“Redeemed” was the theme of the Saturday rally. Merle Miller, administrator of the Southeast Michigan ARC and a former Eastern Territory officer, expressed great pride in the Detroit ARC Singers and the city they represent.
“Motown is the greatest city in the USA!” Miller said as the group took the stage. They sang the chorus to a 1964 hit single recorded by The Four Tops entitled “Baby, I need your lovin'.” But they changed the lyrics so that they became, “Jesus I need your lovin', got to have all your lovin'!” The audience cheered.
Evans Clark, tenor soloist, testified to having received all “God’s loving.” “He came to my rescue when I was 55,” Clark said. “I was homeless and had a heroin and cocaine habit when I came to The Salvation Army. I heard a voice say, ‘I know you better than you know yourself.’ ”
Clark said that when he read the Bible, “A light came on in my head. I changed my way of living. When I tell my story, I get so full. I’m 68 years old now, and I’m 12 years clean. I have a new home and wife. Try God and your life will be completely changed!”
The Singers’ director, Elbert Cook, said God had redeemed him from 30 years of addiction. “There was a time when I couldn’t get up in the morning. Now, I can’t get up without saying, ‘Thank you Jesus!’ ” he said. Alluding to his colleagues from the ARC, Cook said, “We’ve come a long way—we’ve even relapsed together. Satan is powerful. You can’t [recover from addiction] alone. But God is more powerful and if it were not for Him, I wouldn’t be here today.
“We’ve gone through some struggles—some stuff. We’ve eaten out of garbage cans, slept on benches. I can look back at my mistakes; but I can also look back and see what Jesus has done.”
Cook, now 50, describes himself as a survivor. “I had four brothers: one committed murder, another rape, another was murdered, and another ruptured a vein in his leg while shooting up and bled to death.
“But God spared me, He gave me a wife and a little girl.” Holding both hands high, Cook said, “Praise God!”