by Lisa Tedder
was a time when worship artist Alvin Slaughter didn't think God could use a guy
like him. From
his days as an insecure youth growing up in Brooklyn to his roller coaster start
as a struggling husband and father, Alvin came to a point in his life where he
knew he needed to return to the God of his childhood.
Need Of Redemption …
Alvin gave his
heart to the Lord in church at the age of 12 and almost immediately began
singing in the choir.
At 14, he met his future wife Gloria in a prayer meeting. Shortly after
meeting her, Alvin pursued a rebellious lifestyle, so that by the time he
married Gloria at the age of 23, he had two kids and no good job.
there, things went from bad to worse. "The longer we were together, the
worse it got," he says.
"After having another baby a few years later, here I was, young and
irresponsible, trying to support a wife and three kids. We spent most of our
time with the phones turned off, lights turned off, twice evicted from our
apartments...we had nothing."
the troubles in their marriage split the couple apart.
Gloria moved in with her sister and Alvin moved back with his parents.
"I bailed out. I left the church. I left my wife. I quit my job. I
hated black churches. I hated white churches. I hated everybody, including
myself," says Alvin. "I lived like a recluse. I remember walking down
the streets of Manhattan with balled fists saying to God, 'I hate you. I can't
stand you.' I'd speak to Him right in the streets. I looked like a nut
the urging of his sister, Alvin decided to attend a concert at the Brooklyn
"I sat in the last row of the balcony," says Alvin. "But
as I sat there. I heard songs that I'd never heard before. Choir members would
then come forward and give short testimonies.
When I returned home that night, I couldn't get the church service out of
I realized then that God was pursuing me."
returned to the Brooklyn Tabernacle every Sunday but would leave before the
Over time, God was taking Alvin's heart and making it soft.
"Listening to the music and the lyrics caused me to let down my
defenses," says Alvin.
"Gradually, a heart of stone became a heart of flesh and the Word
became alive in my heart."
just so happened that Gloria decided to visit the Brooklyn Tabernacle about the
same time as Alvin.
Unbeknownst to the other, both filled out visitor cards. One of the
church's elders, Brother Byrd, noticed the cards and decided to inquire about
He called Alvin at work to ask if he knew Gloria; reluctantly, Alvin
admitted that she was his estranged wife.
Then to his own surprise, he agreed to Brother Byrd's request to meet at
the church for counseling.
hung up the phone and immediately called Gloria. "I yelled and cursed at
her because I thought she told Brother Byrd to call me and force me into
counseling," admits Alvin. "I told her, 'If I was going to take you
back, I'll never take you back now!'"
that troubling incident, Alvin showed up for his meeting with Brother Byrd. And
God showed up for Alvin.
Convicted at his unbelief, Alvin rededicated his life to God right there
in the church office.
that meeting, Brother Byrd began discipling Alvin and instructed him to get back
together with Gloria.
The couple found an apartment six blocks away from the church.
"Whatever Brother Byrd said to do, I did." says Alvin.
"For a year, I treated Gloria as though I loved her but I didn't.
As we worked through our problems, I eventually fell head over heels in
love with her all over again."
Brother Byrd told Alvin to "get in the choir." Alvin didn't want to,
besides there was a year-long waiting list. The very next week, to his
amazement, the church started a second choir and Alvin was in. Shortly after
joining, director Carol Cymbala gave Alvin a solo on "I'm Clean," a
song communicating his testimony.
From there, Alvin went on to become the renowned choir's lead male
The Call ...
1990, God began dealing with Alvin's heart about going into full-time ministry.
"I fought the call," says Alvin. "For almost ten years, I
had been active in Brooklyn Tab's Choir as well as other areas of church
ministry and I was busy pursuing various business interests."
had other plans. In November, 1990, Alvin failed in business and his family lost
everything. "We were heavily in debt," says Alvin. "The house,
the car...everything was gone."
the midst of financial upheaval, Alvin told Gloria he felt God was calling him
With her blessing, Alvin left his job and shortly thereafter accepted an
invitation to sing at a wedding reception.
"A pastor approached me at the reception and invited me to sing at a
pastor's conference," says Alvin.
"Little did I know that the conference would be attended by over
1500 pastors! Overnight I began receiving invitations from other
the end of December, one month later, God had restored everything. Alvin moved
his family into a house in Warwick, New York, and bought the newest car he had
"After heeding God's call, the floodgates opened and I immediately
started traveling all over the country," testifies Alvin.
"Within two years I was totally out of debt, but most importantly, I
knew I was pursuing my life's call."
calling is that of a music minister, and leading worship is a large part of what
I perform songs that proclaim or 'preach' the Gospel, as well as songs
that lead us into His presence through praise and worship," says Alvin.
"I believe that broken hearts will be mended, faith will be
increased, and joy will be restored as people experience this recording."
May, 1991, Alvin began singing at national evangelistic crusades and major
Today, Alvin is a regular on the Trinity Broadcasting Network and travels
all over the world singing, testifying, and exhorting Christians to live
passionately for God.
was told many years ago by a very wise pastor that the most effective worship
leaders are those who love to worship," says Alvin.
"Worship is contagious and I'm not ashamed to dance, shout, or sing
before the Lord exuberantly.
If others see my genuine passion to love, obey, and glorify the Lord,
they might want to do the same."