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Alabama native Yvonne Matthews, the founder of the gospel singing group – Nu Image, former choral instructor at John L. LeFlore School of Communication and Arts, and administrator at LeFlore, Citronelle, Blount, Theodore and Williamson high schools, is also minister of music of Nazaree Full Gospel Church in Mobile, Alabama. Yvonne, along with Nu Image, sponsors Youth On the Winning Side, a music event for youth and young people - an event that has become a Gulf Coast tradition. Yvonne’s life has been filled with music.  From the age of three when she performed her first song in church with her dad – Deacon Fred Reed, to the present, music has carried her from state to state, to other countries to college campuses, to concert halls, to parks, to theaters, and to churches and synagogues. Yvonne was a charter member of Port City United Voices, an affiliate of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. Although she no longer performs with them, she is a board member of the organization.  Her classical training at the University of South Alabama where she received a Bachelor of Music degree in piano and a Master of Education degree, and her upbringing in church music (her father – a pianist, her mother – a songwriter) at Saint Joseph Baptist Church, have produced a musician who ventures into many genres of music and the theatrical arts.

She is a member of Bella Voce, a choir of female singers who perform classical music. She was the musical director for Hear the Voices Ring, a Black History production that was presented at the Saenger Theatre, and Nine to Five the Musical that was presented by Mobile Theatre Guild, and Ain’t Misbehavin’ – another musical that was presented at Mobile Theatre Guild. She has teamed up with Dr. Terry Hazzard and Sonia Daniels to form a group called Voices United to perform for school-aged students to trace the history of religious of African Americans. She reunited with jazz guitarist, Dennis “Finger Roll” Nelson, collaborating and performing Gospel jazz renditions in various venues. In two productions presented by Company 28, Yvonne was cast as Glenda the Good Witch in The Wiz, and as the mother of one of the Dream Girls in the stage play Dream Girls. She retired from the Mobile County Public School System and now serves as Program Director of Educational Programs for the 100 Black Men of Greater Mobile. She was featured in ACCESS Magazine as one of 12 women in Mobile who are positively affecting the community.

She is founder of Matthews Educational Consultant Services to assist students and parents in their educational endeavors. Having completed a 3-week tour of Italy and Switzerland as she debuted her inaugural solo CD performing as one of the Voices with Sonya Williams & the Voices, Yvonne attributes all of her success to God and to a supportive family to include: her husband, Carl; her mother, Lelia Reed; her children; her siblings; and others.

This solo project, GLAD, features music of her former students and music colleagues, which includes their background vocals, instrumentation, engineering, editing, and artwork. Having helped so many others, Yvonne’s project is showcasing the gifts of those in whom she has sown time, talent, and treasure.

Her new release “Jehovah Shammah” is an incredible musical journey and powerful anthem that starts strong from the first drum roll and stays smooth through the last vocal run. “Jehovah Shammah” was written from the incredible knowing that God is not just in Heaven - but he’s here with us! “Yes, the Lord has been with me…” Matthews exclaims. “ my darkest days and in my happiest times. He has never left me and He’s always with me!”

With immediately engaging instrumentation and a powerfully tuned choir topped with Yvonne’s energetically smooth vocals,  “Jehovah Shammah” has all of the ingredients to more than please every listener, but it also brings with it an upbeat and fun reminder that God is here!

LOOK: The most popular biblical baby names

To determine the most popular biblical baby names, Stacker consulted the name origin site Behind the Name and the Social Security Administration's baby names database then ranked the top 50 names from Behind the Name's Biblical Names origins list of 564 names, based on how many babies had been given these names in 2019. Click through to find out which biblical names have stood the test of time.

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