Photo courtesy of Maybelline Williams
When she was six, Mattie Moss Clark (1925-1994) was already playing the piano; at twelve, she was playing for services at the churches pastored by her mother, a guitarist and piano player in her own right. Thus the Selma, Alabama, native began a stellar, sixty- year career as a gospel singer, composer, choral director and producer.
After moving to Detroit in 1947, her ministry blossomed. She recorded numerous gospel gems, many of them her own compositions, with the Southwest Michigan State Choir of the church of God in Christ (COGIC), including "Salvation Is Free," " Climbing Up the Mountain," and "He Abides." Through her work, she mentored some of the most talented young people in gospel music, including Donald Vails, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and Rance Allen.
From 1968 until her death, Mattie Moss Clark served as international Minister of Music for the COGIC. In that capacity, she produced numerous successful albums, built several youth choirs, and helped to solidify the Church's position as one of the most dynamic forces in gospel.
Today, her legacy lives on through the Clark Conservatory of Music, through her historic recordings, and through the recordings of her many pupils, including her daughters, the award- winning Clark Sisters.
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