I Found Him
BIOGRAPHY VERNEDA RUSH-COLE
Verneda’s road to her distinguished career in gospel music began at the age of six years old. It is at this time she sung her first lead song “Yes Jesus Loves Me” at Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ in Memphis, Tn. trained by Samuel Spann of California and the famous (deceased) Madame Ann Marie Fletcher, Memphis Tennessee. Her contralto voice developed and dazzled those that heard her with the talent and vocal control of one much older. She was a member of her high school chorus of Melrose High School class of 1970 and led the song “Oh Happy Day” which helped her further her interest in singing.
By the age of her youth and adult, Ann Marie Fletcher continued to mentor Verneda in her singing and her extended family members of the Chandler, Dickerson and Freeman heritage from Memphis and Bells, Tennessee, gospel musicians, singers and preachers. Her mother Cora Mae Chandler-Rush always stated and reminded her that by her being shy in singing, “God gave it to my daughter Verneda” to go forward in singing and praising the Lord.
1974 Verneda relocated to Northern California where she resided and began to sing at various churches and events. In 1977 she began and had her first opportunity to travel with Verlin Sandles as her background vocalist along with Carol Ross, and Martha Wash (Formerly of the Slyvester and the Two Tons of Fun). Verneda’s first album with Verlin Sandles was entitled “Tradewinds” produced by Melvin Seals on Deep Roots Recording Label.
1979 she joined and became one of the lead vocalists with the Emmitt Powell and the Gospel Elites that was organized in May of 1977 by Emmitt Powell, a leading San Francisco Bay Area Gospel radio and television announcer and concert promoter.
In 1980 their first album was released nationally on Savoy Records entitled “Jesus Above All Others” lead by Verneda which was produced by Emmitt Powell and Melvin Seals which helped her to launch further in the gospel arena career. Verneda appeared and toured at various events, celebrations, Jazz and Heritage festivals, TV Cable shows in the state of California, Tennessee, Louisiana with the Gospel Elites during concerts just to name a few. She shared the stage with the elites such as Al Green, Shirley Caesar, The Caravans, Rance Allen, Edwin Hawkins Singers, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Dorothy Norwood, Inez Andrews, Albertina Walker, Danniebelle Hall, New Jersey Mass Choir, Dorothy Morrison Henry and many others.
1986 she appeared on the Bobby Jones show with the Elites and shared the stage with the Bobby Jones Singers in Nashville, Tennessee. Verneda had the opportunity as a soloist to sing before the audience of various military branches bringing her contralto gospel sound to uplift and inspire in the Bay Area of California.
In 1994 Verneda continued her gospel talent as a soloist in southern California of Bakersfield Ca. Kern County Fair events sharing the gospel stage with the great gospel singer Marvin Sapp and local gospel artist. She performed in various faith based churches such as Mingleton Temple, God’s Covenant COGIC, Cain AME Church just to name a few and community gala events with the support of others and mentor Dee Slater, a community advocate. She was given the opportunity to be one of the headliners for Bakersfield’s First New Years Eve Celebration that provided a non-alcoholic family environment for various performances and activities in the downtown area in 2000 and then 2001 with the help of “The Vessels of Praise Gospel Singers” providing gospel uplifting songs. The most exciting opportunity for her was to sing before thousands remembering those who died on 911 "God Bless America” in her own slow acappella contralto version in September 2002.
Verneda’s singing voice reminds others of the famous singers such as the great late Madame Mattie Wiggly of Memphis, TN., Gladys Knight, and Anita Baker. She displays a personal growth, both spiritually and artistically. Her talent will lift you up; break the yoke to come to Jesus for a spiritual challenge to the listeners for people to be blessed. Verneda loves God, her children, Aswala, Gary II, Brittney and her grandchildren, James, Jada, Jayon and Josiah. They have given her a lift to go further to sing for the Lord and to reach the unreachable. She feels that she would not have made it thus far in her life without the help of God, family and her extended Chandler family and the Rush family who believed in her especially “Memphis Gold “ Chester Chandler, her brother Andrew Rush, III and a very special friend that stood by when this journey began in preparation of getting back into doing this special project of recording after returning back to Memphis. After 32 years living in California, this native Memphian is now back and dedicates her new journey with her first new release CD single entitled “I Found Him” produced by Memphis Gold- Chester Chandler and Barbara Chandler under their Milkman Recording Label. She dedicates her work to the remembrance of her (decease) mother Cora Chandler-Rush, her (decease) aunts Mary Chandler-Perkins, and Elizabeth Chandler- Haley. Her lovely aunts, Honorine Rush, Louise Chandler, Sylvia Chandler-Maxwell, Ruth Chandler-Sanders and uncles Elder Carl Sanders, Samuel and Paul Chandler ., Her siblings Andrew Rush, III, Andre Rush, Cedric Rush, Yvonne Rush-Wolf, Wayne Cleaves (Rush), and Gloria Thaxton-Harrington. In-Laws, Annie Dickerson, Erma Mack and the legacy of her (deceased) grandmother, Rita Chandler and (deceased) grandfather John Ruben Chandler the bass fiddler and piano player of Bells & Memphis, Tennessee. Last but not least. Grace Williams and the (deceased) Rev. Norris Williams her children’s God Parents of Livermore, California, the great Emmitt Powell, founder of the Gospel Elites of the Bay Area (Northern California), Don and Arrenia Corbin, San Francisco, Ca. and the (deceased) Betty Hendricks and Papa Clinton Hendricks of Oakland, Ca. Patricia Sam, Fairfield, Ca.,Linda Cole, Bakersfield, the old Bethel Temple Church Family, Richmond Ca. and Pentecostal Temple COGIC Family, Memphis, Tn.
I Found Him