Daryl Coley: The gospel giant returns after battle with illness

Saturday 26th August 2006

One of the giants of contemporary gospel DARYL COLEY has made a return to the scene with the unexpected re-issue of an old album. Tony Cummings reports.

Daryl Coley
Daryl Coley

Daryl Coley is one of the giants of contemporary gospel music. But, despite his big sales and critical acclaim the California-based singer seemed to drop out from the scene, only now returning with the re-issue of his 1986 album 'Just Daryl'. The re-issue, which has been updated with the addition of some newly recorded tracks, demonstrates to younger gospel fans what older ones have known for years - Daryl's silky smooth tone, spectacular range and dazzling jazz-like improvisational skills make him one of post war gospel's great vocalists. Journalist Andrea R Williams asked Daryl what he's been up to the last few years. He replied, "I have been going out preaching. I'm one of the ministers at Covenant Worship Center in Inglewood, California, under the pastorate of Bishop Andrew C. Turner, II. I have pastored a couple of churches down through the years. I'm 50 and I started preaching when I was 17; it's been a long time. I've always been preaching but people have never known that side of me - unless they have heard me. But recently, I've had about three years of just being sick - the result of diabetes. It swelled up and got really bad. So I've been just trying to recover from that. But I'm well on the way to recovery."

Daryl gives testimony of how his health problems have drawn him closer to God. "It's been a much closer walk. Right now I'm dealing with some things in my vision. But it's really been a great blessing. Instead of looking at people's faces, I've had to hear - with a discerning ear. He's sharpening things in me. I already have the guarantee of the healing of my vision. In fact, it's already been done. It's been amazing that with all that I've been dealing with and going through, God is still being glorified. People still see me doing what the Lord has been telling me to do. I have people say to me, 'If you're dealing with this and you still have your joy and are still preaching and singing, then I know that I can go through what I have to go through and trust God.'

"About a year ago, I was at a conference. A week before the conference, the Prelate, the Bishop over the conference, called to tell me that he was diagnosed with brain cancer and cancer of the spine. We immediately prayed and spoke healing. When I walked into the conference, he said that he had received his doctor's report and there was no cancer! His word to me was, 'I know you've been going through a lot the last few years and you've been such an inspiration to me. I believed that if the Lord is healing you that he would heal me also.' How amazing! So I'm not having a pity party; I'm rejoicing because for the purposes of the Kingdom, this is what it is. I'm just excited because God is working through this whole thing. This is really blowing my mind; I'm trippin' out! This is a wonderful thing. I know people would probably think I'm crazy but it's a wonderful thing because he's sharpening areas of my spirituality."

Daryl went on to explain how his very first album 'Just Daryl', originally released in 1986 on First Epistle Records, got its unexpected re-issue. "My son and my godson started a record company called Diego Music Group and I was the first artist to come out on the label. I do have three bonus tracks on there that I did with Paul Wright who we are in partnership with. The choir, the Voices Of Fulfillment, their CD dropped as well. It's an awesome, awesome choir. They have a song on there with the choir. It's wonderful. We do have six or seven artists in the wings that we're working with. It's a brand new record company; we're just excited because of what God has promised us. We're doing things with integrity. Since most of us have been artists, we already understand some of the struggles and disappointments some artists have had with record labels. I do have a new group of 10 guys; all of us sing. We go from soprano to bass. I'm also working on another solo project for me."

Daryl Coley:  The gospel giant returns after battle with illness

Over the years Daryl has experienced considerable success. 'Just Daryl' was nominated for a Grammy, his 1990 debut for Light Records 'He's Right On Time' made number three on the Gospel Charts while 1992's 'When The Music Stops' made it to number one. More recently, 1997's 'Live In Oakland: Home Again' featuring a scorching duet with Vanessa Bell Armstrong on "Don't Give On Jesus" was another major gospel hit. Yet for Daryl's own success the singer is a little concerned about the direction some gospel music is heading. "I'm glad for the advancement and I'm glad that it's popular. I am not disappointed - but uneasy - about how we're going about delivering the message. I know that it is music that touches the hearts and the spirit. But in reaching other people with the sound of today, I think we need to make sure we're delivering the message of Jesus Christ and not sacrificing the message just to do music. We need to bring forth a message that changes lives and changes attitudes. I love the fun we can have doing gospel music. But in the midst of having fun, we have to make sure that we deliver a solid message about Jesus Christ - who he is, what he has done, what he is capable of doing, and what he has promised us. We need to tell people where he's brought us from. They should be able to see that we are an example of people being changed; we must change. We can't sing gospel music and turn around and do the same things that everyone else is doing. There has to be a change, a difference. At the same time, it doesn't mean that artists who sing secular music are wrong. I know a lot of secular artists who are in theatre and they have a love for the Lord; it's a job for them. They continue to pray, seek God and do his will. I believe there's a place for all of us. If we are to minister to people, we have to be available in every genre and every place where music is. People will see Christ and feel his touch through us." CR

About Tony Cummings
Tony CummingsTony Cummings is the music editor for Cross Rhythms website and attends Grace Church in Stoke-on-Trent.


Reader Comments

Posted by Zebulon M. Clayton in Silver Spring MD @ 17:41 on Jan 31 2015

I would love to get in contact with Mr. Coley to perform at my Pastors 15th Anniversary this year 2015. Could you please send contact information for booking him. Thanks in advance. He did a a training session at my church, Galilee Baptist Church many years ago it would be a blessing.

Posted by John Greene in Clarkston Ga. @ 16:29 on Jan 16 2015

I have been blessed by Darryl's music for years and it has gotten me through a lot of tough times.He is mightily used of GOD. Thank you for using your gift to Glorify God!! You are Healed! Isaiah 53 and 5 delares it!

Posted by Kelly in Indianapolis @ 14:50 on Nov 8 2014

Praise God! I'm so glad that Daryl Coley is doing well, I love his music, his range, his sincerity, his spirit and have been blessed over the years by his ministry. I bless God for your healing and am so glad to hear that you are going on in the Lord. Looking forward or continued music! And pray for the things God is doing in you.

Posted by Glenda-Ann in louisiana @ 20:32 on Nov 2 2014

I love Daryl b

Coley. I am in agreement with your healing. I have listened to you since I was 14. I have almost everything you've sang man of God. Some I've lost through Katrina and others I've played so much, their scratched. Lol!! Your ministry Brings me in worship. It has actually over the years cultivated my relationship with God. Bless you for accepting your calling. I liken you unto an ambassador of worship pastor Coley. Blessings

Posted by laruby a.b.lamell in lexingtonpark md @ 20:13 on Mar 4 2014

Yes PastorColey & Family Jesus Saves To The Utmost .

Posted by Ellen Harris in Bowie, MD @ 02:22 on Jan 20 2014

Thank you for sharing about Daryl, I've learned alot. I pray that he recovers. Yes I agree, we must not compromise the music for the message. Our lyrics must be true, people need to know that they are lost without Christ. He died so that we can live with him.

Posted by Aurelia Brewerand it in Smyrna Ga. {Atlanta Area} @ 18:37 on Dec 28 2013

I have always loved your music. My friends and I had the privilege to sing in the background choir in Atl, years ago,at Minister R L white's church when u came to do a concert. What a blessed experience. Take good care of your self. GOD wants us to be in good health. My son loves the song, When Sunday Comes. I love the song called, The Man behind the mask, and its testimony. GOD BLESS DARYL COLEY.

Posted by David Hardesty Motle in Ferndale, MI @ 14:57 on Oct 10 2013

Well is seems a decade ago that we were together with the New Generation Singers, and Love Center Choir we have lost touch and I miss our kinship. I'm so glad to hear that your well and doing better as I am and on the battle field still working. Keep me in your prayers as I continue the fight no matter what the cost. Your old friend. David

Posted by Linette in Fayetteville, NC @ 02:13 on Oct 10 2013

Pastor Coley, I truly hope that you get to read this comment. I had the opportunity of meeting you and you wife in Durham, North Carolina several years ago, and you pray for me and I was blessed through your ministry. In 1997, I was diagnosed with kidney failure and I felt that my life was over. Just graduated from grad school and planning for the rest of my life; and this had to happen. I became so depress, I wanted to call it quits. A friend gave me one of your cassettes (yea, I said it, cassettes), and I began to play it over and over again. It's through your songs that I was able pull myself together and ask God to help me. It's through prayer and your ministry in songs that got me over the turmoil. On January 2005, I was blessed to recieved a transplant and soon I will be celebrating almost ten years. Thank you for being that source that help me to get over the hurdle. Be Blessed. I truly love you. Thanks.

Posted by Patricia A. Gibbs in Douglas, Ga. @ 19:03 on Jul 19 2013

Greetings Dr. Coley, I read your article on the tests and trials, you've been through. I know God is up to something good in your life. The word testimony has the first four letters of "TEST", which the Lord revealed to me, several years ago, while sitting in service listening to my Pastor preach. He ask me to look at the word testimony, then He ask me to spell it. I did, and He said, you can't have a testimony without a test, because they both go together. Oh bless His Name! So be encouraged, and again know that God is up to something good in your life, in Jesus Name!!! Oh and by the way, what you said about the music industry, I totally agree, that a clear message should be given about Jesus Christ, that draws souls to Him. I remember watching the grammy's one night, several years ago, and Marvin Winans stated, as he was headed to his dressing room, that God spoke to him, and said, I didn't call you to win grammys, I called you to win souls. That statement has stuck with me, since he spoke it. He is now going forth in the Lord, like never before. To God be all the glory!!!

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