Tjapkes, in his “Humanity for Prisoners” blog, says the trio “made a profound and lasting impact on my life.”
The first is Sister Mattie Davis, who Tjapkes calls “a wisp of a little black lady who was business manager for a black gospel singing group based in Muskegon known as the Heavenly Echoes.”
“The year was 1954,” he wrote. “I was a young man 17 years of age when I landed my first job in radio broadcasting, and part of my assignment was to sign on the radio station WMUS at 8:15 a.m. on Sundays. Each Sunday, the Heavenly Echoes provided a live broadcast, and the host and announcer was Mattie Davis.
“This white, Christian Reformed boy was amazed at the difference in prayers,” Tjapkes continued. “At my home, in my school and in my church, our prayers included lofty phrases of ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ in words of praise and supplication. In the Heavenly Echoes broadcast, Sister Mattie Davis remembered to include those first responders and people on the street protecting our safety, as she prayed for ‘policemens’ and ‘firemens!’”
Read the complete post and find out who the other two are: “A tribute to three African-American giants.”
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