Gospel powerhouse Beverly Crawford is not just a singer, but she’s a preacher too! She and her husband Todd Crawford together co-pastor the Gainesville Family Worship Center in Gainesville, Fla.
In the wake of the Bishop Eddie Long scandal and the amount of scrutiny on churchgoing Christians as a whole, Crawford is teaching her members that only God is perfect! “It is critical that we place our hope in God and not in man because man is imperfect and is subject to moral failure. When you put your trust in man, you set yourself up for disappointment and discouragement. I tell the members all the time at our church to put their trust in God and to develop a relationship with Him for themselves.
Pastor Beverly is flesh and blood and is subject to let them down but they can always depend on God,” she told BV Buzz, before adding: “For He never fails!” The 49-year-old vocalist won her first Stellar Award for “Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year” in 2009 for her CD, ‘Live in Los Angeles – Vol. 1.’ That album featured the hit song, ‘He’s Done Enough,’ a tune Fantasia has performed on several television specials and during concerts. (Read: ‘Fantasia: ‘American Idol’ Star Hospitalized for Overdose.’) Crawford shared with BV Buzz that she could relate to the ‘American Idol’ winner’s recent suicide attempt and like Fantasia; she survived to tell the story. “Like Fantasia, I’ve been in situations where I thought I just couldn’t take it any longer and would rather give up on life than go on. I too attempted suicide but I thank God that I am still here,” she confessed. Though she hasn’t seen Fantasia since the incident occurred, Crawford said that she’s been constantly praying for the VH1 reality show star. “I say to my sister Fantasia, ‘don’t give up! Trust God and love yourself! Use your testimony from this experience to encourage yourself and help someone else. The devil meant it for bad but God turned it around for good!’ Hey, you gonna make me preach up in here,” she sermonized. “Things will get better for Fantasia! All she has to do is trust in God and He will see her through everything. I love her and pray for her strength in the Lord daily, because she has such a great anointing on her life! Thank God we serve a God of a second chance!”
Many singers who also preach begin to lose vocal quality and range. That hasn’t been the case with Crawford, whose energetic singing delivery and soaring range has earned her comparisons to Patti LaBelle. “First of all, I thank my father for giving me his genes. As a preacher and singer, he rarely ever got hoarse, so it’s certainly a gift from God that our family is blessed with strong voices and durability. But I definitely don’t take my vocal gift for granted. The most important thing for me in taking care of my voice is getting plenty of rest. I also drink herbal tea which helps tremendously right before I sing. But getting lots of rest is the most important thing for me,” she enlightened. Fans can hear Crawford’s vocal gift on her latest CD, ‘Live in Los Angeles – Vol. 2’ (JDI Records), which was released on Sept. 14 and features collaborations with Shirley Murdock, Shawn McLemore and her daughter, Trina Crawford. “‘Live in Los Angeles – Vol. 1’ was such an awesome experience, so as we began planning for the follow-up project, going back to Los Angeles was a no-brainer. Bishop Kenneth and First Lady Ulmer at Faithful Central are dear friends so it was a natural choice. Like ‘Vol. 1,’ the atmosphere of ‘Vol. 2’ was simply electric! The atmosphere was set for praise and worship from the outset and the Lord just really showed up and showed out! What I like most about the recording is that the producers, Michael Bereal and Professor James Roberson, really allowed me to do what I do and just minister. The result is what you hear on the recording! Oh man, we danced, we cried, we praised, we worshipped and I believe that people are going to mightily blessed by the music and the message on ‘Live in Los Angeles – Vol. 2,'” she expressed. Crawford, who once sang with Dr. Bobby Jones’ New Life Singers and was previously signed to Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Dexterity Sounds Record Label, said ultimately she wants this CD to offer listeners hope during these tough times. “With everything that is going on in the world, especially in the times we’re living in, I want the people to know that ‘It’s About Time For a Miracle’ in their lives. So no matter what you’re going through – financial trouble, health challenges, marital problems, whatever – just hang in there and know that God has not forgotten you,” she closed.