TSD Memphis

Wed04162014

Religion

Hail (Shirley) Caesar!

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Iconic Gospel artist Shirley Caesar, who has traveled the world spreading the Gospel, settled in Memphis for a short while last week – long enough to receive accolades from a host of fans, friends and supporters.

Caesar was honored last Friday (April 12) at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, whose pastor – the Rev. Frank Ray – has known her for years. Ray said the local event took shape after a local promoter came up with the idea of saluting the gospel legend. Soon after, several singing artists stepped up to join in.

"I used to sing in a gospel group called the Gospel Wonders," said Ray. "When she would come to Memphis and other places we would sing in front of her. I've known her close to a good 35 years."

Ray described Caesar, who pastors a thriving church in Raleigh-Durham, N.Car., as "a very spiritual lady. She is serious about what she is doing for the kingdom. She's won so many Grammys (11) and Stellar Awards and she's still at it now."