Vetrea Slack Ruffin & the Ruffin Family
House of Worship
Heavenly Spirit Music 2010

Vetrea (pron. VEE-tree-ah) Slack Ruffin & the Ruffin Family is a mother-daughter trio who combine the sweet traditional harmonies of the Simmons-Akers Trio with the sassiness of the Clark Sisters and the Anointed Pace Sisters. The result is nothing less than extraordinary. This gospel group from Huntsville, Alabama is splendid and deserves much greater attention.

On their album, House of Worship, the Ruffin trio (the daughters are Lacretia and Angel) use their COGIC music experience to transform even the most uncomplicated praise and worship songs into something special.  Just listen to the third track, “The Place I Need You,” and you will know that this group is trained, talented and the real deal.

The outstanding selection on the album is also the current single, “That’s Why I Call His Name.” Here the ladies trade their Clark Sisters sound for an Afro-Caribbean gospel style that I haven’t heard since Arise’s “Arise Medley” two years ago. At the end of the song, one of Vetrea’s grandchildren begs them not to stop singing. She says aloud what we are thinking.

“Victorious, More than a Conqueror” is a fine example of the trio’s clear-as-a-bell harmonies, while “God Is Good” shows they are equally capable of delivering a handclapping, full-throttle church song.  On “Lord, I Wanna Thank You,” the Ruffins handle quartet with the same confidence, with Thomas Holman, Sr. providing an authentic shouting lead.

The ladies tag on a hymn to the conclusion of “Lord I Need You,” forming an ending so heartwarming and pure, it takes your breath away.

A celebrity sighting: gospel promoter Ms. Willie McClendon has a speaking role on “Fill This Place.”

Singer-songwriter Vetrea is no newcomer to gospel music.  Years ago, her mother formed The Slack Family Singers, a traditional gospel group, when the family was based in the St. Louis area.  Vetrea is active in the COGIC church, and serves as First Lady of Forge Temple COGIC in Birmingham (husband Dr. Paul B. Ruffin contributes a sermon to the project).  Clearly the Slack musical gene has traveled down through the generations.

To the many individual contributors who provided the financial support for House of Worship – they are listed on the inside jacket – your investment was well worth it.

Five of Five Stars

gPod Picks: “That’s Why I Call His Name,” “God Is Good,” “The Place I Need You.”

Reviewed by Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog.


  1. Anonymous September 20, 2010 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    This is an awesome collection of uplifting and inspirational praise and worship music. These ladies will soon become a well-established presence in the Gospel and Inspirational music genre.

  2. Anonymous September 21, 2010 at 11:54 am - Reply

    vetrea is my first lady and friend,God is taking her and her family to another level..their cd is the pastor at end is awesome,if you don’t know how to worship,you will after listening to dr.paul ruffin….the entire cd has really been a blessing to you..ruby zeigler-belcher

  3. Anonymous September 21, 2010 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    Congratulations are in order for you First Lady Ruffin! We are proud of you and your accomplishments! It is definitely a blessing to see you prospering in the music industry. The cd is awesome! Truly anointed. Many blessings to you and your family. Pastor Tyrone and Lady Rachel Odums ~ Redeeming Grace Ministries.

  4. Anonymous September 21, 2010 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your gift with us. Continue to put God first and he will give the increase. It is your season. Sing your way into it. Be blessed forvermore, Mavis Brown of ET COGIC

  5. Anonymous September 22, 2010 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    I am a fan this gospel group and they inspire me. Each song i can tell was prayerfully made and I know it had to have takens lots of hard work for such an anointed praise and worship of God to come forth. I want to say to my first lady that God is not through doing wonders through you. Keep the Faith. Eld.P.J. Nelson

  6. Vetrea Slack Ruffin January 22, 2011 at 4:38 am - Reply

    Thank you so much every one for the encouragement. I thank God for blessing this project. The songs came from the heart of God. He blessed me to dream them. He told me that HE is the writer and I am the instrument that He used. Thanks to Bob Marovich for such wonderful comments. Much Love, Vetrea Slack Ruffin

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Written by : Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.