Dorinda Clark-Cole (born Dorinda Grace Clark; October 17, 1956) is a three-time Grammy Award-winning American evangelist and gospel singer. She is best known as a member of The Clark Sisters and as a daughter of pioneering choral director Mattie Moss Clark.
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, to the late Elbert and Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark, Clark-Cole began singing at an early age with her sisters Karen, Twinkie, Jacky, and Denise. The sisters sang in their father’s church and usually performed songs written and composed by their mother. Clark-Cole, who is referred to as the “jazzy sister” of the group, helped develop what is known as “The Clark Sound”, which often features high and fast melismas, riffs, runs, scats, and soulful growls. Dorinda attributes her fiery, convicting singing style to her mother, who saw the gift of singing and preaching in her at an early age. Back in the 1960s and 70s, when other children their age were playing outside, Dorinda and her sisters had to work on their familial harmonies. She says, “We made a lot of sacrifices. My mom was a stickler for making sure we rehearsed before we went out to perform. She saw the gifts and talents within us and started shaping and molding us. She taught us discipline along with how to use our gifts.” Dorinda sang lead on “Overdose Of The Holy Ghost”, as well as on “My Reedemer Liveth”, the B-side to The Clark Sisters’ biggest single “You Brought the Sunshine”.
Clark-Cole has been evangelizing and making hundreds of speaking engagements annually for over twenty years, along with her singing career and being a wife and mother. She is married to Elder Gregory Cole and together they have two children, Nikkia Cole-Beach and Gregory Jr. (Jay Cole). In March 2011, Nikkia and husband Deon Beach Sr., gave birth to son Deon Beach Jr., Dorinda’s first grandchild whom she often publicly rejoices about. She ministers nationally as well as internationally in countries such as England, Japan, Germany, France, Korea and South Africa. She made history in South Africa, having been the first woman to minister in the pulpit to over 4,000 people.
In addition to being a recording artist and evangelist, Clark-Cole is a staple in the Church of God in Christ of which she is a licensed National Evangelist, assistant state mother for the Michigan North Central Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ and Assistant Elect Lady of the COGIC’s International Evangelism Department. She was an administrator and instructor at the Clark Conservatory of Music in Detroit (founded by Mattie Moss Clark in 1979) and is an administrator of ministry at the Greater Emmanuel Institutional COGIC, pastored by her brother-in-law, Bishop J. Drew Sheard.
Clark-Cole makes it known that she hasn’t always been at such a joyous place in her life by testifying about a very trying time in her life when she once contemplated suicide. She recounts, “At that time my mother was not with me to help me get through that rough time. We were always dependent on our mom because she was always there… I didn’t understand why it was happening to me…It was very devastating. And it caused me to go into a state of depression…I just couldn’t take it anymore and I got into my car and I began to drive to the river. I was about to drive my car off the bridge. And while I was right there…the enemy was speaking to me, so I had a war going on. I began to drive and accelerate up to 80 miles per hour. God spoke to me just as plain as day and said, ‘Dorinda, are you going to let everything that has been invested in you go down the drain?’ And when I heard God’s voice, I began to take my foot off the accelerator and the car started coasting right to the bridge. And the Lord whispered to me and said, ‘Peace be unto you.’ And that’s when I grabbed the steering wheel and I said, Lord I thank you. I began to weep and cry. So if it had not been for God keeping me right then I would have been doomed and consumed. I want it to reach those who are strung out on drugs. I want them to be able to hand it over to other drug abusers and say listen to it and have it bless their lives.