Carlis Moody Jr
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Carlis Moody Jr

Band Christian Gospel


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1988 Available To You title cut (Reverend Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers) Word
1993 Through God's Eyes (Reverend Milton Brunson & the Thompson Community Singers) Title Song Word
1994 Refreshing CGI/A&M
2004 Listen With Your Heart Podium



In an industry that has come to prize young urban contemporary gospel singer/songwriters such as Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary over older traditional artists, it’s nice to know that there are some young singer/songwriters keeping the spirit of traditional black gospel music alive. One of those young performers is Carlis L. Moody who has written over 100 songs and has spent the last decade penning chart-smashing songs for traditional gospel artists such as Shirley Caesar, Olanda Draper, Babbie Mason, and Milton Brunson & the Thompson Community Choir (Tommies).

The eldest son of Bishop and Mrs. Carlis L. Moody Sr., Moody was born in Evanston, IL and has been active in church since his early childhood. He wrote his first composition “Now It All Seems So Simple” when he was just sixteen years old. Moody knew that church music was his life’s calling, so after attending North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, he toured Europe with a choir and returned to the states with zeal to coach gospel choirs and conduct music workshops across the country.

His big break as a songwriter came circa 1982. “Some years ago a man from Milton Brunson’s church, Tony Shelton, came to my annual choir’s anniversary… He asked me had I ever thought about Brunson’s choir recording a song of mine,” Moody recalls. “I told him that I never thought about it. A few months later he invited my choir to sing at a musical at Christ Tabernacle Church, and the people were blessed. After the service, Brother Shelton told me that Pastor Brunson wanted to meet me. Pastor Brunson told me how blessed he was by my choir’s ministry and that Myrrh Records was letting them go. He said the Tommies were doing their final project for the label and needed a major miracle for Myrrh to re-sign them. He asked me for a song for this album and the appropriate title of the song I wrote was `Miracle’ which became the title of the album.”

The album reached #6 on Billboard’s gospel album chart, won a Grammy Award and Myrrh executives were so happy with the LP sales that they re-signed the choir to a new contract. From that time on, The Tommies came back to Moody for other hit songs such as “Available to You” and “Through God’s Eyes.” Things were going great, then, Moody had a stroke in the prime of his youth. “The rehabilitation lasted nine whole months,” he recalls. “While I was laid up I had the chance to review my life and I didn’t like what I saw: excuses, excuses and more excuses. I told God if he raised me up, I would do things different. He raised me up and now I’m making up for lost time. I minister every chance I get even if it’s with just a smile, because there were nine months when I couldn’t smile at all because my face was so crooked and ugly.”

One of the songs born out of Moody’s health ordeal was called “You Didn’t Give Up on Me.” One line of the song reads: “Just like a baby when he begins to walk” and in it Moody parallels his triumph over his stroke to the Christian’s maturation in the knowledge of God. The Tommies wasted no time in recording the song and watching it propel their album “Open Our Eyes” to #1 on the Billboard gospel chart in 1991. Since that time, Moody has continued to churn out sweet, buttery modern day church classics such as “Ready for My Change” which has become a favorite in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) denomination. Others include “Reach Out” for Babbie Mason, “Praise the Lord Everybody” for Olanda Draper, “We’ve Come to Worship” for Ben Tankard and “Whom Shall I Send?” for Shirley Caesar and others.

In 1993, Moody recorded his first CD entitled “Refreshing” for CGI Records. For a time, he was an opening act for the Grammy-winning Winans quartet and was musical director for the stage drama, “First Love.” After spending four years working with the Christian Faith Fellowship Church Choir, Moody has been youth pastor at Faith Temple Church in Evanston, IL where he lives with his wife and four children.

In spite of the obvious success he’s enjoyed, Moody says there have been pitfalls too. “I have missed more opportunities than I care to even mention because I didn’t have the correct representation, communication, and in some cases unlike now I was plain old scared!,” he says. “I missed 10 years where I would have had five or six CDs out by now. I’ve had to deal with feeling I cheated God’s people as well as the entire world because God gave me this gift of writing music and I’ve had it wrapped up tight at my local church. I didn’t have anyone to pull me out. Today that power is within me. I feel the need to come forth with all that God has musically trusted me with.”