“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 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.


A talent is something that you are instinctually born with that gives you unique skills and abilities. Talent is set apart from knowledge in that it is not a learned behavior, although it can be strengthened and practiced. The Bible tells us that we are all born with distinct talents and gifts that set us apart from each other. When you discover the talents that God has given you and you use them to glorify Him, you will experience a full life! Our loving Lord wants us to feel whole and complete, and it is through talents that we can find our unique calling in life! Use these Bible verses about talents to encourage yourself and others who are seeking God's plan for their life.

1 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. Scripture Images
Country music is a wildly popular genre, but there are other sub-genres that could exist beneath it, such as Christian country music (CCM). CCM, sometimes called country gospel or inspirational country, blends the style of country with biblical lyrics. Like country music itself, it is an expansive genre, and no two CCM artists will sound exactly alike.  Biblical Verses Image
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).
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.

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 Gift


Country music is a wildly popular genre, but there are other sub-genres that could exist beneath it, such as Christian country music (CCM). CCM, sometimes called country gospel or inspirational country, blends the style of country with biblical lyrics. Like country music itself, it is an expansive genre, and no two CCM artists will sound exactly alike.  Biblical Verses Image
Unless otherwise indicated, individuals may post material from the Gospel Media portion of this site to another website or on a computer network for their own personal, noncommercial use. This right can be revoked at any time and for any reason. Organizations and legal entities desiring to use material from Gospel Media may request permission from our Permissions page. For more information about using and sharing Church media, check out our FAQ page. Scripture Verse Gift
From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. Scripture Verse Images
Unless otherwise indicated, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Contact me: openbibleinfo (at) gmail.com. Cite this page: Editor: Stephen Smith. Publication date: Aug 11, 2019. Publisher: OpenBible.info. Biblical Verses Image
"Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. "Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you. Scripture Verse Gift

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

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; ...
Modern Rock closely resembles Christian Rock. You'll notice that with some of the bands that perform this type of music, the lyrics may not speak directly about God or even Biblical ideas at all. Instead, the lyrics may contain implicit Biblical messages or may imply broader Christian teachings to other subjects. This makes Modern Rock music very popular with Christians and non-Christians alike. The songs can be heard widely on non-Christian radio stations across the country. 
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. 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.” Biblical Verses Image
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 Biblical Verses Image
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). Scripture Verse Images

And all the skillful men who were performing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work which he was performing, and they said to Moses, "The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform." So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, "Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary." Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.
A large selection of scriptures from God's word relating to "the gifts of God" for personal edification or for bible study. All the scriptures have been taken from the New King James Bible unless otherwise stated. If you click on the scripture reference you will go to that scripture at 'Bible Gateway' where you can read it in the translation or language you want to. 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 Biblical Verses Image

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Christians worship god in the buildingGroup of christian people are praying togetherSilhouette christian cross on grass in sunrise background. With flying pigeon birds in miracle bright lighting, religion and worship conceptDiverse Group Of Christian People Praying TogetherChristian woman hands praying to god Woman Pray for god blessi. Ng to wishing have a better life. begging for forgiveness and believe in goodnessAfrican Christian woman. Young woman Zimbabwe, black and white version, Christian lookErasing of christian cross. Secular manipulation with photograph - Cross as symbol of christianity and christian religion is erased, deleted and removed byChristian Worship with Raised Hand Joyful in the Glory and Love. Of the LordCloseup of wooden Christian cross on bible, burning candle and prayer beads on the old table. Church utensilsChristian Holding Holy Bible Good Book Religion. A respectful and clean abstract image portraying a Christian man holding the Holy Bible, also known as the GoodChristmas concept: Blurred Christian Congregation Worship God together in Church hall in front of music stage and light effected. International Human SolidarityCouple Christian Female Friend Holding Hands Together and Pray t. O God. Light Filter Effects AddedYoung christian woman hands open palm up worship and praying to god at sunrise, Christian Religion concept background. Christian stone Church with a gilded dome. Big christian stone Church with a columns and gilded dome in the citySilhouette of young human hands open palm up worship and praying to god at sunrise, Christian Religion concept background. Christian fish sign. A christian fish sign with a rainbow color backgroundHappy christian. Young smiling man holding a cross for your christian, catholic and protestant concepts - isolated on white and retouchedAngel, Religion, Heaven, God, Christian, Christianity. A young angel girl stands in a deep dark forest on a rock ledge with a beam of light shining from heavenChristian fish logo. Colorful Christian fish logo with abstract lightsSilhouette of young human hands praying to god at sunrise, Christian Religion concept background. Jesus Christ cross. Easter, resurrection concept. Christian wooden cross on a background with dramatic lighting. Christian fish. An old christian symbol made of small gravelsSilhouette of woman hand holding holy lift of christian cross with light sunset background. Christian cross with hands setting delicate butterfly free. Conceptual graphic of the Christian cross of Jesus with hands setting an iconic butterfly free. ArtChristian Cross. With blue sky and cloud background. With ray of light effectSilhouette of young woman praying with a cross at sunrise, Christian Religion concept background. Silhouette christian cross in the sea, sunrise shot. Aerial view over silhouette christian cross in the sea, sunrise shotChristian Christmas. Christmas candle with Christ and Christian topic in female handsChristian family. Father and child in loving gesture over Christian cross and rays of lightChristian Flag. A Christian Flag flying on a bright dayChristian woman with cross in hands praying hope and worship on the raindrop background. Abstract lighting. Eucharist therapy bles. S god helping repent catholicChristian Cross. Coming out of cloudsChristian Family Praying. Christian family pray in their daily devotional at homeJesus Christ crucified. Catholic symbol. Christian symbol. Easter holiday. Christ on the Cross. Wooden Christian Cross. A wooden Christian cross with a soft bokeh lights backgroundSilhouette christian cross on grass in sunrise background m. Silhouette christian cross on grass at sunrise background with miracle bright lighting, religion andChristian Island Sunset - Georgian Bay in Winter. Winter sunset on Georgian Bay near Christian Island in late February as the ice begins to break up and wearyChristian cross. On old wooden planksChristian Island Sunset - Georgian Bay in Winter. Winter sunset on Georgian Bay near Christian Island in mid-March. Beausoleil First Nations Territory nearChristian Woman Sitting Down in Prayer Silhouette. A silhouette of a young Christian woman is bowing her head in prayer, and desperation outside during sunsetChristian, Christianity, Religion background. Cross on blurry sunset background. Christian, Christianity, Religion copyspace backgroundChristian child with bible. Troubled christian child sleeping with bibleGroup of christian people are praying togetherChristian Cross. Which is visible through the tree leavesChristian Cross on the Sky. Bright Christian Cross in the Sky with Light Rays, Christianity SymbolSilhouette of young human hands open palm up worship and praying to god at sunrise, Christian Religion concept background. Happy christian money. Young smiling man holding a cross and some euro banknotes for your christian, catholic and protestant money or church tax conceptsChristian child praying. Christian child hands clasped in prayer prayingChristian Crosses on the Hill. Christian Crosses on a Hill on Sunset BackgroundChristian wooden cross on a background with dramatic lighting, Jesus Christ cross, Easter, resurrection concept. Christianity,. Religion copyspace backgroundMosaic of old christian ornament. At facade of christian church. Religious decoration elementChristian Bandel Church. Christian Church at Bandel, West Bengal, IndiaChristian family walks to cross. Mother and father lead their child to a Christian crossFirst of 600 steps ascending to Skellig Michael, well-preserved ancient Irish Christian monastery. Rocky stairway to Skellig Michael Great Skellig, IrishChristian baptism. Baptism Christian ritual of a young babyChristian Crosses on the Hill. With Sun Rays, Christianity SymbolChristian wood cross on Christmas stars. Wooden backgroundChristian religious cross. With yellow light raySilhouette of mother and son christian prayers raising cross while praying to the Jesus on sunset background, worship concept. Christian child kneeling praying. OutdoorsSilhouette of young couple looking at each other with christian. Cross over sunset backgroundChristian icon. Closeup of an ornate, antique, christian icon of Mary and baby JesusChristian business money. Young smiling businessman holding a cross and some euro banknotes for your christian, catholic and protestant concepts involving moneyGroup of christian people are praying togetherOpen holy bible with christian cross, and chalice on table,. Holy CommunionChristian cross, nail and the crown of thorns of Jesus Christ. High-angle shot of a wooden christian cross, a rusty nail and the crown of thorns of Jesus ChristVintage hand of a Christian man. Holding a cross with faith in GodGoing to Christian cross. Hands are praying. He is RisenChristian Religion, Bible, Church, Preacher. Abstract concept of a surreal scene of a minister, priest, pastor, or preacher reading the Bible and standing inChristian cross or crucifix drawing in ash, dust or sand. As symbol of religion, sacrifice, redemtion, Jesus Christ, ash wednesday, lent, Good FridayWood cross on blue sky and copy space. Christian background, spiritual scene. Christian keyboard. A closeup view of a computer keyboard with keys modified with Christian/faith related words
How true this is.  You can put lipstick and earrings on a pig but inwardly they’re still a pig so Peter writes that “the hidden person of the heart” is precious to God and the “imperishable beauty of a gentle and quite spirit” to God is “very precious” and that’s all that matters eternally.  We’ll all get new bodies someday anyway and so why should we be so preoccupied with what we look like when God only cares about what we are like on the inside? Scripture Verse Gift
Receiving The SpiritSigns Of RepentanceSymbols of the Holy SpiritConfession of sinChristian BaptismForgiveness Through RepentanceGod Giving His SpiritBaptismForgiving YourselfBaptism Of The Holy SpiritGentlenessBeing Born AgainAccepting ChristSalvationForgiveness, In Ministry of ChristThe Holy Spirit Described As God's GiftPreaching, Content OfCeremoniesUrgencyGrace, And Holy Spirit Biblical Verses Image
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

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!’ Biblical Verses Image
Lovely Gospel Songs for a Wedding The Very Best Gospel Songs Ever Written Beautiful Songs for Gospel Choirs The Greatest Gospel Rappers The Greatest Southern Gospel Artists Perfect Gospel Songs for a Funeral The Best Female Gospel Singers The Best Gospel Albums of All Time The Greatest Gospel Choirs Ever The Best Urban Contemporary Gospel Artists Gospel Songs for Men to Sing The Very Best Country Gospel Songs The Best Songs for Christmas The Best Gospel Songs for Women Great Gospel Songs for Children Beautiful Southern Gospel Songs Top Country Gospel Artists & Bands Gospel Rap Songs You Need to Hear '90s Southern Gospel Scripture Verse Images
And all the skillful men who were performing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work which he was performing, and they said to Moses, "The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform." So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, "Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary." Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it. Biblical Verses Image
"But I personally have heard about you, that you are able to give interpretations and solve difficult problems. Now if you are able to read the inscription and make its interpretation known to me, you will be clothed with purple and wear a necklace of gold around your neck, and you will have authority as the third ruler in the kingdom." Then Daniel answered and said before the king, "Keep your gifts for yourself or give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription to the king and make the interpretation known to him. Biblical Verses Image
Modern Rock closely resembles Christian Rock. You'll notice that with some of the bands that perform this type of music, the lyrics may not speak directly about God or even Biblical ideas at all. Instead, the lyrics may contain implicit Biblical messages or may imply broader Christian teachings to other subjects. This makes Modern Rock music very popular with Christians and non-Christians alike. The songs can be heard widely on non-Christian radio stations across the country.  Scripture 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, ... Biblical Verses Image
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. Biblical Verses Image
The older I get the less I care about what others think about me and about what I look like.  We are all made in the image of God.  Not that we have a body like God because God is Spirit but we have certain attributes of God and they are not about what we look like but about what we think about.  God has declared that He made us most wonderfully (Psalm 139:14) and besides, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Prov 31:30).  It is true that “bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Tim 4:8). Scripture Verse Gift

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Scripture Images


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.
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
He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. "For Moses said, 'HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER'; and, 'HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH'; but you say, 'If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),'read more. Scripture Verse Images
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Scripture Verse Gift
And all the skillful men who were performing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work which he was performing, and they said to Moses, "The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform." So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, "Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary." Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it. Scripture Images
Country music is a wildly popular genre, but there are other sub-genres that could exist beneath it, such as Christian country music (CCM). CCM, sometimes called country gospel or inspirational country, blends the style of country with biblical lyrics. Like country music itself, it is an expansive genre, and no two CCM artists will sound exactly alike.  Scripture Verse 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
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). Scripture Verse Images

Being Cleansed From SinSittingLikenessExpiationGod Made Visible In ChristGod's Glory RevealedPerfection, DivineGospel, Historical Foundation OfAdoration, Of ChristGod Is TranscendentLight, SpiritualExaltation Of ChristChrist's NatureAccuracyRevelation, In NtHoliness, Believers' Growth InGlory, Revelation OfGlory Of GodDivinity Of ChristEarth, God SustainingSelf ImageImage Of God Scripture 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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