Did You Know...........

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......that R&B Diva Gladys Knight is a Mormon? I didn't until I read an article in today's Religion Section of my local paper. It seems like I recall that Ms. Knight is a member of the Mensa Society but this news about her religious persuasion comes as a surpise, at least to me.

This weekend, the Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) Genesis Group for black Mormons is commemorating the 1978 revelation which repealed the racist restrictions on black Mormons seeking priest status in the church. The celebration consists of several events, including performances of the play "I Am Jane," the story of Jane Elizabeth Manning James, a black woman who was active in the LDS church and traveled with Mormon pioneers in the late 1840s. I must confess, I never knew about nor heard of Jane James until this morning!! I for one would be interested in seeing this play. Once again the old adgae is true, you can learn something everyday.

On Sunday, the actual anniversary, Ms. Knight will conduct the Saints Unified Voices, a 110-person multiracial choir. No mention about whether the sultry and voluptuous conductor will sing my all-time favorite "Neither One of Us" :-) QED

-- Anonymous, June 07, 2003



This is news to me as well. Gladys is a native Atlantan with strong connections to Morris Brown. When Gladys was quite young she was a protégée of Dr. Ruth Hall Hedges, Professor of Art at Morris Brown College. Doctor Hodges was the sister of the famous composer and conductor Frederick D. Hall. Both Dr. Hodges and Dr. Hall were memebers of Allen Temple A.M.E. Chruch.

During her art classes Dr. Hodges would often allow little Gladys to sing for her students at Morris Brown. She eventually put on a pageant at which Gladys became the first ever, "Little Miss Morris Brown."

When Dr. Hodges died I was a member of the choir at Allen Temple A.M.E. Church. The service was quite lovely, where honors were given but few tears were shed. That is until it came time for Gladys to sing.

She began by singing "That's What Friends Are For" and concluded by singing, Brahms "Lullaby." When Gladys finished singing "Lullaby and Goodnight", there was not one dry eye anywhere to be found.

-- Anonymous, June 07, 2003

Bill...there was a news story about three years ago concerning Gladys Knight and her being a mormon. Considering all she has been through, nothing would surprise me.

-- Anonymous, June 07, 2003

I attended a concert at the Conference Center near Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Gladys was the featured guest, and did an amazing job! Also, I attended a meeting in which her daughter spoke of their conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. An amazing story! You should look into why Gladys chose this path, I think you would be surprised.

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2003

I would like to know how to contact Ms. Knight as my husband,James Gray is supposed to be a distant cousin and is the only LDS member in the family that he knew of before now. Also would like to know how to contact the Genesis Group, and Darius Gray to see if there is any relation. WE live in Missouri so finding info is more difficult. Thank you, jodee gray jodeel@ponyexpress.net

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2003

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