About Pastor Carlis
CARLIS MOODY JR.
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 Singers (Tommies).
The eldest son of Bishop and Mrs. Carlis L. Moody Sr., Carlis was born in Waukegan, 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. Carlis 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 (the renowned Thompson Community Singers) recording a song of mine,” Carlis 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, Tony 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, was nominated for 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 Carlis for other hit songs included one of Carlis’s most recognized compositions “Available to You” and “Through God’s Eyes.” Things were going great; then, Carlis 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 Carlis’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 Carlis 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. Their next batch of songs included “Worthy” and “By Your Word.” Since that time, Carlis 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 You” for Ben Tankard & The Tommies and “Whom Shall I Send?” for Shirley Caesar and others.
August 26, 1987, Carlis married his wife, Paulettea Marie Kennedy. To this union four children were born, Charity Noel, Chamaya Nicole, Chantelle Nueve' and Carlis Lee III.
In 1993, Carlis recorded his first CD entitled “Refreshing” for CGI Records. He traveled to 39 countries ministering through song. In Korea he sang “Lord I’m Available To You” before 100,000 people at the World Pentecostal Conference held in the Historic Olympic Stadium in Seoul Korea. Once he was an opening act for the Grammy-winning Winans quartet and was musical director for the stage drama, “First Love.” After spending five years working with Pastor Darrell Hines and the Christian Faith Fellowship Church Choir,
From April 2003 – October 2005 Carlis served as Youth Pastor and Minister Of Music at Temple Of Deliverance COGIC in Memphis TN., where Bishop G.E. Patterson is Senior Pastor. Bishop Patterson’s record company Podium Records released Pastor Carlis’s sophomore project “Listen With Your Heart” in 2004, recorded with his home Church Choir “Faith Temple Voices of Faith”. Before leaving Memphis Pastor Carlis was instrumental in helping to put together the “Bishop G.E. Patterson & Congregation Singing The Old Time Way” projects I & II. Elder Carlis Moody inspired Bishop when they worked together on Carlis’s “Listen With Your Heart” Project.
In November of 2005, Pastor Carlis accepted the position of Administrative Assistant to his Father, Senior Pastor Bishop Carlis L. Moody Sr., at Faith Temple Church in Evanston, IL, where he is faithful to the ministry.
In spite of the obvious success he’s enjoyed, Carlis 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.”