Maurice Culpepper: Leaving A Lasting Legacy Of Greatness In Gospel Music

Maurice Culpepper was a legend in Gospel music. His passing on December 2, 2012, left a huge hole in the Gospel community. Those in the Atlanta Gospel music scene were well aware of his talents as a choir director, songwriter and producer. Highly respected in the genre, Culpepper was second to none when it came to presenting a flawless presentation of sacred music. Founder of the Showers of Blessings Choir, Culpepper was the force behind such artists as Byron Cage, The Anointed Pace Sisters and many others. A popular and respected Minister of Music, throughout his career Culpepper was part of several Atlanta area churches and choirs including the Praise Power Fellowship Choir, Citadel of Hope Evangelistic Church of God In Christ, and New Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church.

Long-time friend Tracey Artis says, “In over 20 years in the industry, I have met a lot of people, but few inspired me like Maurice Culpeper. Through his choir directing, songwriting and production skills, he aimed to better the genre of gospel music. He tirelessly shaped the careers of many artists with the goal of tapping undiscovered talent to expose them to the masses. People knew he was the best. He will be missed.”

Maurice’s musical beginnings started at his grandfather’s church where his mom played piano. He had a real love for Gospel music and other genres as well, including classical music. He sang and was president of his high school chorus and was also a member of the All-State Chorus. He graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in business, but his heart was never far from music. In college, he sung in the Georgia State Chorus. His musical talent was natural and undisputable. Although Maurice didn’t play the piano, he was known to have an impeccable ear.

Tina, his wife, recalls meeting Maurice at Jones Avenue Church of God in Christ. Although he was Baptist, he enjoyed the music of the COGIC denomination and visited her church often. Ultimately, his music ministry started there where Bishop George Briley pastored until his death. Pastor Jonathan Greer then became the pastor at the newly named Cathedral of Faith. It was at this church where Culpepper gained national notoriety as the Choir Director of the renowned Dr. Jonathan Greer & The Cathedral of Faith, who had one of the biggest songs of the era, “He’s Worthy”. He was the Director of the Showers of Blessings Choir at the church and it was through this choir that Culpepper developed a unique and dynamic choir sound that he became known for.

He also was the Choir Director of the Praise Power & Fellowship Choir of Citadel of Hope COGIC where Nathan Timmons was pastor. Culpepper was also the Minister of Music at New Praise World Baptist Church for over fifteen years. Singing under the direction of Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, his connections in the COGIC church ultimately led him to the position of Director for the International Mass Choir of the denomination.

He was a mentor to many including praise and worship icon Byron Cage who would call on Maurice for advice. Culpepper was instrumental in Cage’s career and was the choir director on Byron’s “Invitation To Worship” CD. In addition to Cage, Culpepper contributed and worked with artists and songwriters such as The Anointed Pace Sisters, LaShun Pace, Dorothy Norwood, Angella Christie, Darius Paulk, Zebulon Ellis and countless others. Culpepper was known for tapping the finest singers. Any major gospel artists who were dropping into Atlanta and needed great background singers would end up calling Maurice. His choir backed up the best in the business including Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Thomas Whitfield, Aretha Franklin, Daryl Coley, The Hawkins Family and many others.

Tina Culpepper believes her husband leaves a powerful legacy. “My husband was a consistent and faithful man. Even though he was sick to the point where I had to button his shirt and tie his shoes, it would never stop him from doing what he needed to do on a Sunday morning. He would straighten his back and give God his all. Once he was done, he barely had strength to walk in the door. But he believed that was his job and he was supposed to be there. He knew God had called him to do it and knew He had God to answer to if He didn’t give it his all.”
Homegoing Arrangements for Maurice Culpepper

Celebration of Life and Legacy Musical
Friday, December 7, 2012
Doors open at 7:30PM; Service begins at 8:00PM
Elizabeth Baptist Church
4245 Cascade Rd
Atlanta, GA 30331

Celebration of Life and Legacy Homegoing Service
Saturday December 8, 2012
Viewing: 9:45AM
Service: 11:00AM
Elizabeth Baptist Church
4245 Cascade Rd
Atlanta, GA 30331

Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home, Inc.
1003 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30310
(404) 758-1731


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