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USA | Oct 31, 2020

American gospel legend Bishop Rance Allen dies at 71

/ Our Today

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Rest well, Bishop Allen. (Photo: Essense Magazine)

Legendary black American spiritual singer Bishop Rance Allen has passed away, aged 71, his family has confirmed on Saturday (October 31). 

Allen died while recovering from a medical procedure at Heartland ProMedica in Sylvania, Ohio, according to a joint statement from wife Ellen Allen and manager Toby Jackson.

The acclaimed gospel musician grew in fame as a lead singer of the Rance Allen Group, which he formed with his brothers, Thomas and Steve Allen in the late 1960s. 

Bishop Rance was born in the sleepy town of Monroe, Michigan, on November 20, 1948.

Rance Allen had been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards and had performed for former President Barack Obama at a White House Celebration of Gospel Music.

The group, which intermittently also contained a fourth brother, Esau Allen, was the first group to be signed to Stax Records imprint Gospel Truth. 

In addition to being known for Allen’s vocal prowess and range, the group was also regarded for its blending of gospel, rock, and soul. Among their best-known songs are “Ain’t No Need of Crying,” “I Belong to You,” “Do Your Will,” and “Miracle Worker.”

The group was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2012, the group won two Stellar Awards for Quartet of the Year and Traditional Group/Duo of the Year.

Allen was the senior pastor of the New Bethel Church of God in Christ in Toledo since its July 1985 establishment. 

Four years later, Allen and his family moved to Toledo to make the city their new home.

In November 2011, Allen was elevated to the office of Bishop in the Church of God in Christ for the Michigan Northwestern Harvest Jurisdiction.

Allen was “called home by God”, according to a statement from Adjutant General of the Church of God in Christ (CoGiC), Bishop Robert G. Rudolph Junior.

“Bishop Allen was a world-renowned gospel artist and affectionately known as the ‘Father of Contemporary Gospel Music,’” Bishop Rudolph Jr. remarked

“Bishop Allen’s unique vocal ministry was an indispensable sound within the Church of God in Christ and Christendom. His gift transcended boundaries of musical genre as he remained a sought-after personality called to perform on global venues,” he added.

Allen’s family is to hold a private memorial service.

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