Gospel artist touches hearts

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

Gospel music artist A’Donna Williams has precious memories pressed between the pages of time. Williams, surrounded by gospel music as far back as she remembers, credits her family of gospel singers, musicians and ministers as the influence on her career.

“I was around 4 when my mom, Pearlie Ellis, and her sisters were a gospel group,” Williams recalled. “They rehearsed in our home and I sat on the sofa to watch.”

She remembers traveling with her dad, the late George “GG” Bowen, and his gospel group, GG and the Ambassadors. She helped her mom sell merchandise that supported the ministry work. Though all her siblings are musically talented, they’ve never performed as a group though she and sister Monica did sing with their mom occasionally.

“I joined our church children’s choir when I was 7 and my voice developed,” Williams said. “I could hold notes longer than other children, but it wasn’t until I was 13 that I knew God gave me a special talent for his kingdom.”

A’Donna has participated in many showcases throughout Alabama and abroad. Her accomplishments include: 1995 winner of Apollo Showcase in Montgomery,  including an appearance on Apollo-Amateur Night in New York; 2005 winner of “I Hear Music in The Air” conference in Cincinnati, Ohio; release of her first freshmen solo project “Worthy” in 2008; and three nominations for first round ballot of the 2009 Gospel Stellar Awards.

In 2010 Williams was named Alabama Regional winner and Best Female Vocalist at the Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole and Musicians Conference in Detroit, won Female Vocalist of the Year in the Alabama People’s Choice Awards and  joined Kirk Franklin to record “Are You Listening: A Love Song for Haiti.”

A’Donna Williams was a nominee for Best Female Artist and Best Praise and Worship Artist in the 2010 South Florida Gospel Music Awards. (Contributed)

Williams has shared the stage with many gospel artists, such as The Canton Spirituals, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Kurt Carr, Tamela Mann and Luther Barnes.

She and husband Wayne have two sons, Wayne Jr. and Alexander. Their church home is Hopewell (North) Missionary Baptist church in Birmingham where she sings with the choir and Praise Team ministry. She is currently working on a  Christmas CD and looks forward to her next sophomore project. Williams knows it’s only through God’s anointing that she can reach the body of Christ.

“Every day I thank God for another day and the opportunity to minister in song to lost souls. The journey hasn’t been easy, but God has never left my side. I know my purpose and I try to live it each day of my life.”

Mollie Brown can be reached at dmjhb1@bellsouth.net.