Legendary gospel singer and pastor of Toledo, Ohio’s New Bethel Church (COGIC), the Rev. Dr. Rance Allen, was installed as Bishop on Nov. 7 to oversee 14 Michigan churches in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) denomination at the 6.5 million-member organization’s 104th Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Mo. He succeeds the late Bishop Alfred D. Knight Jr. as the Jurisdictional Prelate of the Michigan Northwestern Harvest Jurisdiction. “I have literally been working in the church since the age of 5,” Allen told David Yonke of the Toledo Blade newspaper. “Singing and preaching, and now at 62, almost 63 in another week or two, I get elevated to the position of a bishop! I’m trying to figure out how I feel about it, because right now I still can’t believe it.”
Allen is also thrilled that the Rance Allen Group’s latest Top 10 CD “The Live Experience II: Celebrating 40 Years of Music and Ministry” (Tyscot Records), has been nominated for four Stellar Awards in the categories of Group Duo of the Year, Traditional Group/Duo of the Year, Traditional Male of the Year and Quartet of the Year. “When I found that out, I was just elated!” Allen said. “I couldn’t believe we were nominated in four different categories.” The 27th annual Stellar Awards will take place at Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tn., Jan. 14, 2012. Visit www.thestelllarawards.com for more news. The new radio single, “Holy One,” a praise and worship ballad, is currently making its way up the gospel radio airplay charts.
The Rance Allen Group was born in their grandfather’s Monroe, Mi. church in the 1960s. They began recording for Stax Records in 1971 where they made a string of gritty, R&B-flavored gospel and message songs for the Gospel Truth imprint. They toured with the big artists of the day such as Isaac Hayes and Barry White, and literally took the gospel to the world. From there, the group recorded for a variety of labels and scored their first #1 gospel album in 1991 with the “Phenomenon” CD that featured the crossover R&B smash, “Miracle Worker.” Allen closed out the 1990s performing in a variety of gospel-oriented touring play productions but the group signed with Tyscot Records in 2002 and kicked off a new string of hits such as “Do Your Will,” “Closest Friend,” “For Your Feet,” and the Kirk Franklin duet, “Something About The Name Jesus.” Visit www.tyscot.com or www.theranceallengroup.com for more information.