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Born Again Church Choir

CeCe Winans presents...
The Born Again Church Choir

Long in demand for backing vocals on albums from artists as diverse as Travis Tritt and Donnie McClurkin, The Born Again Church Choir has heeded the prompting of congregation member and record label owner CeCe Winans and delivered their first feature project.

siteThe self-titled album puts the spotlight squarely on the impressive vocal ensemble, a choir in existence at the Nashville church (pastored by Horace and Kiwannis Hockett) since small beginnings in 1978.

The choir takes it cues from a leadership team that includes Music Minister Manoah Collins, choir directors Cedric and Gavin Sesley, and lead musician Elijah "D.D." Holt. Production comes from Cedric and Victor Caldwell, and is excellent, as usual.

The delights of this live recorded album album are myriad, beginning with the startling opening number, "Exalted Praise". Written by Troy McIntosh and with soulful vocal lead from Jerard Woods, the choir immediately posts notice that their vocal form is excellent —diction, tone and color are superb as they move from the ear-pulling chord changes of the verse to the modulating vamp.

CeCe Winans leads on the Rochelle Mosby penned, "Pass The Gates", a song that expresses our longing to get closer to Jesus, and references 'passing the gates' of the temple and 'going through the courts' to touch Jesus, finding that 'secret place' of worship that he has opened to us through His death and resurrection.

The Born Again Church Choir
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The album unfolds to feature more of Gospel's finest lead vocalists, who one by one offer praise to God in front of The Born Again Church Choir. Steve Crawford (of Anointed) takes charge of "It's Already Done", an infectious song from praise and worship psalmist Stephen Hurd (that first appeared on his In the Overflow project). Crawford also leads on the island celebration "Offering Time".

Fellow Anointed member Da'Dra Greathouse steps in on Israel Houghton's "I Delight In Your Presence". The choir mellows out their expression to tenderly offer this prayer as Greathouse moves over top with her praise. Then on the remake of the ballad, "It's All About You", Houghton himself sings.

Pastor Horace Hockett narrates on the song of surrender, "Pastor's Prayer — Overtake Us", and in doing so encapsulates entire spirit of the album.

Other contributions from Gale West ("Breakthrough"), Desmond Pringle ("Holiness Is Right") and Denotra Sneed ("Isaiah") then complete this commendable project.


Producers: Victor and Cedric Caldwell, Elijah "D.D." Holt
album release date: October 14, 2003
EMI Gospel / Pure Springs Gospel Records


reviewed by Stan North



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