*Unfortunately, we must inform you that gospel singing legend Bishop Rance Allen died Saturday morning at the age of 71, according to his family.
“While recovering from a medical procedure at Heartland ProMedica [in Sylvania, OH], Bishop Rance Allen passed away around 3 AM this morning,” said Allen’s wife of 49 years, Ellen Allen, and his manager, Toby Jackson, in a joint statement posted on Facebook.
Bishop Allen was the pastor of New Bethel Church of God in Toledo, Ohio. Among other things, he previously performed for President Barack Obama and was nominated for five Grammy Awards.
Here is more about Rance Allen via the RanceAllenGroup website:
Bishop Rance Allen was born in 1948 in Monroe, Michigan, one of 12 children. At the age of five he began his preaching ministry and by age nine was preaching throughout Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He was licensed to preach at age 12 and has since carried the Word of the Lord throughout the United States and abroad. In 1978 he was ordained an Elder by the late Bishop John Seth Bailey and subsequently served 6-1/2 years as Associate Pastor of Holiness Temple Church of God In Christ (COGIC) in Monroe, MI.
In 1985 the late Bishop Gilbert Patterson founded New Bethel Church in Toledo, OH and installed Bishop Allen there as Pastor where he currently serves today. He served many years on the board of the Neighborhood Improvement Foundation of Toledo, Inc., a community organization whose mission was dedicated to improving inner-city environments. In recognition of his dedicated years in ministry the Urban Bible Institute of Detroit bestowed upon him an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity in 1995. In September, 2011 by God�s amazing grace Bishop Allen was elevated to the office of Jurisdictional Prelate of Michigan Northwestern Harvest in Detroit, succeeding the late Bishop Alfred Knight, Jr. and was consecrated on November 7, 2011 during the 104th Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri. He has also been blessed with the awesome and humbling opportunity to preach the main message to thousands during the 90th, 96th and 105th International COGIC Holy Convocations.
Bishop Allen has been married to Evangelist Ellen Marie Groves since December, 1970. The calling on her life has been an enormous blessing to Bishop Allen as she has helped him take his ministries to a greater level in God. While there are no natural children born to this union they share their love and support to many God-children.
Twitter reaction to the passing of Rance Allen:
R.I.P. to Bishop #Ranceallen . He was 71 years old. Bishop Allen was called The “Father of Contemporary Gospel Music”. He inspired and influenced many of Today’s gospel stars. pic.twitter.com/MmtoQuNInE
— Patty Jackson (@MsPattyJackson) October 31, 2020
I’m joining Pastor Juan Shipp on “Gospel Talk, Back in the Day” on @WYXR_Memphis 12-2 p.m. today to discuss Bishop Rance Allen, hear some of his songs and *maybe* listen to a bit of my recent interview with him.
I’ll have to see if I can find an excerpt that could work.
— Jared ‘Jay B.’ Boyd (@JaredJayBBoyd) October 31, 2020
RIP to Rance Allen, whose Stax-era work contains some of the most gorgeous and joyful records I’ve ever heard https://t.co/ERikOq9Cns
— Jonathan Bernstein (@jonbern) October 31, 2020