Thursday, February 27, 2014
Heaven got a little louder today when Grammy nominated Gospel artist Hanq Neal passed from this Earthly dwelling to live with the Lord. He died shortly after 1pm today after suffering a massive heart attack.
“His life has not only enriched our individual lives, but in so many ways, has caused us to be a better people of faith,” said the official message coming from Pastor Marcus D. Cosby of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, where Neal served as the Minister of Music. ”Thank God for the life and the love of our friend, Hanq Neal.”
Described as a humble man with star talent by Rev. William A. Lawson, retired founding pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Neal was a friend to many. Often he was the man whom everyone from the City of Houston mayor to Gospel greats as Yolanda Adams would call upon for him to lend his golden voice. Performing for Queen Elizabeth II, Mickey Leland’s funeral, and many other people and events, Neal was wholeheartedly committed to the church than the call of the bright lights of the national stage.
Something his mother would be so proud of. As a child Neal and his seven siblings knew that only three artists were allowed in their home. "It had to be Mahalia Jackson, the Rev. James Cleveland, Shirley Ceasar," Neal told The Houston Chronicle. This no doubt nurtured his love for Gospel music.
As a young boy, he sang every Sunday at church. In between those performances, Neal played the organ and violin in the school orchestra. Although he had this strong music foundation, Neal never thought of a career in this field. He simple wanted to educate children as a schoolteacher. It is funny how life works since Neal did fulfilled his dream in education but instead of teaching reading, writing and arithmetic and he taught the ways of Jesus.
Funeral arrangements for Neal are pending at this time.
Listen to the voice of Hanq Neal