choir

Israel’s Green Socks

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Israel wearing green sock in E-Block (Marion County Jail, Indianapolis, IN)
Israel wearing green sock in E-Block (Marion County Jail, Indianapolis, IN)

Israel wore one pair of socks for 6 months.  They were green and never stunk.  He had time on his hand so he cleaned them ever chance he got.  Every time he stepped out of his cell, murderers gazed and robbers railed but, he never fell.

As he read the Good Book, he acquired sympathy for the Children of Israel and their wilderness experience.  Israel began to understand why they achieved zero velocity. Going nowhere fast; talking slick but really sick inside.  One day during his 6 month stay he had an epiphany: a sort of a self discovery.  Reflecting back, he thought: “God, had His hand my his life all the time.”  Also realizing that he’ll make little progress, if any with a bitter disposition regardless of circumstance.

His cell mates cheered ecstatically when cops crashed as the evening news reported.  This he wondered about in bewilderment and concluded that their cheers were disguised hostility.  Israel discovered that you can be free while incarcerated and to be bitter inside, even if you have a reason is a tragic experience.  He didn’t want to lose hope as the others.

      Serving time for running from the cops, in contrast to the others who were looking at 35, 65 or 99 years.  Pulled over after the cops noticed his car trunk ajar, he put the petal to the metal.  Afraid they’ll find the open containers and paranoid he sped off.   He was caught tazed and processed all with those same green socks.

Israel wearing green sock in E-Block (Marion County Jail, Indianapolis, IN)
Israel wearing green sock in E-Block (Marion County Jail, Indianapolis, IN)

His green socks never smelled and gained distinction as the one who wore them became known as short timer (an instant target).  With much caution he tryed to understand the authorities who put him with jealous killers.  He knew the authorities were not empathetic to a brown mother who raised him clean.  Israel thought “I hope I can make it out of this alive.”  He knew that his demise would irreparably tear his mother apart.  So what did Israel do while in the fire of this affliction?  He started a gospel choir and it was revealed that he was indeed an evangelist.

Summertime blues
Summertime blues

Those green socks soon became a symbol of inspiration inside the walls of the jail where hope seemed to fail.  An itinerant evangelist was born there that stepped upon the burning coals of affliction, wearing green socks and flip flops striding where free men never crept under constant awareness of being killed the grace of God protected Israel where the price of human life was worth a honey bun.

His green socks never gave, even to his last day of this experience when he saw a peeking toe.  That is how he knew it was time to go.

Taken in Atlantic City NJ (2010)
Taken in Atlantic City NJ (2010)
“For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing” (Deut. 2:7).
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HISTORY of Holy Temple COGIC Choir, TomsRiver NJ (Composed 1993)

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Holy Temple COGIC, Choral Ensemble, Sept. 1992

The Ministry of music in Holy Temple Church of God in Christ, has gone through many stages of development in its brief history.  In the late seventies, under the pastorship of Pastor David C. Graham, the onset of the choir consisted mostly of children and teenagers.  Sister Zarita Mattox labored in the ministry of music as choir directress and taught songs which were sung acappella.

As visiting musicians came and went, there was a strong desire in the heart of Pastor Graham to have God send musicians to carry on the ministry of music to “Higher Heights.”

In 1987, the Holy Temple Hymnal Choir was formed.  The need for a standard church choir became evident.  The hymnal choir was started in response to Evangelist Shirley J. Graham’s inspiration to have God’s music ministered to the hearts of men, women, boys and girls.  It was these spiritual hymns as “Saved By His Power Divine”, “How Great Thou Art”, “Love Lifted Me” and “Glory To His Name” were sung with meaning and anointing, As the choir began to expand, the anointing level escalated and the choir branched out to begin singing gospel music.

In 1989, Sister Bernadette Baldwin of Deliverance Jesus is Coming, Irvington, New Jersey became Holy Temple’s part-time organist with the consent of her pastor, Pastor James Everett.  After concentrated prayer for a permanent musician, the person of Sister Audrey Hodge from Savannah, Georgia was sent to this ministry.  She became a member and began to share the ministry of music with Sister Baldwin.  After a few months, the need for Sister Baldwin being present in her own church became of great demand.  Sister Hodge then became Holy Temple’s first full-time musician.

Because of he vast vision for the church and the Nazirite calling, Pastor Graham inquired of God for an anointed leader to further the music ministry.  His choice, Evangelist Regina Gainer.  Her 28 years of singing and music involvement was significant at this time.  Her spirituality and stability gave understanding and revelationof what the choir should be and could be.  It has been through the key element (“prayer”) and this music ministry is successful.  Our goals consist of an orchestra, a male chorus, the writing and production of songs, a GREATER ANOINTING and “More To Come In Music”.

To God Be The Glory!

Written by: Brother Reginald Boswell

Edited by: Evangelist Regina Gainer