Local African American Community Choir shares faith through music

Rosslyn King directs the African American Community Choir during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast at The Commons in downtown Columbus on Monday.

Mike Wolanin | The Republic

Keyboard player and vocalist Danny Green believes more than sweet harmonies stir listeners when the faith-oriented African American Community Choir sings. He feels that God moves amid the sound to move on hearts.

“Actually, I believe that he allows the music to go straight into your soul,” Green said.

Perhaps there could have been some of that mystical moving unfolding at the 26th Annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast on Monday at The Commons. The group, numbering 10 to 15 people depending upon the performance, earned a standing ovation after two spirited songs: “Every Praise,” and “Right On, King Jesus.”

While attendees made their way through a breakfast serving line, Green and his sister, Terrie Green Roddie, performed a soft, duet version of the classic “We Shall Overcome.”

Some in the crowd estimated at 350 people in downtown Columbus clapped to the beat of what Green agreed was a swaying, Black gospel vibe with the choir.

“But we can change it up on a dime,” he said.

The group can do music from artists and acts such as Kirk Franklin, Maverick City Music, Donnie McClurkin, and Hillsong. The local African American Pastors Alliance, which planned the breakfast, encouraged Rosslyn King to assemble a choir for the event. She and Green, an assistant, along with Roddie, recruited singers from at least six churches from Columbus, North Vernon, Franklin and Greenwood.

They had time for four rehearsals before the popular gathering.

“The sound of the choir and how it comes across (to people) is the blessing of God,” King said. “That has to be on what you do. If he doesn’t bless it, then there’s no power and no anointing there.”

She can see why even a nonbeliever might be moved by such joyous, energetic tunes.

“It’s because everybody is a spiritual being, no matter what they say,” King said. “And I believe that we all are created in the image of God. So there’s a connection with him, whether people believe that or not.”

Plus, one other element figures in, as she sees it.

“People can see how it makes us feel (as singers),” King said. “You have to realize that the music has to move us first in order to move them.”

Ideally, King would like to keep the choir together for other presentations, such as at area churches and maybe for special events. She gushes over the talent and work of Green and Roddie, who has been a choir director in the past at Calvary Community Church. In fact, King pointed out that maybe one reason for the group’s overall harmony can be traced to general longevity.

She mentioned that many of the members sang together through the years at Calvary before moving and then attending other area churches. But she also acknowledged that she herself gets little time in general to sing with others.

“But,” she said with a chuckle, “I sing in the car.”

Invite the choir

The African American Community Choir can sing at your church or event. For more information, contact Rosslyn King at [email protected] or Danny Green at [email protected].