Home sweet home

Gospel signer Beverly Crawford and husband Todd will return to Gainesville to open the Gainesville Family Worship Center Sunday.

Photo courtesy of Beverly Crawford
Published: Saturday, January 7, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 7, 2006 at 1:42 a.m.
Gospel recording artist Beverly Crawford has sung all over the world since leaving Gainesville, and now she's coming back home with plans to stay.
Crawford and husband Todd Crawford will be returning to Gainesville to launch a new church, the Gainesville Family Worship Center, that will begin services at 3 p.m. at the Paramount Hotel, 2900 SW 13th St. on Sunday.
"The Lord just laid on our hearts that it was time to come back home," said Crawford, speaking by cell phone from the Dallas airport. "There was a hunger to want to be back home to share what we've learned."
Crawford grew up in Gainesville, where her father, Bishop Walter Camp, is the long-time pastor at Holy Temple of God. Her career began as one of the singing Camp Sisters in his church. She went on to work professionally as a gospel singer and evangelist.
For six years she sang and recorded with Bobby Jones and New Life before going solo in 1996. Her debut album, "Jesus, Precious King," was nominated for a Stellar Award, while her 1998 album, "Now That I'm Here," was nominated for a Grammy. Her latest release is 2003's "Beverly Crawford."
Crawford says she left Gainesville in 1992 but has returned regularly for concerts and speaking engagements over the years. She lived in Nashville before moving to Dallas nearly seven years ago, where she's worked with Bishop T.D. Jakes at the 30,000-member-church, The Potter's House.
She laughs when she acknowledges that it will be a big change coming back to Gainesville. The plan, she says, is to continue to hold weekly Sunday services at the hotel until a permanent home can be found. She, Todd, daughter Latrina, 21, and son Todd Jr., 10, will be commuting on weekends until making a permanent move in May. That time, she says, will allow Todd Jr. to wrap up fourth grade.
Todd and Beverly Crawford have been married for 23 years, and he has served as her manager for the past 14 years. Coming to Gainesville will be a homecoming for him as well, having grown up in Palatka.
She says she plans to continue to sing and record and is working on a new album. She says she's also hopeful that many of the well-known people she's met through her travels will be able to visit the church in Gainesville.
Gary Kirkland can be reached at 338-3104 or kirklag@gvillesun.com.

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