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The minister and the Mighty Men 

An opera singer-turned Baptist minister teamed up with 40 fellow male singers to record a single which raises funds for a charity that rescues children from gangs

MightyMen400The Revd Craig Downes, minister of Albany Park Baptist Church in Bexley, was part of the all male choir The Mighty Men Experience.

Craig was an international opera tenor prior to training for the ministry. Joining him were gospel artists like Isaiah Raymond and Noel Robinson, rapper Faithchild, soul singer, Zalon, one of the late Amy Winehouse's backing singers, and Aaron Sokell, Emilie Sande's backing vocalist.

The choir’s single ‘Keep Fighting’ was released last month with proceeds going to Gangsline, a charity set up by former gang leader Sheldon Thomas, to tackle gang culture in the UK.

Lurine Cato, MOBO (Music of Black Origin) award winner 2013, was inspired to form the Mighty Men out of her concern over the worryingly bad press surrounding young men and the distinct lack of male role models highlighted by the UK media.

The song’s title ‘Keep Fighting’ encapsulates the challenge of the song to persevere, to stay strong and to remain hopeful, even against the brutality of gang-culture.

CraigDownes250Sheldon said of the single, ‘I was truly humbled that the Mighty Men Experience chose to support the work of Gangsline.

‘For me that represents “real men supporting a real cause”.’

‘There is a movement of change, we need to be both salt and light, what better way to say it than in a song’, says co-writer and producer, Ian Green.

In a matter of hours, International choir director Solomon Facey, led the all-male choir from rehearsals to recording the final track.

The single was then mastered in the world-famous Abbey Road Studios by Les Moir of Integrity Music and Geoff Pesche of Room 5.

It is available from Amazon here.

Baptist Times, 27/07/2015
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