More than 2,000 mourners overflooded a Detroit city megachurch Wednesday to celebrate the life of David “Pop” Winans, patriarch of gospel music’s Winans family dynasty.
Among the host of family and friends were popular gospel music artists and prominent ministers – all of whom gathered in Perfecting Church to pay tribute to Winans, who died last Wednesday at a hospice in Nashville, Tenn.
The “homegoing celebration” featured musical performances, preaching, and stories and testimonies about the man whose family, combined, have been recognized with more than 35 Grammy Awards, over 20 Stellar and Dove Awards, and about a half-a-dozen NAACP Image Awards.
Winans, himself, received a Grammy nomination with his wife, Delores “Mom” Winans, for their self-titled album in 1989.
“Pop was part of that glorious tradition of powerful singers,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson during the celebration, noting that Winans was from an era of great singers that included Sam Cooke, James Cleveland and Rev. C.L. Franklin.
“Those were tall trees. Pop planted a forest,” he said.
The celebration Wednesday morning followed a memorial service the evening before that was also held at Perfecting Church, where Marvin L. Winans, one of Winans' seven sons, is senior pastor.
All together, Winans fathered ten children – one of which, Ronald Winans, died in June 2005 at the age of 48. Winans also has 23 grandchildren, a handful of which are also involved in the music industry.
Winans would have turned 75 this coming Monday.