Add a charming reminder to your walls with this art. A perfect finishing touch for traditional spaces, it adds style and spirit to your home. This piece showcases a textual art motif written in black cursive font and reading a prayer that starts “Dear God, so far today I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped or lost my temper…” The vintage paper-inspired background adds an extra touch of classic appeal to this art. Made in America, this art is printed on paper and enhanced by a... Bible Verse Image
This uniquely designed 'Our Family a Circle of Strength Founded on Faith Joined in Love Kept By God' Framed Textual Art on Canvas is the perfect gift or trendy update to any home or office space. An excellent addition to your classical design concept in your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, man cave, game room, living room or studio.This is a shop that specializes in home decor.They create handmade art for every budget. Beautiful giclee prints on canvas with a custom picture frame for all your... Bible Verse Images
Start your day with a positive pep talk when you hang this inspirational textual art print in any room. Made from wood, this unframed piece showcases a mix of motivational messages in various fonts up against a plank-like background with distressed details for farmhouse flair. Warm brown, gray, pink, and yellow hues dot this design for a subdued splash of color. With D-ring hangers on the back, this artful accent is ready to mount as soon as it arrives. Christian Images
Paul knew that the outward man or woman was perishing, day by day, and as he said “was wasting away” but the most important work was being done inwardly by the Spirit of God and this was the renewal that each believer in Christ is undergoing, day by day.  God’s Spirit works to convict us of sin, He works to make us more like Christ, and our sanctification is a lifelong process and even though we might be falling apart outwardly, what is eternal is what is inside and that’s the only thing that counts. We are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) even though the outward appearance is decaying, so that’s why Paul didn’t want us to lose heart. Christian Images
A Christian wall decal from Divine Walls is the perfect gift. We offer over 600 uniquely crafted and beautiful designs on our site. Select the perfect size, color, and verse for your home, office, or church. A Divine Walls decal is easily removed and will not cause damage to your home. If you can't find what you are looking for, try our custom design service.

The older I get the less I care about what others think about me and about what I look like.  We are all made in the image of God.  Not that we have a body like God because God is Spirit but we have certain attributes of God and they are not about what we look like but about what we think about.  God has declared that He made us most wonderfully (Psalm 139:14) and besides, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Prov 31:30).  It is true that “bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Tim 4:8). Bible Verse Images
The Greatest Female Gospel Singers The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time The Smartest Celebrities The Biggest Turn Ons in a Person Songs That Were Total Ripoffs These Beauty Products Are Totally Worth the Splurge The Coolest TV Floorplans The Best Rock Vocalists Which Things Do People Often Think They're Good At (But Definitely Aren't)? The Scariest Clown Movies in Film History Famous People Who Were Relentlessly Bullied The 15 Douchiest John Mayer Quotes The Best Black Rock Bands The Most Underrated Black Sabbath Songs Of All Time The Best New Female Artists The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years The Best New Country Artists The Best New Male Artists The Top Country Artists of All Time The Best Singers of All Time The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years The Best Young Rappers and New School Rappers The Best Female Vocalists Ever Bible Verse Images
Yes! We have a heart for busy teachers and those in poor regions of the world. All pictures are free for use in teaching. We provide the pictures and you tell the story, with the Bible as your reference source. Conditions about the reuse of the images in new projects vary with each contributor. Those who donate to this project help share these resources around the world as a gift. Bible Verse Image
This is a giclee print reproduction on stretched canvas with a solid wood frame. The art is mounted in the frame and is ready to hang. This is a high-quality giclee reproduction. They only use the highest quality materials to create your art. They use archival inks and museum quality archival certified acid-free canvas. A clear matte finish coat is applied which will protect your art against fading; dirt; moisture; and discoloration. The finish contains UV light absorbers and stabilizer. Bible Verse Images

And it will come about in that day, that every place where there used to be a thousand vines, valued at a thousand shekels of silver, will become briars and thorns. People will come there with bows and arrows because all the land will be briars and thorns. As for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briars and thorns; but they will become a place for pasturing oxen and for sheep to trample. Bible Verse Images
How true this is.  You can put lipstick and earrings on a pig but inwardly they’re still a pig so Peter writes that “the hidden person of the heart” is precious to God and the “imperishable beauty of a gentle and quite spirit” to God is “very precious” and that’s all that matters eternally.  We’ll all get new bodies someday anyway and so why should we be so preoccupied with what we look like when God only cares about what we are like on the inside? Bible Verse Image

Great quality canvas gallery wrapped on real wood stretcher bars. The bars are deep and the image goes all the way around the edges for a complete and professional look. Great artwork that would perfect for any room in your home or office. Beautiful colors that is printed on high quality canvas with 12 color inkjet printer so every detail is captured.

Lovely Gospel Songs for a Wedding The Very Best Gospel Songs Ever Written Beautiful Songs for Gospel Choirs The Greatest Southern Gospel Artists The Greatest Gospel Rappers Perfect Gospel Songs for a Funeral The Best Female Gospel Singers The Best Urban Contemporary Gospel Artists The Greatest Gospel Choirs Ever The Best Gospel Albums of All Time Gospel Songs for Men to Sing The Best Songs for Christmas The Very Best Country Gospel Songs The Best Gospel Songs for Women Beautiful Southern Gospel Songs Great Gospel Songs for Children Top Country Gospel Artists & Bands Gospel Rap Songs You Need to Hear '90s Southern Gospel Biblical Verses Image

Paul knew that the outward man or woman was perishing, day by day, and as he said “was wasting away” but the most important work was being done inwardly by the Spirit of God and this was the renewal that each believer in Christ is undergoing, day by day.  God’s Spirit works to convict us of sin, He works to make us more like Christ, and our sanctification is a lifelong process and even though we might be falling apart outwardly, what is eternal is what is inside and that’s the only thing that counts. We are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) even though the outward appearance is decaying, so that’s why Paul didn’t want us to lose heart.


Happy 75th Birthday to Sherry Lansing, who was named the president of 20th Century Fox in 1980 and became the first woman to head a Hollywood movie studio. A former math teacher, model, and actress, she was dissatisfied with her own acting skills, so decided to learn about the film industry. She started her own production company that created the box-office smash Fatal Attraction in 1987, with Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, for which Lansing, as producer, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. She retired from Hollywood in 2004 as CEO of Paramount Pictures, and formed The Sherry Lansing Foundation which is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for cancer research. (1944) Bible Verse Images
From setting the aesthetic of a room to showcasing your own personal taste, wall art offers a way to incorporate yourself into your home decor. Just take a look at this piece for example: Made in the USA, this textual art piece is produced on water-resistant canvas and then wrapped on a wooden frame, lending a rustic feel to your space. Showcasing a quote from Buddha, this is the perfect pick for any space that needs a bit of grounding and inspiration. Biblical Verses Image
Yes! We have a heart for busy teachers and those in poor regions of the world. All pictures are free for use in teaching. We provide the pictures and you tell the story, with the Bible as your reference source. Conditions about the reuse of the images in new projects vary with each contributor. Those who donate to this project help share these resources around the world as a gift. Bible Verse Image
While many white musicians gravitated toward country, folk, and old-timey music to express their spirituality outside of traditional Christian hymns, Black Gospel music drew heavily upon the traditional spirituals that had been passed down from the days of slavery, picking up its more driving rhythmic emphasis from blues and early jazz. Composer and singer Thomas A. Dorsey crystallized the style in 1932 with his epochal "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," and went on to compose a great many songs that later became standards. When performed in the churches, the music was traditionally sung by a choir, with individual soloists sometimes taking the spotlight; this often happened in a form known as "call and response," in which either the choir or the soloist would repeat and/or answer the lyric which had just been sung by the other, with the soloist improvising embellishments of the melody for greater emphasis. As the music developed, these soloists became more and more virtuosic, performing with wild emotion (and, in the South, physicality) in order to properly express the spiritual ecstasy the music was meant to evoke. The music was quite egalitarian in terms of gender, as both male and female performers -- Brother Joe May, Rev. James Cleveland, Mahalia Jackson, the Clara Ward Singers, etc. -- gained wide renown among both black and white audiences. The small-group format was also prevalent, with major figures including the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Soul Stirrers, the Swan Silvertones, and the Dixie Hummingbirds; in general, these groups placed a greater premium on smooth vocal harmonies, although some performances could approach the raucous energy (if not quite the huge sound) of a choir-with-soloist group. As the years progressed, black gospel and black popular music influenced and borrowed from one another, reflecting the gradual change of emphasis toward R&B; black gospel also had an enormous impact on the development of soul music, which directed gospel's spiritual intensity into more secular concerns, and included a great many performers whose musical skills were developed in the church. As a recognizable style unto itself, black gospel music largely ceased to develop around the 1970s; progressing racial attitudes had helped black popular music reach wider audiences (and become more lucrative) than ever before, and tastes had turned towards the earthy hedonism of funk and the highly arranged, sophisticated Philly soul sound. The former wasn't quite appropriate for worship, and it wasn't all that practical to duplicate the latter in church services. However, the traditional black gospel sound survived intact and was eventually augmented by contemporary gospel (an '80s/'90s variation strongly influenced by latter-day urban R&B); plus, singers like Whitney Houston continued to develop within its ranks.
If you're looking for wall art for sale online, Wayfair has several options sure to satisfy the pickiest shopper. We have a myriad of styles of wall art, and if you want to narrow your options to something more specific than your current filter of "Art Subject: Spiritual & Religious", such as finding wall art by brands like Bloomsbury Market or The James Lawrence Company just use the filter options. Wayfair is the best place to shop if you're looking for where to buy wall art online. And remember, we offer free shipping on just about every order over $49.00, so buy wall art today and have them shipped free. Biblical Verses Image
A wedding ring in the bible. With shadow of heart shapeHoly bible with cross. Background concept for prayer and religionLily laying on a antique bible on Easter morning. Christian Motivational quote saying `For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son`. With WhiteReading a Bible at night. A woman reads a large Bible at night under the starsOpen Bible. With reading glasses beamed with rays of lightBible and the universe. Two hands over the universe coming from a BibleMan and open Bible. A man finds a doorway through an open BibleBible with rainbow. Bible and rainbow with the background of blue skySilhouette of the hands of woman praying to God in the nature witth the Bible at sunset, the concept of religion and spirituality. Silhouette of young womanBible. Abstract open aged album ancient antiqueHoly bible. Isolated on white backgroundBible. A bible open on a table next to a candlePraying Hands Bible. A man's hands clasped in prayer over a Holy Bible - represent faith and spirituality in everyday lifeHoly bible. Book with crucifixBible and sword. A woman holds a Bible, but is reflected as a swordSilhouette of woman praying to God in the nature witth the Bible at sunset, the concept of religion and spirituality. Silhouette of beautiful young woman prayingBible and light. A woman uses a Bible to light her pathOpen Bible on a desk. Open Bible on a wood table. & x28; church concept & x29Garden on the Bible. A woman stands on top of a beautiful garden on the pages of the BibleOld Bible With Sword. 150 Year Old Bible With SwordMan on fire and Bible. A man on fire runs towards an open Bible with refreshing rainBible. Open on the table with light of GodHoly Bible with the american flag. In the backgroundOpen bible. Scripture page wisdom experience print bibleBible. Christianity worshipper dirty truth praying studyingBible. Book Open Old Religion Christianity SpiritualityBible. Open black background belief study bookBible. Church religious text christianity praying spirituality bookOil lamp and Bible. Oil lamp and open Bible shot at a single flame lightLife from the Bible. A tree and garden grow out of the pages of the BibleBible. Verse John 3:16Open bible. Open glowing bible with cross on grunge texture backgroundThe Bible and the suffering of Jesus. Red rose on the opened Bible, evoking the Biblical suffering of Jesus and the power of love he provedBible. Religion Dust Reading Spirituality Christianity GodNew dawn bible. Photo of open bible set against new dawn rising sunPowerful Bible. A woman holds her Bible with glowing lights and lightning strikesYouth Bible Study. College Bible study on grass in late afternoonWoman holding reading Bible on Mountain in the Morning- Image. The bible. Open in the light of godYoung man reading bible to child. A young man reads the bible to a child in nature. Teaching family faithBible Verse John 14:5-6. This is the Bible Verse John 14:5-6a, which says, Lord, we dont know where you are going, so how can we know the way? Jesus answered, IBedtime Bible Story 2. A mother and daughter reading bible stories at bedtimeOpening the light of the Bible. A man opens up the pages of the BibleBible Revelation. The Revelation given to John in the Holy BibleOpen bible. Old antique bible as an open book with sunlight bursting from the pagesBible and heart. An open Bible with the pages forming a heart shapeBlack Leather Holy Bible. A black leather Holy Bible on a wooden deskBible. And Cross with light of godBible parables. Concept photo of open bible with wheat field growing from pages denoting parables of jesusGolden bible. Open bible with the light of godBible. A Bible open with lightingBible light. Photo of sun rays shining through pages of the bible depicting spiritual lightBible. Open in mysterious light against dark backgroundBible with cross. A very old leather bound Bible with cross imprint, isolated on whiteBible light to mankind. Photo concept of spiritual bible light to mankind with sun rays shining through open pages of bibleBible. Holy Bible isolated on white backgroundReading bible. A Man reading holy bibleWoman in Bible water. A woman is inside a Bible full of water between life and deathBible. Study desk with candle lightThe Bible. An Angle light above bibleBible and dark shadows. A man holds up a Bible to dark shadowsBible and the world. A woman holds a Bible with glowing lights that show a map of the worldBible. Woman`s hands on a closed bible. Top view.The concept of religionGirl and Bible. The girl show her BibleOpen Bible. An open Bible isolated on a white backgroundOpen bible. On black backgroundSearching the bible. Photo of open bible under scrutiny with magnifying glass searching for clues and answersBible and fire heart. A man holds a Bible with a heart shaped fireBible with Jesus is my rock. A holy bible with a rock stating Jesus is my rock and a necklace with 3 hearts saying peace,love,hopeBibleWoman with Bible. Hands of an unrecognizable woman with Bible prayingBible and cross. Old Bible and illuminated crossBible from the heavens. Receiving a Bible from the heavensBible and sword. A woman holds a sword out of a Bible with dark demons aroundBible bird of freedom. Concept photo of open holy bible with freedom gull bird flying in blue skies denoting spiritual freedom etcOpen bible with man and cross. An open bible with grass and a man walking towards a crossOpen Bible. On a wood table with light coming from above. cristianity conceptChild Reading Bible. Child Girl Reading the Book BibleBible. Shoe Religion Youth Culture Sports Shoe Canvas Shoe SpiritualityBible. Psalm 23 is a comfort scriptures Bible Verse Image
Sadly, many people will look at us and judge us by appearances and as we’ve already read, they can miss-read us because they don’t see what’s on the inside which is what is of ultimate importance.  Jesus said “You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one” (John 8:15).  Every time that someone looks at us and they judge us by appearances, they are judging us by human standards and very likely miss-judging us.  What they can’t see is what is most important anyway.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were only concerned with what people saw them doing but God knew their hearts and saw that they were inwardly full of sin.

So, who are the best gospel singers? Any list of gospel artists has to include male gospel singers like Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, BeBe Winans, and Fred Hammond, as well as female Christian singers like CeCe Winans, Yalonda Adams and Shirley Caesar. These gospel singers are considered some of the best in the genre and it's with good reason that they're at or near the top of this poll. The best gospel artists are well represented on this list and with good reason. When you think of Christian singers and gospel artists, you should be able to use this list as a great point of reference.
How do you decorate with spiritual and religious wall art pieces? The sky is the limit with such décor elements, as you can pick from canvas, paper, wood, metal, fabric or glass pieces that will blend in with whatever design you have in your home. Choose from portrait or landscape, as well as the print type, including textual art, oil paintings, acrylic, watercolor, pencil drawing, and more. Place such wall art in your foyer, kitchen, living room, bedroom, or anywhere that you want an uplifting message that is good for the soul. Bible Verse Image
Character Of WickedRevelation, Necessity Ofevangelism, nature ofSatan, Power OfSpiritual Warfare, Enemies InImagination, Evil SchemingPresent Evil AgeNames And Titles For SatanRevelation, Responses ToShiningUnbelief, Nature And Effects OfLikenessFalse ReligionUnbelief, Sourced InSatan, As DeceiverSpiritual Blindness, Consequences OfSatanticPrincehood Of SatanImage Of God Bible Verse Images

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. Biblical Verses Image
This uniquely designed 'Our Family a Circle of Strength Founded on Faith Joined in Love Kept By God' Framed Textual Art on Canvas is the perfect gift or trendy update to any home or office space. An excellent addition to your classical design concept in your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, man cave, game room, living room or studio.This is a shop that specializes in home decor.They create handmade art for every budget. Beautiful giclee prints on canvas with a custom picture frame for all your... Christian Images
Character Of WickedRevelation, Necessity Ofevangelism, nature ofSatan, Power OfSpiritual Warfare, Enemies InImagination, Evil SchemingPresent Evil AgeNames And Titles For SatanRevelation, Responses ToShiningUnbelief, Nature And Effects OfLikenessFalse ReligionUnbelief, Sourced InSatan, As DeceiverSpiritual Blindness, Consequences OfSatanticPrincehood Of SatanImage Of God Bible Verse Images
Scripture Wall Art also has the freshest and most sought-after designs out there. Many companies try to illegally copy our designs. We always catch them and require them to stop. Sometimes they even say they are selling our products. Simply stated, they lie. We are that only company that sells our products. We do not wholesale to anyone and we have not licensed our designs to anybody. This ensures you the best product that will never look like what everyone else sells. Yes, we could design our wall arts to be faster to make by using boring fonts. Yes we could make them smaller to save money. Yes we could use cheaper materials. NO NO and NO is what we say. We design our products to be beautiful as the primary goal. We make them all in the size that years of customer feedback has told us is the most preferred size for our customers. And we use the best materials because we think you are worth it. Christian Images
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. ...

Yes! We have a heart for busy teachers and those in poor regions of the world. All pictures are free for use in teaching. We provide the pictures and you tell the story, with the Bible as your reference source. Conditions about the reuse of the images in new projects vary with each contributor. Those who donate to this project help share these resources around the world as a gift. Biblical Verses Image


Remind yourself of the love in your home with this tasteful textual art print, a small accent showcasing an inspirational and eloquent marriage prayer. Proudly made in the USA, this design is crafted from reclaimed wood and showcases gray and brown tones that enhance its understated look. Measuring just 8.5'' H x 6.5'' W x 0.5'' D overall, this petite piece is equally suited to sit on a desktop or join an existing gallery wall (mounting hardware included). Biblical Verses Image


See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. Biblical Verses Image

Sadly, many people will look at us and judge us by appearances and as we’ve already read, they can miss-read us because they don’t see what’s on the inside which is what is of ultimate importance.  Jesus said “You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one” (John 8:15).  Every time that someone looks at us and they judge us by appearances, they are judging us by human standards and very likely miss-judging us.  What they can’t see is what is most important anyway.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were only concerned with what people saw them doing but God knew their hearts and saw that they were inwardly full of sin. Biblical Verses Image
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. ... Bible Verse Image
If you're looking for wall art for sale online, Wayfair has several options sure to satisfy the pickiest shopper. We have a myriad of styles of wall art, and if you want to narrow your options to something more specific than your current filter of "Art Subject: Spiritual & Religious", such as finding wall art by brands like Bloomsbury Market or The James Lawrence Company just use the filter options. Wayfair is the best place to shop if you're looking for where to buy wall art online. And remember, we offer free shipping on just about every order over $49.00, so buy wall art today and have them shipped free. Biblical Verses Image
Jesus knew the heart and since He is God, He knows the thoughts and motives of every human heart for He is also the Creator.  God looked at the religious leaders and knew that they were hypocrites because they taught one thing but did another as Jesus said “on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (Matt 23:28).  They liked to be seen and wanted others to think highly of them but Jesus knew that inwardly they were as dead as could be and were full of all sorts of evil and uncleanliness.  It is never what others think about us that’s important; it is only what God knows about us that counts.  We might be able to fool others but we can never fool God because “Lord, you know everyone’s heart” (Acts 1:24) “for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed” (1 Sam 2:3). Biblical Verses Image
Are you stuck with a room that feels tired? Whether you're dealing with a stale study or listless living room, adding a piece of wall art like this is a great way to brighten up a bare wall, and transform your space with a personalized touch. Perfect for a globally-inspired accent, this painting print features a close up of a Buddha statue's face in a blue and green color scheme. Printed in the USA on canvas, this piece is wrapped around a wood frame for a gallery look on your walls. Wall... Christian Images
Being one of the industry leaders for over a decade, we know more about vinyl wall decal than most companies out there. We have learned by trial and error and from amazing feedback from our awesome customers. We are Amazon Professional Sellers, Ebay Power Sellers, and Ebay Top Sellers, and sell through at least 15 other sites online. However, you will typically get our best pricing here at our website plus it is definitely easier to find specific wall arts here than at most sites. Biblical Verses Image
Share your faith with others through scripture art, gorgeous contemporary art featuring favorite Bible verses. Offer inspiration to yourself and others using framed canvases, wall peels or posters. Whether the words are found within the New Testament or the Old Testament, art that incorporates scripture into lovely images is sure to inspire, uplift and motivate. Find your guiding light through the Serenity Prayer, John 3:16 or among many more verses available in our scripture art collection. [less] Bible Verse Images
Start your day with a positive pep talk when you hang this inspirational textual art print in any room. Made from wood, this unframed piece showcases a mix of motivational messages in various fonts up against a plank-like background with distressed details for farmhouse flair. Warm brown, gray, pink, and yellow hues dot this design for a subdued splash of color. With D-ring hangers on the back, this artful accent is ready to mount as soon as it arrives. Christian Images
While many white musicians gravitated toward country, folk, and old-timey music to express their spirituality outside of traditional Christian hymns, Black Gospel music drew heavily upon the traditional spirituals that had been passed down from the days of slavery, picking up its more driving rhythmic emphasis from blues and early jazz. Composer and singer Thomas A. Dorsey crystallized the style in 1932 with his epochal "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," and went on to compose a great many songs that later became standards. When performed in the churches, the music was traditionally sung by a choir, with individual soloists sometimes taking the spotlight; this often happened in a form known as "call and response," in which either the choir or the soloist would repeat and/or answer the lyric which had just been sung by the other, with the soloist improvising embellishments of the melody for greater emphasis. As the music developed, these soloists became more and more virtuosic, performing with wild emotion (and, in the South, physicality) in order to properly express the spiritual ecstasy the music was meant to evoke. The music was quite egalitarian in terms of gender, as both male and female performers -- Brother Joe May, Rev. James Cleveland, Mahalia Jackson, the Clara Ward Singers, etc. -- gained wide renown among both black and white audiences. The small-group format was also prevalent, with major figures including the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Soul Stirrers, the Swan Silvertones, and the Dixie Hummingbirds; in general, these groups placed a greater premium on smooth vocal harmonies, although some performances could approach the raucous energy (if not quite the huge sound) of a choir-with-soloist group. As the years progressed, black gospel and black popular music influenced and borrowed from one another, reflecting the gradual change of emphasis toward R&B; black gospel also had an enormous impact on the development of soul music, which directed gospel's spiritual intensity into more secular concerns, and included a great many performers whose musical skills were developed in the church. As a recognizable style unto itself, black gospel music largely ceased to develop around the 1970s; progressing racial attitudes had helped black popular music reach wider audiences (and become more lucrative) than ever before, and tastes had turned towards the earthy hedonism of funk and the highly arranged, sophisticated Philly soul sound. The former wasn't quite appropriate for worship, and it wasn't all that practical to duplicate the latter in church services. However, the traditional black gospel sound survived intact and was eventually augmented by contemporary gospel (an '80s/'90s variation strongly influenced by latter-day urban R&B); plus, singers like Whitney Houston continued to develop within its ranks. Bible Verse Image
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