Distinguished Gentlemen — Why These Men Live Out Loud   

Local musician Hezekiah Savage moves in boldness through sound.  

 

“The world is before you, and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.” Writer and Civil Rights Activist James Baldwin’s apt words about revolutionizing the world couldn’t be clearer – get out there and do the thing, whatever that is you do best.  

Whether through their work and passions or songs and creativity, Black men walking in their divine greatness is no small feat.  

The Michigan Chronicle spoke with such three distinguished metro gentlemen who are gifts of their craft professionally, spiritually, and musically.  

The gifts of their crafts, talent and passions are evident in their bodies of work that the world, or at least Detroit currently, continues to see and is impacted by. Let’s meet the men.  

LaTrell Bell leads with God-given intentionality.      

LaTrell’s Take   

Metro Detroit resident LaTrell Bell vividly recalls a fire that almost took his life – but God stepped in.  

At 11 years old while at home, his house caught on fire, and even at that young age, he knew that faith had to arise if he was going to make it out of his house alive.  

“My mother just left and went to the store and I heard the spirit [of God] talk to me,” he said, adding that he felt led to go downstairs where he saw his sister’s bedroom (she was not there) on fire. “My whole house burned. I said, ‘If God is God, He will bring me out of this thing.’ And sure enough, I came out of the fire without burns, [or] smoking conditions.”  

He added that shortly after his mother came back, she astonishingly met him with the police and fire departments who said that they don’t know how he got out alive and that he “should be done.”  

Bell, who has an old soul and a speech steeped with warm sophistication, said from that moment on he never looked back on his calling from God, which started years earlier when he was six, when God showed him a vision of his future.  

“I grew up in church,” he said, adding that he “definitely” knew he was going to be a lawyer or a politician, but the Lord had other plans. “At an early age, I had a vision … the Lord showed me speaking in a mass auditorium of people and just declaring His word.”  

Those thoughts came to fruition as Bell has spoken before thousands of people, started a Bible study in Detroit Public Schools District, and witnessed miracle after miracle in and out of the church as a youth pastor.  

He said that what keeps him going is if someone is called to a purpose, they’re called to a cause but sometimes people will do “a lot of things” but it’s without cause and it’s without purpose.  

Winston Coffee is here for the youth.      

“When you remember your why and purpose and your job in the earth to do, you’ll figure out that is what keeps me focused,” he said. “I realize I may be a little bit different but that’s okay.” 

 

Winston’s Work  

Winston Coffee, college success coach at the non-profit Midnight Golf Program, told the Michigan Chronicle that there are not a lot of Black male college liaisons in his field, and he doesn’t mind breaking the barriers and meeting the needs of the youth.  

“I help navigate young people … building relationships with different institutions around the country to create opportunities for young people to land safely,” Coffee said, adding that most students of color don’t have access to golfing programs. “Golf can open up doors … and once they learn golf soft skills, they learn in that game … You’re making space to transition into college.”  

Coffee said that he never saw himself in the position he was in while in college, but now he can’t imagine anything else.  

“To be a part of other peoples’ village and help them along their way and offer insight and information is extremely valuable,” he said. “I’m so proud when I see a young [Midnight Golf Program] alum representing the brand and using the tools they were taught during the program. I get excited thinking that these are the future leaders and all of them are from metro Detroit. A lot gets said about this generation and even more about young people from Detroit, but these young people are dispelling those ideas on a daily basis and that makes me beam with pride.”  

He’s a Savage 

Metro Detroit resident Hezekiah Savage, a local gospel artist on the heels of his recent concert, told the Michigan Chronicle that he comes from a musically inclined family and those roots run for generations.  

“My grandmother, she used to direct a lot of choirs, she was a musician,” he said, adding that although he never got to meet her, their mutual giftings have made room for him. “I started singing worship in church.”  

Savage said that he realized he loved singing and after starting off playing drums he just “kept going.”  

Savage, who used to dabble in secular or worldly songs, said that he felt conviction about going down that path.  

“I still love all genres of music,” he said, adding that his true love of gospel music led him to release his EP, “Journey To,” earlier this year.  

“I put that out and then this year actually, like early in the year, decided I want to do a live recording and so again I decided I’m going to redo some of the songs that people love from the EP and just add a couple more songs,” he said, adding that creative process over the last couple of months has been a journey. “I ended up doing a live recording … it was a huge turnout.”  

He added that being set apart and unique means deciding to do things differently.  

“Consulting another voice [God] about their decisions,” he said. “Asking Him to lead you. Some of the most powerful leaders are the best followers. So, learning to follow God to be the best leader I can be.”  

 

 

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