Dateline: Sunday, May 1, 2005, 7PM at Greater Emmanuel C.O.G.I.C. in Detroit.

Karen Clark Sheard Live Recording with Producer Israel Houghton

Photos and Article By Keith Crosby

Detroit was in the house as Karen Clark- Sheard recorded her latest solo project at her home church, Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God In Christ, pastored by husband, J. Drew Sheard. It was an electric evening as people came from far and near to witness the live recording of one of gospel music’s most beloved artists.

The church was filled to capacity and those who have visited the massive edifice at the corner of Schaefer and 7-Mile Rd in Detroit, know that this is no easy feat. Included among those present were Karen’s daughter, Kierra “KiKi” Sheard; cousins, J. Moss and Bill Moss, Jr.; and sisters, Dorinda, Jacky, and Twinkie.

Kierra “KiKi” Sheard with’s Renee’ following the concert

Other notable names in attendance for this great evening of gospel music included Donald Lawrence, Byron Cage, Pastor Marvin Winans, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and first lady Carlitta Kilpatrick, Congresswomen Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick, and Pastor Edgar Vann.

Expectations appear to be high for Karen’s first project since signing with Word Records. She and the Word Records crew seem to be prepared to pull out all of the stops for this project by bringing in one of the best and most sought after producers in the business, Israel Houghton.

The evening started with praise and worship, followed by an opening performance by Stellar Award winning artist, Israel Houghton. He got the crowd on their feet with his smash hit “Rejoice” followed by “Friend of God.” Afterward, the lovely Karen Clark-Sheard took the stage, radiant in a red dress, to cheers from the waiting crowd. She electrified the crowd from the very beginning as she sang as only Karen can.

Karen Clark Sheard
Karen Clark-Sheard

Those present received a special treat early in the performance as Karen began singing the legendary Clark Sisters tune “He Brought the Sunshine” and called her sisters Dorinda, Jacky, and Twinkie to the stage. They brought the entire place to its feet as we all sang along with them.

The legendary Clark Sisters
(Twinkie, Dorinda, Karen, and Jacky)

After a brief intermission, Karen came back on stage resplendent in a beautiful blue ruffled dress. She ministered to the audience as she slowed it down for several songs.

Karen Clark-Sheard shows her distinctive style

Before the night ended Karen performed a song that she herself had penned. The world already knows that she is a talented vocalist with great ability, but it appears that Karen is becoming a more versatile and complete artist. On one of the songs, she was even featured on the keyboards. She told the crowd that her cousin, J Moss, who was in the audience, had told her all along that the gift was in her.

Carl B. Phillips of Detroit commented, “This recording session showed a more confident side of Karen. Israel Houghton and Aaron Lindsay’s musical arrangements showcased another dimension of this true gospel diva’s musical abilities.”

Karen Clark-Sheard and Carl B. behind the scenes of Motown Winter Blast

Near the end of the performance she invited her sister, Twinkie Clark, to the stage to play the keyboard, and afterward the Hammond organ. Twinkie did her thing as nobody but the “Queen of the Hammond B-3” can. Karen also encouraged Twinkie by telling her that God had more ministry for her to do.

Twinkie Clark and Dorinda Clark-Cole