Thomas' Witness

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Thursday 1st July 2004

Ex-Commodores singer returned to church thanks to God's calling

THE CO-FOUNDER and guitarist of '70s pop soul group The Commodores, Thomas McClary, spoke about his Christian faith in the May issue of Charisma magazine. The group, featuring the lead vocals of Lionel Ritchie, scored a string of hits for Motown Records in the '70s. One of the band's minor successes was the song "Jesus Is Love" which made the R&B top 40 in 1980. In 1982 McClary and Ritchie, who had co-written hits for Diana Ross and Kenny Rogers, went solo after The Commodores' manager died. After a Hot 100 hit with the single "Thin Walls" and producing a hit for Klique, McClary was scheduled to produce Melissa Manchester and the Four Tops.

He told Charisma of what happened next; "I heard an audible voice from God while I was in the shower. The voice said, 'It's time for you to come home now.' I thought I was hearing things." McClary went home - literally. He returned to Eustis, where he joined a church and produced a documentary titled The History Of The Apostolic Faith. He used his celebrity influence and recording royalties to fund local church and community charities and, as a local hero, gave motivational speeches at youth groups.

Today McClary oversees the music ministry at New Destiny Christian Center in Orlando, Florida. Later this year he will produce the church's first CD on his own Visitation Records. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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