Karen Clark-Sheard is renowned as a vocalist and member of the famed The Clark Sisters, but at Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ, she’s a pastor’s wife first and foremost. In our exclusive interview with the Sheard family, Karen talked about her role as a first lady and revealed exciting plans about her next album.
About being a Pastor’s Wife
Karen: We all play different roles at the church. I am the first lady. A lot of people think that because I oversee the praise team that I mostly sing at my church. I want to make it very, very known that I am not the leader of the praise team, I just oversee it. I barely sing at my church. One of the things that I despise is when people think that because I sing that is what makes [my husband’s] church. Our church is totally built on the Word of God.
I sing periodically but not very much because I’m totally involved in woman’s ministry at the church and in the youth ministry and in different organizations like the feeding program. I want people to know more of that about me, rather than thinking that I’m at the church singing all the time. (laughs) The foundation of the church is the Word of God.
Bishop Sheard: A lot of times people come in town and they say, “Oh, I’m going to Greater Emmanuel.” But they will be disappointed if they come expecting that Karen or Kierra or Dorinda will be singing. The church itself was built on preaching; it’s a preacher’s church. We do have gifted singers but it’s all about the Word of God.
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About Karen’s next record…
Karen: I’m in the process on working on my next record. We have already signed Jonathan Nelson and we’re looking to have other artists on the label.
Kierra: We’re talking about getting Evangelist Karen Clark Sheard back with Donald Lawrence, ”the dynamic duo.” That’s what people want!
About Karew Records
GT: I’ve heard you say that Karew Records was a dream of yours, something like you’d always wanted to do. Tell me about that.
Karen: Karew Records is another one of my other prayers that have been answered. I’ve dealt with all types of record companies and I’ve had experience with secular companies, gospel record companies and I’ve been made lots of offers but I was really adamant about singing gospel music and I made a decision to stick with what I know is in my heart.
In dealing with those record companies, I’ve always said, “One day we’re gonna make our own decisions.” As I got older and gained more knowledge and understanding of the business and the industry, I decided I wanted to have my own record company and make my own decisions. Eventually, my husband really inspired me to branch out into doing this and making this decision because it has been so hard for me to step out and do things. I can see the vision but I never could put an effort to do it. He inspired me.
Behind my dream, is my desire to fulfill someone else’s dream by bringing in other artists. There is a lot of hidden talent out there and I want to be a mentor to them so they can represent God well. With some gospel record companies, you see a lot of artists getting out there and they have no one that’s showing them how to be presentable, how to be a good artist and keep a good image. These things are important to having a lasting career.