Alvin Slaughter
by Lisa Tedder

Alvin Slaughter

There 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.

In 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.

From 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."

Soon 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 job."

The Turning

At the urging of his sister, Alvin decided to attend a concert at the Brooklyn Tabernacle.  "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 my mind.  I realized then that God was pursuing me."

Alvin returned to the Brooklyn Tabernacle every Sunday but would leave before the sermon.  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."

It 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 the coincidence.  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.   

Alvin 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!'"

Despite 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.

After 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."  

Next, 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 vocalist.

Answering The Call ...

In 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."

God 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." 

In the midst of financial upheaval, Alvin told Gloria he felt God was calling him into ministry.  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 ministries."

By 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 ever owned.  "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."

"My calling is that of a music minister, and leading worship is a large part of what I do.  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."

In May, 1991, Alvin began singing at national evangelistic crusades and major Christian conferences.  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.

"I 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."

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