Gospel luminaries, preachers, and more than 100 family members convened to pay their last respects to David "Pop" Winans, patriarch of one of gospel's most beloved dynasties.
Clothed in different hues of white and ivory, the family gathered April 15 at Detroit's Perfecting Church, where son Marvin Winans serves as head pastor, to reminisce about its forefather amid tears of joy—even remorse.
"I remember times when the lights were out and we were hungry, but he would be praising God," said Debra Winans Lowe, Winans' youngest daughter. "He had nothing on his lips but praise."
"If I am half the man my father was, I'll see him in heaven," said a tearful Carvin Winans, who apologized publicly for "falling short" as a husband, father, and brother.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, one of several noted preachers in attendance, praised Winans for his far-reaching legacy.
"Pop was part of that glorious season of powerful singing in our tradition," Jackson said, referring to contemporaries of Winans' that included Sam Cooke and James Cleveland. "But those singers were trees. Pop planted a forest."
Donnie McClurkin, Karen Clark-Sheard, and Tramaine Hawkins were some of the gospel heavyweights in attendance.
Winans died April 8 from complications arising from a heart attack and stroke he suffered last fall. He is survived by wife Delores, nine children, and 23 grandchildren.
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