B i o g r a p h y
The late Bill “The Mailman” Martin, Texas Gospel Announcers Guild President said, “as a gospel announcer, I’ve heard great gospel singers and musicians across the country, but I also believe that every now and then from among the masses, there arises a special person that God has truly chosen to do a special work for Him. Such is the case here. Through God’s perfect timing and direction, Chester D. T. Baldwin is rising through the ranks to take his place among the truly great gospel artists of all time!”
Chester is a highly sought after National recording artist and church choir workshop clinician, having been recognized and honored by his peers and gospel industry for excellence in gospel music. He has received resounding critical acclaim for his rousing, spirit filled, anointed presentation of the gospel through the medium of song. Referred to as the “Prime Minister of Praise” he is the “hardest working man in gospel music.”
Chester is a native of Liberty, Texas and was reared by his beloved mother, Gussie, who he affectionately called MuDear. He is the 5th of 5 children; Arthur (Bubba), Marvin (Sip), Gerald (Buster) and Loretta (Sissy). His love for music was noted first in the home as his sister would come from piano lessons and practice her pieces and he would follow her to the piano and play the music "by ear". Baptized into the Trinity Valley Baptist Church he began to play for the church at 12 years of age and became the minister of music at 15.
Now, with more than 35 years of leadership experience, Chester brings a no nonsense biblical perspective to the need for discipline, reverence, a spirit of excellence and commitment in the church’s music ministry dynamic. Chester’s anointed teaching in workshop and clinic settings has caught the attention of pastors and ministers of music across the country as he performs and hosts over 150 clinic days and concerts in the United States and abroad including Europe and Asia throughout the year.
Chester’s unique blend of traditional gospel with a contemporary flavor helps him to minister to the whole body of Christ without “crossing over.” His brand of music has been branded as progressive gospel music, traditional gospel fused with the sounds of contemporary music. Chester believes that biblically sound music can minister to the masses without compromising the integrity of good church music. His music encourages, inspires, ministers, brings the worshippers to a greater awareness of the awesome God we serve. Stan North of Gospelflava.com states of Chester’s vocals on his freshman project. “Baldwin 'handles' lead vocals on most cuts, but that's hardly a verb that does justice to what he does with these songs. He is blessed with rich, soulful cords that express every ounce of heart and joy evidently bursting from his soul, and he's able to translate that joy to those who will simply listen.”
Of his second project, Just Having Chu’ch, North says, “Baldwin’s strong and rich vocal style marks every one of the project’s ten songs —and that’s just fine, because you never really tire of hearing his pipes. He also wrote all of the songs. On his sophomore project, Baldwin wisely stays true to the same path, positioning himself as the vanguard of original and accessible traditional church music with mass choir appeal”
Baldwin has been recognized by both his peers and the industry, having been named Best New Artist by the Gospel Music Workshop, nominated for Stellar Awards and the Soul Train Award in the gospel category. Likewise, his projects have landed on Billboard charts, reaching as high as number #11 and staying for 90+ weeks. The Texas Gospel Music Awards named Chester, Artist of the Decade in 2000. The Gospel Industry Roundup named Baldwin as one of the top 100 Hot Gospel Artists and he was also featured in several gospel trade magazines. For several years, Baldwin’s song, “I Still Hear Mama Praying” was selected and featured by Hallmark Cards in a special Mothers’ Day card for their Mahogany line of greeting cards.
Chester recently founded his own record label, MORecords, Inc. (MyOwnRecord Company) and has released two projects on the label, Claudia Williams and St. James Mass “The Church House,” and Evelyn “Hats” Henderson “Through The Years.”
Baldwin and the Music Ministry Mass Choir, now made up of 2 Dei'visions-Austin & Houston, recorded their new releases GOD IS GUILTY and I SHALL LIVE in August 2013 before a capacity crowd of over 1800 concert attendees. In conjunction with the release of these new projects, Baldwin is celebrating his 40th year in music ministry.
Chester is the father of 3 sons; Cedric Darnell, Cordale Douglass, and Christian Domineke and the grandfather of 7; Chase Douglass, Ciann Dion, Cassidde Denae, Cash Dejon, Caleb Draven, Kynnedy Lynn, and Xavier Lee.
Chester's current ministry assignment is with the Riceville Mount Olive Baptist Church of Houston, Texas where he serves as the Minister of Music and Arts.