Tag Archives: Jim Goff

Religious Life of Elvis

Dr. Jim Goff, a leading historian of Southern Gospel music and Southern culture, has authored an important addition to Elvis scholarship. The article, “Conflicted by the Spirit: The Religious Life of Elvis Presley,” is featured in the 2008 edition of Assemblies of God Heritage magazine. Goff’s sympathetic treatment of Elvis’ religious confliction portrayed a gifted individual with human frailties, with whom many readers will be able to identify.

Goff provided an overview of the subject and demonstrated his warm and engaging prose in the article’s introduction:

“In life and in death, Elvis Presley holds a fascination far beyond that of even the most successful singers and movie personalities. Worldwide, thirty years after his death, millions upon millions recognize him by his first name alone, the mention of which conjures up a surfeit of sight, sound, and memory. Less known is the real man, and especially the religious yearnings and conflicts that alternately soothed and convicted him. Ever enamored by gospel music, Presley was likewise influenced—and perhaps haunted—by the religious strictures of his youth. This early religious training was decidedly evangelical and Pentecostal in its orientation. Ultimately, it served as a religious umbrella under which the entertainer sought refuge in times of turmoil.”

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Don Baldwin (1931-2007) former manager of the Couriers, passes on

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SplashCast with Flickr photos
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Don Baldwin, former Couriers Quartet founder and manager, died February 24, 2007 at his home in Florida. He was 75.

Donald Edward Baldwin was born Nov. 30, 1931 in Hamilton, Ohio, and was raised in Chicago, Illinois. While he was stationed in Las Vegas during the Korean War he developed an appreciation for gospel music. When he enrolled at Central Bible Institute in 1954, then, he parlayed this musical avocation into his vocation. That year, Baldwin rallied several fellow students to form a gospel group — The Couriers Quartet. The Couriers went on to be one of the most successful gospel music groups in the late twentieth century. Significantly, The Couriers helped to shift gospel music from an emphasis on entertainment back toward ministry and evangelism. Don Baldwin — and the other men of The Couriers — were Assemblies of God boys who proceeded to impact an entire generation for Christ.

After leaving the Couriers in 1965, Don established “Baldwin Sound Productions,” a recording studio facility and the home of Hymntone Records. Many of the major gospel groups recorded there over the years. During the 1970s, he also served as an emcee of the National Quartet Convention. In 2002, Don became one of the very first inductees into the Pennsylvania Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In 2006 he was awarded the “Living Legend” award by the Grand Old Gospel Reunion.

A memorial service for Don Baldwin is scheduled at 1:00 p.m. Friday, March 9, at Victory Church (Assembly of God), 1401 Griffin Road, Lakeland, Florida.

The Baldwin family authorized a memorial website, which includes articles and photographs.

The Couriers were featured in the cover story for the 2007 edition of Assemblies of God Heritage magazine. Read the article, written by leading gospel music historian Jim Goff, on the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center website.

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Posted by Glenln Gohr

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The Couriers

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SplashCast with Flickr photos
Produced by iFPHC

The wait is over! The 2007 annual edition of Assemblies of God Heritage has been mailed to all Assemblies of God ministers plus subscribers. In the feature article, leading gospel music historian Jim Goff recounts the story of the Couriers – Assemblies of God boys who changed the world of gospel music by helping to shift its emphasis from entertainment toward ministry. Operating first as a quartet and later as a trio, the Couriers are celebrating five decades of music ministry as three of the long-time members, Dave, Duane, and Neil continue to travel and minister in song.

Also visit the eBay store of Mrs. Don Baldwin (Don Baldwin was a former Couriers member), featuring Couriers memorabilia for sale.

To view the photoset of the Couriers at Flickr click on the link below:
Flickr Photoset

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Posted by Darrin Rodgers

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