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 Yolanda in Georgia @ 16:12 on Jan 21 2016

Daryl Coley has been in my spirit for about a week now. I just begin to pray because I have heard anything regarding him. His ministry has blessed me and my family over the years. PMAC conference and AMC in Atl GA was blessed to have Pastor Coley to teach a Voice class around 1999. Oh what a blessing it was. I love you Pastor Coley...

Posted by Junior Simpson in Brooklyn ny @ 21:56 on Dec 21 2015

Hey darly I've heard you sing a couple times,but just recently I really started listening to you sing,you I never had a music mentor and everybody needs someone in life to help them on their journey would you consider thanks my friend

Posted by C. Ashby in East Norriton, Pennsylvania @ 04:44 on Jul 6 2015

I listened to my favorite hymn by Pastor Coley, "When Sunday Comes" the live version with Donald Lawrence and Tri City. Gee, did he sing! In less than a year I have battled cancer, 2 operations on heart which resulted with a pacemaker, but, GOD has allowed me to continue to live. There is a reason why and "when that day comes", I will do GODS will. GOD bless you Pastor Coley. Keep doing HIS will...

Posted by Kaye Brown in East orange, NJ @ 10:49 on Jun 29 2015

I listened to He is Preparing Me for
3 months every day. Only to my
surprise GOD prepared me for a
day I never expected and I was
able to deal with.

Posted by Belinda Laws in Fayetteville nc @ 02:18 on Jun 29 2015

My prayer is that God heal and restore too you your full Health

Posted by Robin Mcclary in Lansing michigan @ 05:34 on Apr 26 2015

I love and respect you so much Rev Coley. I've been listening to you for years. God bless and keep you, You pray for me I'll pray for you

Posted by jacquelinejones in longbeach ca @ 22:17 on Mar 14 2015

Iam loverof daryl coley music for years his talent is undescrible!!!!!!

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.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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