Dr. Margaret Pleasant Douroux

Dr. Margaret Pleasant Douroux, an internationally acclaimed, award-winning gospel songwriter, educator, and author, is a woman in transition.

On Thursday, March 19, at 7 p.m., the living legend retires from 64 years of local church music ministry. This occasion will be commemorated with a Retirement Celebration at Mount Moriah Baptist Church, 4269 South Figueroa in Los Angeles, as part of the Legacy of Gospel Music Festival.

An enormous mass choir will be on hand as people stream in from all over Southern California and the nation to join in the celebration. The public is welcome.

Dr. Douroux was minister of music and adult choir director for the Mount Moriah Baptist Church of Los Angeles for five years and minister of music and choir director for the Greater New Bethel Baptist Church in Inglewood for more than 30 years.

A veteran recording artist, she conducts gospel music workshops throughout the United States and Europe and has written more than 100 enduring gospel songs including such popular standards as “We’re Blessed,” “Rivers of Joy,” “Give Me A Clean Heart,” “If It Had Not Been For The Lord On My Side,” “Trees,” “I’m Glad,”  “He Decided To Die,” and “What Shall I Render,” many of which are found in hymnals.

Top artists such as Nikki Giovanni, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Tammi Bakker, Pastor Shirley Caesar, James Cleveland’s Gospel Music Workshop of America Mass Choir, and the Rev. Clay Evans have recorded her songs.

Her musical experience also includes conducting children’s choir, Sunday School teacher, training union pianist, youth choir pianist, and orchestra conductor. She has been married to Donald Douroux for 51 years and has a daughter and three grandchildren.

However, she isn’t putting the brakes on her ministry. She’s got a lot more to give. As CEO of the Heritage Music Foundation (HMF), an organization for the advancement and preservation of gospel music based in L.A., she will present the 30th anniversary HMF Gospel Music Conference on June 24-27 in Los Angeles.

The biggest national HMF Conference yet will be a “Tribute to West Coast Gospel” (of which Dr. Douroux’s father was a pioneer) to honor pioneers and current greats with appearances by more than a dozen major national artists.

The conference and expo will feature tributes to Dr. Douroux, Pastor Andraé Crouch, the Rev. James Cleveland, Kurt Carr, Ricky Grundy, the Hawkins Family, Dr. Rodena Preston and the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Charles May, Gwendolyn Lightner, the Rev. Alexander Hamilton, Isaiah Jones, Thurston Frazier, Doris Akers, and many more.

Some of those participating, both as a tribute to West Coast Gospel and Dr. Douroux, are such celebrated gospel artists as David Daughtry, Yvette Cook, Nysa Shanay, Nikki Potts, Tony Wilkins, Victor Bell and Halel, Desmond Pringle, Calvin Rhone, Rev. Quincy Fielding, Jr., and the L.A.  Messengers, Melodi Ewell, Jeffrey Richardson, and V. Michael McKay, plus surprise guests.

HMF satellite members from all over the nation as well as from California will also attend.  The public is invited to attend free concerts and participate in workshops and performances of revered as well as new gospel songs conducted by many of the greats. This is also a great opportunity to see Dr. Douroux in action.

What’s next for Dr. Douroux? She said, “Now I will have more time to concentrate on growing Heritage and one of my chief life goals, establishing a ‘Gospel House,’ a shrine to gospel music like those for country and rock music.  I envision it to have a concert hall, museum, and award programs.”

For information about the 30th HMF Gospel Music Conference, call (310) 674-1903 or register online at hmfgospel.com.