Conversation: David Gough
Gospel music recording artist David Gough founded the International Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum (IGMHFM) in Detroit in 1995. He recently spoke with Assistant Editor Jennifer McClure.
tpe: What led to the museum's founding?
GOUGH: After the Gaither Homecoming series came out, Ed Smith, the administrator for the Gospel Music Workshop of America, felt it would be a good idea to do that same theme with African-Americans who had dedicated a great part of their lives to recording gospel music.
He and Bill Gaither invited about 300 gospel pioneers and contemporary artists to come to Bill Gaither's studio for two nights and three days of recording sessions. By being there, listening to the stories of a lot of the pioneers — of their careers in the '30s, '40s, '50s and on up — and hearing the things they had gone through, the Lord dropped in my spirit that these people needed to be remembered.
tpe: How many inductees are featured?
GOUGH: More than 100 have been inducted, including Shirley Caesar, The Canton Spirituals, the Dixie Hummingbirds, Andrae Crouch, Yolanda Adams, The Rance Allen Group, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, V. Michael McKay and The Winans. We have an exhaustive list of inductees on our Web site, www.igmhf.org.
tpe: How is the Hall of Fame a ministry?
GOUGH: You can really see the reaction from some of these inductees, how grateful they are that someone has still thought of them when a lot of them have semi-retired to their local churches. Success is when you add value to your life. Being significant is when you add value to someone else's life; that's the ministry. If you could really see the reaction, then you would understand.
Careers have been rejuvenated. It's really something how people, as they get older, don't feel as useful as they did in years past. Then to know that someone out there is thinking about them and wants to remember them and honor them, that's what is needed.
The inductees don't have to do anything but come and relax and be honored. It's not our push to try to make them come. God gave us the commission to honor these individuals who have given the greater part of their lives to the furtherance of gospel music and to God. These are world-class recording artists doing world-class music. But there's more to it. They're touching lives. They're changing lives. They're making a difference. To come back and honor them is very fulfilling.
tpe: How has God blessed you through this ministry?
GOUGH: This is my heartbeat now, to make sure these individuals are not forgotten. We can never forget the people who have done such a marvelous work for the Lord.
For me, just to be able to see how grateful the inductees are — to see that lives are lifted up because someone has thought about them — to be a part of that is an honor in itself. This is God's IGMHFM, and David Gough is just a part of this great happening. It has changed my life to know that when God wants something to be done we are just to stay focused and stay on course and be willing to do whatever it takes to bring that vision to pass.
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