Terry L. Harrison unveils his latest musical offering

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023

WEST POINT — Versatility is the word that best describes the talented and vivacious Terry L Harrison. He’s a dynamic singer in the field of gospel music. He discovered a love for singing at age six.

Harrison has just released a CD entitled “God’s Got It.” He will be releasing it locally in a special ceremony at Bethlehem Baptist Church in West Point at 6 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 30th. Joining him will be Brother Steve Jones of Wichita, who has collaborated with him on his music. They will be having a gospel concert anniversary people will surely enjoy.

Harrison is married to Janice Louise Harrison, originally of LaGrange. The couple lives on North 18th Street in Lanett.

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“Bethlehem Baptist Church is special to me,” he said. “It’s where I released my first gospel CD back in 2002.”

When he was 10, he sang with a well-known male gospel group called the Valley Spirituals in his hometown of Fairfax, Alabama.

“When I was young, I learned the difference between being poor and bein’ po,” he says with a smile.

He learned that a good education was the key to overcoming that. It also helps to have some grit and initiative to make something of yourself.

Harrison wanted to start his schooling as young as he could. He befriended Mr. W.F. Burns and got into elementary school at an early age. He stuck it out and graduated from high school and used some creativity to get into college at Alabama State.

“I earned some money for a one-way trip to Montgomery,” he said.

He made it to the campus of Alabama State, told people he’d graduated from high school and asked how he could enroll as a student. He told them he needed some financial assistance and was told he could be placed on a scholarship if he had excelled in athletics or had a natural talent such as singing.

“I had played sports in high school but everyone told me I was better at singing,” he said.

Someone suggested he meet the head of the music department for a tryout. He did and absolutely blew the man away with his singing ability.

He asked if he could be admitted on a scholarship.

“He told me they would give me a full ride,” he said. “It broke my heart. I thought it meant they would put me back on the bus to Fairfax, Alabama, and pay for the trip back.”

The music department head saw his disappointment and explained to him that his singing ability would have him on a full scholarship, paying for his education.

Heartbreak then turned to joy. He went on to sing with the Young at Heart Singers at Alabama State, starring as the lead male vocalist his senior year. He then went on to a 24-year career in the U.S. Air Force. He’s never abandoned his love of music and saw the world with the Air Force, going to places like England, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Korea.

He holds a B.S. degree from Alabama State, Master’s degree from TCU and Kansas State and a Ph.D. from Kansas State. He taught at the university level for 22 years and recently retired as a teacher at Butler Community College in Kansas.

Through the years, Dr. Harrison has had recording contracts with UMG Records in Dallas, Texas, Mosheka Records in Wichita, Kansas and ITC Records of Wichita.