Rance Allen
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Gospel music giant, Stax Records star Rance Allen dead at 71

Gospel musician and Stax Records artist Rance Allen has died. The 71-year-old leader of The Rance Allen Group, who had become a bishop in the Church of God in Christ, died Saturday morning at his home in Toledo, Ohio.

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An eight-time Grammy nominee, Allen had grown up in the shadow of Motown, recorded for Stax and been influenced by Chuck Berry, but his songs were always a deeply profound and fervent expression of his religious faith.

“It’s music, it’s truth, it’s the anointing of God, it’s an exciting thing, and you can hear it,” Allen noted of his work in a 2011 interview with The Commercial Appeal.

In a statement on his passing, COGIC adjutant general Bishop Robert G. Randolph Jr. said, “Bishop Allen’s unique vocal ministry was an indispensable sound within the Church of God in Christ and Christendom. His gift transcended the boundaries of musical genre.”

Bishop Rance Allen was born in 1948 in Monroe, Michigan, one of 12 children. At the age of five he began his preaching ministry and by age nine was preaching throughout Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He was licensed to preach at age 12 and has since carried the Word of the Lord throughout the United States and abroad. In 1978 he was ordained an Elder by the late Bishop John Seth Bailey and subsequently served 6-1/2 years as Associate Pastor of Holiness Temple Church of God In Christ (COGIC) in Monroe, MI.

In 1985 the late Bishop Gilbert Patterson founded New Bethel Church in Toledo, OH and installed Bishop Allen there as Pastor where he currently serves today. He served many years on the board of the Neighborhood Improvement Foundation of Toledo, Inc., a community organization whose mission was dedicated to improving inner-city environments. In recognition of his dedicated years in ministry the Urban Bible Institute of Detroit bestowed upon him an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity in 1995. In September, 2011 by Gods amazing grace Bishop Allen was elevated to the office of Jurisdictional Prelate of Michigan Northwestern Harvest in Detroit, succeeding the late Bishop Alfred Knight, Jr. and was consecrated on November 7, 2011 during the 104th Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri. He has also been blessed with the awesome and humbling opportunity to preach the main message to thousands during the 90th, 96th and 105th International COGIC Holy Convocations.

Bishop Allen has been married to Evangelist Ellen Marie Groves since December, 1970. The calling on her life has been an enormous blessing to Bishop Allen as she has helped him take his ministries to a greater level in God. While there are no natural children born to this union they sharetheir love and support to many God-children.

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