For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery--so that you will not be wise in your own estimation--that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB." "THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS."read more.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, "HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER." Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;read more. Scripture Verse Images

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, ... Scripture Verse Images
With a five-octave vocal range, Earnest Pugh is a powerhouse singer. He's appeared on networks like the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and Black Entertainment Television (BET) as well as on stage, acting in major plays such as "Love the One You’re With," "Secret Lover" (Michael Matthews), "Crazy Love" (D'Atra Hicks) and "Real Men Pray" (Angela Barrow and Lizzie Berry). Biblical Verses Image
The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But this I say by way of concession, not of command. Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that. Scripture Verse Gift
A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Scripture Images
Paul knew that the outward man or woman was perishing, day by day, and as he said “was wasting away” but the most important work was being done inwardly by the Spirit of God and this was the renewal that each believer in Christ is undergoing, day by day.  God’s Spirit works to convict us of sin, He works to make us more like Christ, and our sanctification is a lifelong process and even though we might be falling apart outwardly, what is eternal is what is inside and that’s the only thing that counts. We are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) even though the outward appearance is decaying, so that’s why Paul didn’t want us to lose heart.
We have all been given different talents, gifts, abilities. God works in different ways through each of us, and we all serve him faithfully as we use our gifts to glorify him. We should invest the gifts that God has blessed us with wisely. We should use our gifts and abilities to honor God and to bless, encourage and strengthen others in love (without love, all our gifts are nothing!). We should not neglect our gifts, but instead develop them, “stir them up”, “fan them into flames”… so that they get even better, to the edification of the church and to the glory of God. See Also: Bible Verses about Serving God & Others Biblical Verses Image
The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But this I say by way of concession, not of command. Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that. Scripture Verse Images
Hope For UnbelieversEternal SecurityOnce Saved Always SavedLoveChild sacrificeJesus Role In SalvationPlaitingChrist's Relationship To GodHeart, DivineFall Of Man, Consequences OfKnowing I Am SavedLove As A Fruit Of The SpiritUnion With Christ, Nature OfAdam, DescendantsBlessings, Spiritualeternal life, nature ofLife Through FaithBrokenheartedGrace, And Jesus ChristActionsGenerosity, God'sSacrificing The FirstbornUniquenessGod's attitude towards peopleeternal life, gift ofNot DyingSalvation, As A GiftLove, Nature OfChristmasBeing BlessedSunsetsGifts From God, SpiritualGod, Love OfBeing A Part Of The Family Of GodSaved By FaithLoss Of A Loved OneEternal life Scripture Images

So, who are the best gospel singers? Any list of gospel artists has to include male gospel singers like Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, BeBe Winans, and Fred Hammond, as well as female Christian singers like CeCe Winans, Yalonda Adams and Shirley Caesar. These gospel singers are considered some of the best in the genre and it's with good reason that they're at or near the top of this poll. The best gospel artists are well represented on this list and with good reason. When you think of Christian singers and gospel artists, you should be able to use this list as a great point of reference. Scripture Verse Gift
Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke and said to Daniel, "Are you that Daniel who is one of the exiles from Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? "Now I have heard about you that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you. "Just now the wise men and the conjurers were brought in before me that they might read this inscription and make its interpretation known to me, but they could not declare the interpretation of the message.read more.
the Gifts of GodSin Produces DeathDeath ofWages For Evilnatural DeatheternityLife After DeathconsequencesNatural DisastersJesus DeathfreePunishment, According To DeedsAvoiding SinAccepting ChristBeing Born AgainBad Childreneternal life, gift ofBeing Dead In SinRomeChristmasSinSin, Consequences OfPunishment, Nature OfGenerosity, God'sSalvation, As A GiftServants, Working Conditions OfDeath, Description OfHell, As An ExperienceRepentance Biblical Verses Image
Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Scripture Verse Gift
And it will come about in that day, that every place where there used to be a thousand vines, valued at a thousand shekels of silver, will become briars and thorns. People will come there with bows and arrows because all the land will be briars and thorns. As for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briars and thorns; but they will become a place for pasturing oxen and for sheep to trample. Scripture Images
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. ... Scripture Images
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. Scripture Verse Images

A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. ...
Paul knew that the outward man or woman was perishing, day by day, and as he said “was wasting away” but the most important work was being done inwardly by the Spirit of God and this was the renewal that each believer in Christ is undergoing, day by day.  God’s Spirit works to convict us of sin, He works to make us more like Christ, and our sanctification is a lifelong process and even though we might be falling apart outwardly, what is eternal is what is inside and that’s the only thing that counts. We are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) even though the outward appearance is decaying, so that’s why Paul didn’t want us to lose heart. Scripture Verse Images

Paul knew that the outward man or woman was perishing, day by day, and as he said “was wasting away” but the most important work was being done inwardly by the Spirit of God and this was the renewal that each believer in Christ is undergoing, day by day.  God’s Spirit works to convict us of sin, He works to make us more like Christ, and our sanctification is a lifelong process and even though we might be falling apart outwardly, what is eternal is what is inside and that’s the only thing that counts. We are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) even though the outward appearance is decaying, so that’s why Paul didn’t want us to lose heart. Biblical Verses Image


When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. ... Scripture Images

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Biblical Verses Image

So, who are the best gospel singers? Any list of gospel artists has to include male gospel singers like Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, BeBe Winans, and Fred Hammond, as well as female Christian singers like CeCe Winans, Yalonda Adams and Shirley Caesar. These gospel singers are considered some of the best in the genre and it's with good reason that they're at or near the top of this poll. The best gospel artists are well represented on this list and with good reason. When you think of Christian singers and gospel artists, you should be able to use this list as a great point of reference. Scripture Verse Gift
Now it happened at the turn of the year that the army of the Arameans came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, destroyed all the officials of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. Indeed the army of the Arameans came with a small number of men; yet the LORD delivered a very great army into their hands, because they had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash. Scripture Images
1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Biblical Verses Image

Days, Description OfFaithfulness, To GodFaithfulness, Examples OfFaith, Testing Ofevil, origins ofdefence, divineAthleticsCommitment, to GodHumiliationImprisonmentsInjustice, Nature And Source OfMartyrdom, Qualities OfMillenniumMonotonyPersecution, Attitudes ToPersecution, Nature OfPrizesRescueReward, For God's PeopleSatan, As TempterSatan, As The Enemy Of GodSelf Discipline Biblical Verses Image

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; ... Biblical Verses Image
Character Of WickedRevelation, Necessity Ofevangelism, nature ofSatan, Power OfSpiritual Warfare, Enemies InImagination, Evil SchemingPresent Evil AgeNames And Titles For SatanRevelation, Responses ToShiningUnbelief, Nature And Effects OfLikenessFalse ReligionUnbelief, Sourced InSatan, As DeceiverSpiritual Blindness, Consequences OfSatanticPrincehood Of SatanImage Of God Scripture Verse Images
God has made us exactly the way that it pleased Him and we all must remember that God has chosen the weak and the base of the world (1 Cor 1:27) and what the world considers despised and lowly (1 Cor 1:28) is important to God and that’s all that matters, isn’t it?  He looks at the inward parts of the human heart, not the outward appearance, so don’t worry about what the body looks like, be concerned with the things that God sees because in the end, that’s all that’s important and that’s all that really matters.  What others think is nothing…what God knows is everything.
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Scripture Verse Images
God has made us exactly the way that it pleased Him and we all must remember that God has chosen the weak and the base of the world (1 Cor 1:27) and what the world considers despised and lowly (1 Cor 1:28) is important to God and that’s all that matters, isn’t it?  He looks at the inward parts of the human heart, not the outward appearance, so don’t worry about what the body looks like, be concerned with the things that God sees because in the end, that’s all that’s important and that’s all that really matters.  What others think is nothing…what God knows is everything.
and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness, taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift; for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. Scripture Verse Gift

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. ... Biblical Verses Image
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Becoming A ChristianAdam, Results Of SinResponsibility, To GodAll Sins Being EqualCancellation Of DeptSin BearerHeaven,  Redeemed CommunityLast Thingsevil, warnings againstChrist, Names ForDeserving DeathThe DeadReward, DivineDeathBeing In DebtLife Through ChristWarningMind, The Humanevil, origins ofThe Immortal SoulSpiritual DeathLiving In SinGod, The EternalSin Producing DeathAfterlifeLife, EverlastingMortalityPunishmentEternal life Scripture Verse Images

Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?read more.
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke and said to Daniel, "Are you that Daniel who is one of the exiles from Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? "Now I have heard about you that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you. "Just now the wise men and the conjurers were brought in before me that they might read this inscription and make its interpretation known to me, but they could not declare the interpretation of the message.read more.
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Glory of ChristChrist AtoningThe Effect Of The Word Of GodChrist's Own GloryimagepersonalityThe Beauty Of NatureGod On HighRight Hand Of GodRadiancyGod Sustaining CreationPower Of Christ, ShownHand Of GodGod, Living And Self sustainingRight SidesSalvation, Nature OfKnowledge, Of Jesus ChristCreatorGod's Glory In Jesus ChristMediatorGod, Power OfGod, Glory Of Biblical Verses Image

4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it. 5 “Announce in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say: ‘Sound the trumpet throughout the land!’ Cry aloud and say: ‘Gather together! Let us flee to the fortified cities!’ Scripture Images

4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it. 5 “Announce in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say: ‘Sound the trumpet throughout the land!’ Cry aloud and say: ‘Gather together! Let us flee to the fortified cities!’ Scripture Verse Images
Glory of ChristOther BlindingChrist's Own GloryAgeControlling Your ThoughtsUnbelieversPerfection, DivineCommitment, to the worldChrist, Names ForSatan, Kingdom OfSatan, Titles ForDarkness, As A Symbol Of SinThe Light Of ChristCultsRevelation, In Ntevil, origins ofSpiritual Warfare, Causes OfHeart, Fallen And RedeemedSpiritual Blindness, Results Of SinBlinding Scripture Verse Images

Group of christian people are praying togetherChristian senior woman arms outstretched with praise. And joyChristian cross appears bright in the sky. BackgroundAultbea Christian Congregation Church in NW Scotland. Aultbea, Scotland - June 9, 2012: Christian Congregation Church is brown stone building with small turretChristian Priest praying in congregation. Silhouette of a Christian Priest praying in congregation with three crucifix under sunbeamChristian icon. Picture of a christian icon from RomaniaChristian cross. With rays of light above female handsChristian church. White christian church with red roof in front of forest of palm trees on Babeldaob island in PalauChernigov, Ukraine. August 15, 2017. Christian orthodox white church with green domes and gold crosses. View from high. Calm sky. AboveDevout christian man with cross signs. Silhouette of christian man praying to the GOD with three cross symbols and bright sunlight on the skyThree Christian crosses. 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Christian worship with raised hand,music concert,youth pray to God at churchWord lent and christian cross symbol drawing. In ash, sand or dust as abstinence and fasting period conceptChristian cross. Christian wooden cross surrounded by light spotsMetal Christian fish shapes on wood background. Metal Christian fish shapes on old blue and brown wood backgroundChristian Worshippers At The Cross. Silhouette of christian worshipers at the CrossChristian Orthodox church in Old Orhei, Moldova. Aerial view. From a drone at sunset. Artistic HDR imageWooden Christian Cross. A wooden Christian cross with a soft bokeh lights backgroundChurch Pews, Christian Religion, Worship God. Scene of church pews in a christian church. The venue is a holy house of worship for those people want to be closerChristian cross against the sky. Over the mountainsFaith of christian concept: Spiritual prayer hands over sun shine. With blurred beautiful sunset backgroundWooden Christian cross. Closeup of simple wooden Christian cross necklace on Bible , vintage tone , godChristian cross on sunset. BackgroundGroup of christian people are praying togetherChristian Cross on a Soft Bokeh Background. A wooden Christian cross on a soft bokeh light and wood backgroundChristian cross. Closeup of Christian cross embossed on holy BibleChristian cross made of ash. On a white backgroundChristian cross of light. 3d fine image, Christian cross of light backgroundA Christian girl is sitting and praying with broken heart in the. A Christian girl is sitting and praying with humble heart in the churchWest Memphis Christian School Building, West Memphis, Arkansas. West Memphis Christian School, West Memphis, AR, trendsetting school embedded in a ChristianVintage tone of christian music concert with raised hand. Christian cross appears bright in the sky. BackgroundGroup of Christian people are studying bible togetherGroup of christian people are praying togetherChristian. Ity prayer faith cross pray crucifixChristian cross. Of christ in fieldMixed Raced Christian Couple Praying Together. At Home Sitting on CouchChristian music concert with raised hand. Concert with lightsChristian cross. In Mediterranean landscape, dramatically tonedChristian Coloring Book 2. A young girl coloring in a Christian coloring bookChurch utensils. Man holding a crucifix. Closeup of wooden christian cross in the hand on the white isolated background. Closeup of wooden christian cross inFamous Mount Sinai Mount Horeb, Gabal Musa. Winter morning view. Sacred christian place in Egypt. Pilgrimage place and famous touristic destination. SinaiA Christian girl is sitting and praying with broken heart in the. Hands of a Christian girl is sitting and praying with humble heart in the churchChristian man praying to God with three crucifixes. Silhouette of a young Christian man praying to God with three crucifixes in the hillStone with christian scripture with light candle. A stone with christian scripture with light candleChristian Saints Stained Glass Church Window. Stained glass window showing ten Christian saints. St Peters Church, Cound, Shropshire, EnglandChristian Holding Holy Bible Good Book Religion. A respectful and clean abstract image portraying a Christian man holding the Holy Bible, also known as the GoodChristian cross made in ash, dust as religion concept background. Christian cross made in ash, dust as a religion, ash wednesday concept backgroundMar Saba, Holy Lavra of Saint Sabbas, Eastern Orthodox Christian monastery. West Bank, Palestine, Israel. Holy Lavra of Saint Sabbas, Mar Saba, Eastern OrthodoxChristian Religion, Bible, Church, Jesus. The sun shines a beam through a stained class window. An open Bible rests with the word of God of the ChristianHands holding Christian cross with light beams. Over skyChristian cross hitting inverted earth apocalypse. A Christian cross of rocky texture collides with earth. Earth image by Visible Earth, NASASilhouette of christian cross. On the lake over sunset backgroundChristian man is reading a bibleFemale Christian Praying in the Church, Religion Concept of Jesus Christ Believer. Gain addedA Christian band. Plays gospel songs in a church service at Solid Rock Church in Riverdale Park, MarylandChristian Motivational quote with Three crosses on top of hill. Christian Motivational quote saying For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten SonYoung christian woman hands open palm up worship and praying to. God at sunrise, Christian Religion concept backgroundHoly Christian Cross and Bible Scripture. A holy Christian cross laying on an open Bible with an American flag in the backgroundChristian Child praying. Praying, christian child or kid saying a prayerFaith, christian youth praying. Faith, christian youth outdoors prayingAsh wednesday word written in ash and christian cross symbol. As a religion conceptChristian messages. 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Glory of ChristChrist AtoningThe Effect Of The Word Of GodChrist's Own GloryimagepersonalityThe Beauty Of NatureGod On HighRight Hand Of GodRadiancyGod Sustaining CreationPower Of Christ, ShownHand Of GodGod, Living And Self sustainingRight SidesSalvation, Nature OfKnowledge, Of Jesus ChristCreatorGod's Glory In Jesus ChristMediatorGod, Power OfGod, Glory Of Biblical Verses Image

Then Asa took all the silver and the gold which were left in the treasuries of the house of the LORD and the treasuries of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants And King Asa sent them to Ben-hadad the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Aram, who lived in Damascus, saying, "Let there be a treaty between you and me, as between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you a present of silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so that he will withdraw from me." Scripture Verse Images
While many white musicians gravitated toward country, folk, and old-timey music to express their spirituality outside of traditional Christian hymns, Black Gospel music drew heavily upon the traditional spirituals that had been passed down from the days of slavery, picking up its more driving rhythmic emphasis from blues and early jazz. Composer and singer Thomas A. Dorsey crystallized the style in 1932 with his epochal "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," and went on to compose a great many songs that later became standards. When performed in the churches, the music was traditionally sung by a choir, with individual soloists sometimes taking the spotlight; this often happened in a form known as "call and response," in which either the choir or the soloist would repeat and/or answer the lyric which had just been sung by the other, with the soloist improvising embellishments of the melody for greater emphasis. As the music developed, these soloists became more and more virtuosic, performing with wild emotion (and, in the South, physicality) in order to properly express the spiritual ecstasy the music was meant to evoke. The music was quite egalitarian in terms of gender, as both male and female performers -- Brother Joe May, Rev. James Cleveland, Mahalia Jackson, the Clara Ward Singers, etc. -- gained wide renown among both black and white audiences. The small-group format was also prevalent, with major figures including the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Soul Stirrers, the Swan Silvertones, and the Dixie Hummingbirds; in general, these groups placed a greater premium on smooth vocal harmonies, although some performances could approach the raucous energy (if not quite the huge sound) of a choir-with-soloist group. As the years progressed, black gospel and black popular music influenced and borrowed from one another, reflecting the gradual change of emphasis toward R&B; black gospel also had an enormous impact on the development of soul music, which directed gospel's spiritual intensity into more secular concerns, and included a great many performers whose musical skills were developed in the church. As a recognizable style unto itself, black gospel music largely ceased to develop around the 1970s; progressing racial attitudes had helped black popular music reach wider audiences (and become more lucrative) than ever before, and tastes had turned towards the earthy hedonism of funk and the highly arranged, sophisticated Philly soul sound. The former wasn't quite appropriate for worship, and it wasn't all that practical to duplicate the latter in church services. However, the traditional black gospel sound survived intact and was eventually augmented by contemporary gospel (an '80s/'90s variation strongly influenced by latter-day urban R&B); plus, singers like Whitney Houston continued to develop within its ranks. Scripture Verse Gift
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