Mrs. Barbara Allen
Rev. DeWayne Knox
By Cora Jackson-Fossett
Sentinel Religion Editor
The Music and Arts Ministry of Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church (COR) will recognize five renowned women during their King Day Celebration on Sunday, January 15, at 5 p.m. The honorees are Barbara Allen, Dr. Margaret Douroux, Dr. Rodena Preston, Edna Tatum and Annette May Thomas.
“We have been blessed to pay tribute to the legends of gospel music. Each has left an indelible imprint in the music industry and influenced the careers of many contemporary artists,” said Pastor Mark E. Whitlock II.
“I commend COR’s Minister of Music, Rev. DeWayne Knox, for organizing this ‘must-attend’ concert that will also feature performances by artists Kathy Taylor, Jacob Lusk, Crystal Aikin, and Revolution Dance Troupe,” he said.
Rev. Knox, an ordained deacon in the A.M.E. Church, has served as minister of music at Phillips Temple C.M.E. Church, Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, and Grant A.M.E. Church – Long Beach.
The holder of advanced degrees in music, he also lectures at Pasadena City College, CSU-LB, and UCLA.
Mrs. Allen’s career spans 50 years, beginning with serving as musical director for singer Brenda Holloway and continuing over the years to work with leading artists and choirs, both in the U.S. and internationally.
Locally, she has served as Minister of Music at Faithful Central Bible Church for the last 29 years. Prior to this position, Mrs. Allen served 17 years in the same capacity at First A.M.E. Church – Los Angeles.
Dr. Douroux is a renowned and prolific composer of hundreds of songs. Her award-winning compositions include ‘He Decided to Die,’ ‘Give Me a Clean Heart,’ ‘I’m Glad,’ and ‘One More Day.’ Committed to preserving sacred music, she founded the Heritage Music Foundation in 1981.
In addition to serving as Minister of Music at Greater New Bethel M.B. Church and Mount Moriah M.B. Church, Dr. Douroux also worked 13 years at LAUSD as teacher, guidance counselor, and school psychologist.
Dr. Rodena Preston, an internationally celebrated musician, has served as Minister of Music at many churches in Los Angeles. Currently, she is on the Board of Directors and Minister of Music for the Gospel Music Workshop of America.
During her career, she has performed with trailblazers like Rev. James Cleveland and Albertina Walker and contemporary artists Aretha Franklin and Kurt Carr.
Ms. Tatum is a nationally known radio host on KPFK-FM 90.7 and acclaimed commentator in the Gospel music arena. Her ability to articulate and communicate the word of God launched her into a vast arena of Gospel artists from coast to coast.
‘The Voice,’ as she is fondly called, has hosted concerts and narrated for such gospel legends as Rev. James Cleveland, The Fourth of Mary, Rev. Daryl Coley, and many others.
Mrs. Thomas is a gifted musician and singer whose career includes top-selling albums and background vocals for artists such as Bob Dylan and Judith McAllister. Also, she teamed with brother, Charles, to record several popular gospel tracks in 1970s and 1980s.
The daughter of gospel great, Brother Joe May, Mrs. Thomas was the business manager for Rev. James Cleveland and currently serves as chief executive and trustee of the James Cleveland Charitable Foundation/Trust.
Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church is located at 46 Maxwell Street in Irvine. For information, call (949) 955-0014.