Donna Branham Coleman inducted into Tri-State HOF

Posted 8/13/17

By BRIAN GRAVES

Staff Writer

Donna Branham Coleman knows what gospel music means to millions of people.

For her, it’s in the DNA.

Coleman has spent a lifetime with her family spreading …

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Donna Branham Coleman inducted into Tri-State HOF

Posted

By BRIAN GRAVES

Staff Writer

Donna Branham Coleman knows what gospel music means to millions of people.

For her, it’s in the DNA.

Coleman has spent a lifetime with her family spreading the Good News through music, and now that lifetime of ministry has been recognized.

Just one year after her father was inducted into the Tri-State Gospel Music Hall of Fame, she has received the same honor.

The induction ceremony, held last week, at the Parkway Baptist Temple in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., annually recognizes, honors, and celebrates gospel music musicians who have made outstanding contributions to gospel music in the Tri-State area — Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

The Rev. H Ray Branham, her father, was inducted last year and now his daughter is following in his footsteps.

Her years with her family musical group — father Ray, late mother Maxine, husband George Coleman, and brother Ronnie — have brought years of inspiration to many.

“When I got the call, I thought they just wanted more information about Dad,” she said. “I never dreamed it was me.”

Donna said her father said it should have been her preceding him into the Hall of Fame.

Although she has had offers to go to a larger platform, “I wouldn’t leave my mom and dad.”

She told the story the family was singing in South Carolina with the Statesmen Quartet, Gold City and another group.

“They were backstage with the emcee trying to decide the order of the concert,” Donna said. “My dad said they could put us anywhere they want to.”

One by one, all of the groups said they would not follow the Branham Family.

“Jim Hamill of the Kingsmen told my dad they had followed the Branhams in Akron, Ohio,” she said. “Jim got up on the stage and said, ‘Boys, all I know to do is sing ‘Amazing Grace’ and go to the bus!’”

Donna also writes many of the original songs the family sings and records.

Brad Harris, a member of the Testimony Quartet and himself a member of the Hall of Fame, called Donna “one of the most wonderful ladies I know.”

“Her bubby personality and incredible talent are a perfect match for being a great gospel music artist,” Harris said.

He added Donna has had numerous offers to sing with national groups “and she could certainly have done so.”

“But, she chose to stay with her family and honor her parents,” Harris said. “As a result, they have been at or near the top of regional gospel artists in the Tri-State area. She is well deserving of joining her father, Ray, in the Hall of Fame.”

“I thought the honor was wonderful,” Donna said.

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