• Arts & Culture Bay Area Community Gospel

    Services Set for Gene Viale

    Family, and friends from across the country will gather this weekend to celebrate the life of one of Gospel’s own Gene Viale.

    Details of Funeral Services can be found below:

    Wake & Celebration of Life Musical will take place, Friday, December 16th at 7 PM, and will be held at City of Refuge UCC, 1025 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA (Bishop Yvette Flunder, Host Pastor).  

    Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11AM, Saturday, December 17, 2011 at Olivet Institutional Missionary Baptist Church, 807 27th Street, Oakland, CA (Bishop Gordon Humpfrey, Host Pastor).

    Most notably known as a member of the James Cleveland Singers, Gene was raised in the San Francisco Bay area, and traveled extensively with James Cleveland, Dorothy Norwood, Inez Andrews, Shirley Caesar, and the Mighty Clouds of Joy.

    His contribution to the “Golden Age of Gospel” can be felt on songs like Heartaches, Heaven, That Will be Good Enough for Me, What Color is God, and countless others.

    During the Memorial Choir rehearsal, the local community gathered to pay tribute to Gene through song.  “He made such a huge impact on gospel; the first solo I ever lead at 12 years old was a Gene Viale Song. What A Friend We Have in Jesus,” says Daryl Norman.  Norman, along with Maggie Wincher, and Dr. Stephen Roberts will lead and direct the Memorial Choir for Saturday’s service.

    Affectionately known throughout The Fellowship as “Pastor Gene,” he was ordained by Bishop Yvette Founder in 2008, and shared his last public appearance during the City of Refuge 20th Anniversary Celebration held at Olivet.   Although, his body showing was showing the effects of his recent liver cancer diagnosis, his words spoke volumes everyone in the room.


    The peace and liberating freedom he shared through his words turned our tears into celebration that evening.

    Gene will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

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