Seven-time Grammy winner and veteran soul artist Gladys Knight and her husband William "Billy" McDowell have launched a fundraising campaign for the Reynolds Community Center at the site of Reynolds High School in North Carolina. Organizers need to raise up to $5 million to renovate the 20,000-square-foot building, which was constructed in 1930 and was functional until 1966.
It was once the only African-American high school in western North Carolina west of Asheville. When finished, the 6.5-acre property will provide multiple services, from a music center to counseling for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.
Georgia-born Knight is no stranger to Gospel music. Ever since she was a little girl, her mother has brought her to church and she had communicated to daughter about Jesus Christ. Growing up in church, Knight had sung in choir choirs as well as solo spots in church and church events. Now Knight is eager to return to return to her roots. And as she sings about her love for Jesus Christ, she hopes this record will be an encouragement to her millions of fans out there.
Speaking of her faith, Knight says, "I vividly remember the time in my life when I felt lost, as if something was missing. I was desperately seeking answers and when I finally found the answer, I learned that it was Jesus Christ. He gave me this gift and out of obedience, I want to give Him back to the listeners."
Her latest CD "Where My Heart Belongs" contains 11 new songs. Tracks such as "Life Song" will border on the inspiration side with a tilt towards contemporary, while "Soon" is classic soul, while "Always" is a worship song for Sunday mornings. Not forgetting her roots, she has included two hymns "Were You There" and the Cross-centered "There is a Green Hill Far Away."
Besides having released Gospel albums before in her illustrious career, one of Knight's greatest honor was winning a Grammy Award for the Best Gospel Performance with the late legendary Ray Charles for their duet "Heaven Help Us All."