|Genres:||Christian & Gospel|
|Tags:||gospel smokie norful contemporary gospel black gospel christian worship|
Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA. Contemporary gospel vocalist Norful was raised in an African Methodist Episcopal household in Oklahoma. He played piano and sang from an early age, and had his first taste of public performance at his fathers church. The teenage prodigy followed his family to Pine Bluff, Arkansas where his father was installed in a new church, but by now a more secular audience was taking notice of Norfuls vocal talent. He came close to signing a recording contract as a teenage R&B artist but his father decided at the last moment that his sons education was more important and pulled the plug on the recording contract. Norful went on to study history at the University of Arkansas and put music temporarily behind him to work as a high school teacher for six years.
In 1998, Norful left education to pursue a Masters of Divinity degree at Garrett Theological Seminary in Chicago. Norful subsequently worked in the city...