Thelma Ramsey

“I think so. I think we can change with the times and maybe this is a way to bring more young people into the church. I’ve noticed more young people here at our church. God loves the hip-hop just as he does the old school.”

Jean Fletcher

“I grew up when this kind of music was unheard of. But with the changing of the times maybe this will bring more young people to church. Young people today listen to rap and hip-hop so maybe hip-hop gospel is easier for them to relate to. If this will encourage more young people to attend church then I guess it’s O.K.”

Everlean P. Allen

“I don’t care for hip-hop in the church. So if they think it will bring more young people in, O.K. that’s good. But I always like the old religion and the old gospel singing. It’s good for me – not the hip-hop. I don’t like to see them ‘popping’ their fingers in church or moving around shaking their hips, because the church is not to dance in. Church is for worshipping God, and not to get up out here popping their fingers and going into boogie-woogie. And I’m not interested in that part, I’d rather for them to have good religion and just go on and do their old singing like they had been doing. Although I’m old school, maybe there are other people who are not old school and that’s their thing. But if bringing young people into the church will make them better people good for them.”

Dr. Alvin Love
(State President Baptist
General Convention)

“No I don’t think the hip-hop influence in the churches will necessarily bring more young people in. But I also don’t think it will contribute to the decline of gospel music. I think what it really will reflect is whether the church has the ability to aggressively incorporate change. And the church that does not change will not grow. And so I think it’s the attitude of being able to embrace change that will bring young people in. Young people will understand that they can be young people of this age, but still have that old-school values, so I think it takes a little bit of both.”

Daniel Garrett

“I think it is influencing the church in a positive way. But I don’t think it’s bringing the decline of old school black gospel. All music needs to gel together, and in order to get our young people we have to go where they are.”