Evangelist Vetrea Slack Ruffin
Evangelist Ruffin is a national recording artist, songwriter, workshop conductor, and vocal instructor. She was born to Frederick Slack and her late mother, Vetrea Davidson Slack in St. Louis, MO and reared in East St. Louis, IL. She attended Lincoln Senior High School; Alabama A&M University; the University of Alabama in Huntsville; and C.H. Mason Bible College.
When Vetrea was very young, her mom, who was a musician in her own right, formed a family gospel group, "The Slack Family." The Slack Family was very popular in the Missouri and Illinois areas, singing traditional gospel music. Vetrea's mother was her inspiration, both musically and spiritually. She credits her mother for her acceptance of Christ at the age of 13. Vetrea organized her first youth choir at her church in St. Louis at the age of 14 she served as the youth choir president and director. After her marriage in 1977, she moved to Huntsville, AL where she soon became instrumental in aiding many churches in organizing and reorganizing their church choirs.
The Lord has gifted her to write songs through the medium of dreams. In her earlier years, she felt incompetent to finish the songs that the Lord would give her through dreams, until she received a prophesy from a spiritual mentor, Supt. Joe Mack Bankhead, confirming that God would use her to write songs. Today, Vetrea is a very accomplished songwriter.
Through the godly inspiration and encouragement of her husband, she formed the national recording group, "Vetrea Slack Ruffin and the Ruffin Family," which consists of Vetrea and her daughters. In 1999, they completed their first album, "Help Me Render Completely."
Vetrea Slack Ruffin has studied vocally with dynamic vocalists such as Lecresia Campbell, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Elizabeth Stephenson, and others. Today, she successfully teaches classes in voice. She has conducted many workshops, teaching vocal techniques, choir administration, and songwriting classes to include: Donnie McClurkin's Back to Holiness Conferences in Nashville, TN and Orlando Florida, the late O'Landa Draper's Music Lover's Conference in Memphis, TN, Willie McClendon's Birthday Praise Conference in Chattanooga, TN, and Jamel Strong and the Triple "M" Conference in Huntsville, AL, to name a few. She has taught vocal classes alongside Lynette Hawkins-Stephens, Donnie McClurkin, and Maurette Brown-Clark.
Vetrea has directed and conducted the conference choir for Prophetess Juanita Bynum’s Huntsville, AL Conference. In addition to several other projects, Vetrea's expertise appears on the following recording projects:
Songwriter for "This World is Not My Home" on Angela Spivey's “Eyes on the Prize” CD.
Songwriter for "It's Yes" on Alabama A&M Gospel Choir's Recording
Songwriter for "Come Bow Down Before Him" and background vocals for the song "It's My Time" (aka, "New Season") on Jamel Strong & the Triple "M" Mass Choir album
Songwriter/Soloist on Alabama State Mass Choir's two recordings.
Guest Soloist and Background Vocalists for Terry Townsend’s "The Blessed Project."
She has completed two books (Using You Vocal Instrument and Church Choir Administration). Her family group has two CDs entitled, "Help Me Render Completely" and "House of Worship." They have a video entitled, "That's Why I Call His Name." She and her husband are founders of Heavenly Spirit Music, Inc. recording ministry.
Today, Vetrea and her daughters sing to people who are sick and shut-in. Vetrea is an Evangelist, serving as First Lady of the Forge Temple COGIC in Birmingham, AL. She is Founder and President of the Young Inspirational Voices in Birmingham. She also serves as Dean of Education for the COGIC International Music Department under the leadership of Dr. Judith McAllister. She is presently attending Athens State University, taking courses in Instructional Design.
She has completed two exceptional books, "Church Choir Administration" and a vocal book entitled, "Using Your Vocal Instrument." She has co-produced the 2014 CD entitled, “Yes Lord,” by Pastor Paul Ruffin & the Forge Temple COGIC Sanctuary Choir.
She is happily married to her husband of 37+ years, Dr. Paul B. Ruffin, who is an award-winning, world-renowned retired scientist, educator, and pastor of the Forge Temple COGIC located in Birmingham, AL. They reside in Harvest, AL. Their two daughters, Lacretia (Kellen) Ruffin Conaway and Angelica Ruffin reside in Huntsville. She is the proud grandmother of three grandchildren: Jared, Victoria, and Kellen II.
Winner of the 2013 GMC TV Most Powerful Voices Contest, May 22, 2013
Prayze Factor People's Choice Awards, April 27th, 2013, Winners of 6 Awards
Prayze Factor Peoples Choice Awards Season 2 "Best Praise & Worship Group"
Prayze Factor Peoples Choice Awards Season 2 "Best Christian Alternative Group"
Prayze Factor Peoples Choice Awards Season 2 "Best Gospel Jazz Group"
Prayze Factor Peoples Choice Awards Season 2 "Best Contemporary Christian Group"
Prayze Factor Peoples Choice Awards Season 2 "Best Urban Group"
Prayze Factor Peoples Choice Awards Season 2 "Grand Finale' Championship 2nd Runner Up"
2006 Alabama A&M Gospel Choir’s “Trailblazer of the Year Award”