She’s got the anointing, they got the word! As I watched and kept rewatching this powerful video, “They Got the Word”, I wasn’t quite sure why I kept being drawn to do so. Over and over again.
- The amazing energy of the truly anointed lead singer? (Indisputably anointed, Mosie Burks‘ gray hair suggests she wasn’t ‘born last night’/Smile)
- The power of the fully-robed choir of gifted men and woman she led? (Mississippi Mass Choir)
- The gospel song’s skillful leveraging of a scripture I didn’t know well? (Revelations 21, the second to last book in the Holy Bible)
Likely all of the above I’d say. Last July, a few months before the 3rd Anniversary of this blog (Sept. 21, 2016), I learned more about the talented choir – and the lead singer of this spirited song. This post seemed a good one to begin the Anniversary Series I promised in September.
Mosie Burks’ dynamism and anointed spirit are a joy to watch in this video! Frankly, she exhibits energy and moves that you’d expect from a woman twenty years her junior. She was about 66 or 67 when this video of the 1999-released song was recorded. As of July 2014 she was STILL touring with the Mississippi Mass Choir. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If you watch this video, I promise you’ll be amazed at how she makes this song come alive. When she retired from her former job, as a telephone operator (South Central Bell after 23 years) who knew she’d be answering another kind of call? I’m so glad she did.
If you look at the tag cloud on my Home Page, you’ll know that I regularly feature gospel music videos and lyrics on this blog. When I realized about four years ago that I couldn’t lead a song if my life depended on it (smile), I had a fellow church member -who is a great singer- encourage me to ‘sing with my keyboard-typed words’ instead. She knew what my true talents were.
- For the record, I made an attempt to lead a song – “Company”/The Nevel Sisters – and it was a mild disaster! I realized that what I WANTED to sing I couldn’t, and that what I could (reasonably) sing I didn’t want to sing. Like having a Tercel budget and Lexus desires when car shopping. I sing harmony, tenor, in the background; that’s a role that’s within my God-given talents.
How did I come to this song? The choir I’ve sung with for over 7 years (Gospel Choir, Oak Ridge First Baptist Church) sings this song. It’s one of my favorite. Moreover, the well-produced video is phenomenal! Looking at Mosie Burks, I subconsciously feel that when God has my back I can do all things. All things! You can too.
Who is Mosie Burks?
- “Long a local singing favorite at churches around Jackson, Miss., she was instead talked into [after retiring] joining the Mississippi Mass Choir and has spent the past two decades traveling the world as the hugely popular ensemble’ s star soloist.”
- “When she walks on the stage, the audience automatically rises to their feet,” says Jerry Mannery, 62, the choir’s executive director and one of its songwriters. “Whether it’s in the U.S., in Africa, in Spain or in Greece, it doesn’t matter. People just recognize that there is something special about her. The scripture says, ‘Many are called, but few are chosen.’ She’s really chosen.”
- Burks was the third of 13 children born in Forest, Miss., to migrant-fieldworker parents. Picking cotton didn’t suit her health, however. . . She says she was the only member of the family who attended church. “My mom would wake me,” Burks remembers. “She’d have my little dress pressed and comb my hair, and down through the field I would go.”
- She got married when she was 21. “Also when Burks was 21, her mother died and her father abandoned the family, leaving her to help raise five of her younger brothers and sisters until they were old enough to go out on their own. She worked as a maid before being hired by the telephone company.
- Burks has three children by her first husband, who died in 1984, and seven stepchildren by her second and current husband, Willie Burks.
- “I still enjoy traveling, even at this status in life,” said Burks in 2014. “I give God the glory and thanksgiving every day that I am still able to get up and go and do. It was just beyond my imagination the things the Lord has allowed me to be a part of. Amen to that.”
Source: “Mosie Burks, Mississippi choir to make Richmond appearance”, Lee Hildebrand, San Francisco Chronicle, July 20, 2014.
To see someone render this song with such intensity, at any age, would be impressive. To be in her late 60s when this video was recorded and doing it so wells makes it even more so; at age of 81 (July 2014) Burks was STILL touring with the group. Through him who strengthens us we can do all things.
In an interview, Burks cited 3 scriptures which serve as sources of divine encouragement for her:
The song, “They Got The Word”, conveys a basic tenet of Christian life: Eternal salvation is possible for all abiding children of God. In life, whatever earthly tribulations we endure are simply temporary. They won’t last. Moreover, heavenly triumphs await us when we go up yonder. For those who pass through the Pearly Gates, as Burks puts it there will be “nothing, nothing, nothing but Peace”. For all who get there they’ll be able to “Crown him, crown him, crown him Lord of Lords” (Refer to Revelations 4 and 14).
When a 57-year old cousin of mine passed away last year, I couldn’t get this Mississippi Mass Choir led by Mosie Burks video out of my mind! As stated in the 21st Chapter (Verses 4 – 6) of Revelations:
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
66 Assurance Way
Photo credits: Video screenshots, “They Got The Word“, Pannellctp Traditional Gospel Music.