Although he felt a strong pull towards gospel music, Orange said the opportunity to sign a lucrative R & B recording contract during a dry financial period in his life almost took him into a different, less desirable direction. His grandmother, the late Maggie McLoud, encouraged him to “do what you have to do for your family,” but because she knew he belonged in the world of gospel, Orange said she took out a loan to obviate his need to sign the R & B contract.
“I will never, ever forget what she did,” Orange said of McLoud, who passed away in 1994, just before the group released its first CD, Feel the Spirit, which peaked at a very respectable #24 on the Billboard Gospel Chart.
The project was produced by singer/song writer Paul Porter and yielded the hit single The Train, still the group’s most requested song. The success of Feel the Spirit led to several bookings to open for gospel powerhouses like The Canton Spirituals, Kirk Franklin, Albertina Walker, John P. Kee, Pastor Shirley Caesar, the Williams Brothers and Orange’s all time favorite, The Mighty Clouds of Joy.
After twelve years, Second Chapter has released its third CD, A New Season, which Orange said, “is a project for the ages. It is the hope and prayers of Second Chapter that this project will minister to the hearts and minds of people everywhere.”
Releasing new music after such a long absence, Orange said, is akin to a new beginning in the gospel music industry. Embracing technology and social media are now mandated aspects of their marketing strategy. He said the group’s Facebook page should be ready soon.
Second Chapter has experienced “personnel changes” over the years and currently consists of founding members Orange and Laster Wilson, as well as long time members Pierre Hart, Jeffery Mack and a core of dedicated musicians led by music director La’Keith Anderson.
Wilson says the changes in the group’s make-up have not diminished its mission. “The anointing is ever present and the message remains clear, and we continue to work towards tearing down strong holds and ministering to the needs of all people.”
Orange has a full plate has he ushers Second Chapter into a new phase of life. In addition to serving as a deacon and assistant minister of music at the 93rd Street Baptist Church in Miami, he is also a union steward, a member of the Masonic Order, and continues to “fill in” as a baritone with legendary gospel group, the Spiritual Harmonizers.
Orange laughs as he recalls the story of his “temporary” role with the group.
“I went to help them out as a baritone singer 16 years ago until they found another baritone singer. I don’t think they really looked for a replacement,” he shared.
Orange said he’s grateful to the fans of Second Chapter and invites them to stay connected by visiting their website, www.secondchaptergospel.com.
Renee Michelle Harris may be contacted at RMHarris15@Bellsouth.net