Chicago’s gospel community mourned death of Delois Barrett Campbell

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Delois Barrett Campbell, known as the “Royal Lady of Gospel” died Aug. 2 and was laid to rest after a spirit-filled homegoing celebration.

Delois Barrett Campbell, known as the “Royal Lady of Gospel” died Aug. 2 and was laid to rest after a spirit-filled homegoing celebration.

Mourners packed Barrett’s church home, Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St., Aug. 10 for a concert that featured Pastor DeAndre Patterson and singer Jennifer Hudson. The following night, funeral services were held there for Campbell, the eldest of the three singing Barrett Sisters. The group sang gospel for over 70 years.

On Aug. 11, a motorcade departed Leak and Sons Funeral Home on South Cottage Grove and followed to Oakwood Cemetery the white horse-drawn carriage that held her casket. The carriage pulled by white horses transported Campbell to her final resting place.

Campbell began singing under the direction of her aunt, Maddie Bacus, at Morning Star Baptist Church of Chicago. While in high school, she was a member of the Roberta Martin Singers. After several years with the Roberta Martin Singers, Campbell later joined her family as the lead singer of the celebrated gospel trio, the Barrett Sisters, known for amazing harmonizing ability. The Barrett Sisters traveled to Europe over 30 times and performed together, even this year, at various events in the Chicago area.

“For decades, Delois performed songs that fed our spirits, brought us hope, and helped carry us forward in times of both despair and triumph. Throughout her life, she remained dedicated to her sisters, her family and the Chicago community, as well as to the gospel music that served as source of inspiration for many,” President Barack Obama said in a statement after Campbell’s death.

Campbell and her sisters’ extraordinary gospel musical journey will be chronicled in a new documentary by filmmaker Regina Davis.

The filmmaker said that the gospel trio, “truly, truly love the Lord, love singing His praises, and adore each other. They are/were as close as three sisters could be.”

Campbell and her singing sisters were the first gospel group to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In June 2010, Campbell and The Barrett Sisters were saluted at the living gospel legends concert, among numerous honors recently and over the years.

The surviving members of the Barrett Sisters are Rodessa Barrett Porter and Billie Barrett GreenBey. Campbell is also survived by two daughters, Dr. Sue B. Campbell-Ladd and Mary A. Campbell; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Campbell’s husband, the Rev. Frank Wesley Campbell, died in 2000.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

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