Monday, February 17, 2020
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Black History Spotlight – Kenneth Glover, the Singing Missionary
By Cora Jackson-Fossett, Religion Editor
Published February 5, 2020

Kenneth Glover, who marks his 70th year of singing gospel music, continues to perform today. (Courtesy photo)

Kenneth Glover continues to be one of the most gifted and talented gospel vocalists to grace the local and international stage.  Known around the world as the “Singing Missionary,” Glover has inspired hundreds of thousands of people for decades with his creative renditions of traditional hymns.

His delivery of songs like “I Can Feel the Spirit in This Place,” “Without Him,” “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” “He Knows How Much We Can Bear,” and “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” remain fan favorites whenever he appears in concert.

“Since the mid-60’s, growing-up in the Mount Moriah Baptist Church, I had the privilege of having a front-row seat in the timeless career of Kenneth Glover,” said Quaford Coleman. “This year, he is celebrating 70 years of singing gospel music and his voice, his music and his singing ministry is still timeless.”

                  The legendary Kenneth Glover in the 1970s. (Courtesy photo)

Looking back over his long career, Glover is quick to give God all of the credit. “Whatever I have is a gift from God. I try to sing as beautifully as I can [because] this is my mission in life,” he said. “I feel that God gave me one gift – to touch people through singing.”

And Glover sings everywhere – at churches, hospitals, senior centers, correction facilities, training schools and military installations. According to his manager, the Rev. William Green, “Kenneth once sang before an audience of 10,000 youth and more than 3,000 of the young people were inspired to accept Christ as their Savior after hearing him sing.”

Glover’s albums, especially those he recorded in the 1960s and 1970s, are still available. Among the most popular LPs are “He Touched Me,” “God Holds Tomorrow,” “If I Can Help Somebody,” “Lord Here I Am,” and “Saved.”

“Before I sing, I pray ‘God, help me sing the way You want me to sing.’ So, I really don’t see people when I’m singing. I’m really concentrating on letting God speak through me,” Glover said.

A native of Newark, New Jersey, Glover was encouraged by his mother, Mrs. Florine Glover, to focus on his vocal artistry. Although he’s never received any formal music training, he learned to develop qualities such as breathing control, intonation and other skills to perfect his singing.

His selfless sharing of his incredible voice have led to many commendations and awards. Glover has been honored by the cities of Los Angeles, Newark, and Washington, D.C., along with the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, the California State Assembly, the Sugar Ray Robinson Foundation and countless faith-based and community organizations.

In addition, Pastor Rikki Ferrell, Jr. and the members of Greater New Bethel Baptist Church will salute Glover at the church’s Black History Month celebration. The tribute will take place on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 10:30 a.m., in the edifice located at 601 Flower St., in Inglewood.

As for the future, Glover intends to share his gift whenever and wherever possible. “I must sing the songs that I feel will bring people closer to God,” he insisted. “I see myself as God’s instrument and I want to keep myself in tune with Him, so that He can use me.”

Categories: History | Religion
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