Soul singer Al Green opened his own church today (December 17, 1976), in Memphis, Tennessee.
Reverend Al Green had left secular music after an incident three years earlier, between himself and a married lover named Mary Woodson.
In October 1974, Mary Woodson, who was distraught over the fact that Al Green had spurned her proposal for marriage, became enraged and threw a pot of boiling cream of wheat on the his back, as he showered.
Mary Woodson then went into the living room, took a pistol and committed suicide in Al Green’s mansion.
This prompted Al Green to give up his spectacular secular singing career, which had already earned him 24 gold and platinum albums.
“My grandmother told me that I would be in this field, but I disagreed with her completely,” Reverend Al Green told reporters in 1977. “I just had no idea. But it seemed like the Lord must have needed somebody because I was doing my thing and doing it nicely. And all of a sudden presto! The people are more important than me and my thing. I just have to go do my masters will.”
Rev. Al Green continued a successful recording career on Word Records, one of the largest distributors of Christian music at the time.
Rev. Al Green first gospel album The Lord Will Make A Way, went on to win a Grammy in 1980.
Waxfact: Al Green kept a vacancy in the front pew of The Full Gospel Tabernacle Church, in honor of Mary Woodson.