
Its high time that we admit the sins of our earlier generations and how it has caused a shift in righteousness for the church. We can’t go forward accepting the gay revolution that is clearly trying to change God’s ordained order in our country. Also, this goes for the church. Instead of following suit of the ‘customary’ lies and deceit that goes on in the church regarding homosexuality, its time to stand against it. Let’s stop thinking the silent treatment is the best policy in the church when you have young men and women growing up to act and look like the world. The hypocrisy is disgraceful and God will not allow any soul tainted and embedded in sin to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Isn’t heaven our destination?
Stay tuned for Part 3 which will explore a gay gospel artist and minister and his part in starting a gay revolution in the black church by pure disobedience.