As the pastor of St. James Missionary Baptist Church, Dr. George T. Brooks, Sr., gears up for his 30th anniversary, he wanted to share the celebration with his favorite gospel recording artist, Dottie Peoples, who is also celebrating 30 years in the gospel ministry and music.
Thus, the pubic is invited to celebrate as Dottie Peoples will be in concert at St. James Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday, April 27, at 5 pm.
Dottie Peoples is one of Rev. Brooks “favorite gospel artists,” according to committee organizers.
A committee statement says: “It is an added pleasure that she is celebrating her 30th year. We wanted to get her back in Nashville to celebrate with him and we’re glad that it’s happening.”
Gospel vocalist, songwriter, producer, tour director, businesswoman, and spokesperson Dottie Peoples has been a star in the gospel music industry for more than 30 years, since she was nine years old. She is called the ‘Songbird of the South’ by Atlanta WAOK radio announcer Brother Esmond Patterson.
Peoples was born in 1950 in Dayton, Ohio, the firstborn of 10 children and began singing at an early age. She is the only singer in the family. Her father worked two jobs, one at General Motors, to support the large family.
“I remember well walking a mile to school in snow up to our heads because our family could not afford bus fare,” said Peoples.
During her summer vacations, Peoples would stay with her grandmother in Birmingham, Alabama. On those vacations she would attend church all day on Sundays.
“The singers fascinated me,” Peoples said.
Picturing herself as another Mahalia Jackson, Dottie Peoples went on to sing in her church choir and her high school concert choir. Peoples’ mother did not want her daughter to go on tour. However after high school, she toured briefly with gospel pioneer Dorothy Norwood, a member of The Caravans and then with Shirley Caesar. She later joined a jazz ensemble where she performed in various venues across the country. But she was unhappy singing secular music. In her effort to return to her gospel roots, she relocated to Atlanta, Georgia.
Peoples recorded her debut album, Live At Salem Baptist Church, in 1993. On July 28, 2008, she performed a free concert at the East Birmingham Church of God in Christ.
Gospel music exploded in the nineties. In 1990, The Dottie Peoples’ Showcase on radio station WAOK of Atlanta helped this explosion. In 1991, a year after Peoples started hosting, directing, and producing the show, she signed with Atlanta International Records. In 1993 her album, Live at Salem Baptist Church garnered her a Stellar Award nomination for Best Female Solo Performance of traditional music. More nominations (for the Gospel Excellence Awards, Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards, and Dove awards) would follow with other albums. Peoples’ success with her Live album allowed her to leave her position with Church Door Records and sing full-time.
Peoples’s 1995 album, On Time God, would change her role in gospel music. With it, she won the top four honors at the 1995 Stellar Awards. Since then she has perpetually won or been nominated for many awards.
Those attending the concert at St. James will also enjoy music from special guests, Michelle Vaughn and The Jones Brothers.
On May 18, the pastor’s 30-year appreciation will be held with worship services at 8 am, 11 am and 2:30 pm.
St. James Missionary Baptist Church is located at 600 28th Avenue North.
Tickets are available at Haddox Pharmacy, Eastside Gospel and online at .