Rev. Melvin Porties

*Reverend Melvin L. Porties, known throughout the Detroit church circuit for years as a gospel singer extraordinaire, succumbed March 10, 2011.

Born into a family of musicians, Porties, 73, was twin brother to Reverend Alvin L. Porties, Pastor of Hill of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.

Where Reverend Melvin’s specialty was singing, Reverend Alvin’s is playing piano and organ, and conducting choirs. They are both former members of the historical Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church where Reverend Dr. Charles “Jim” Holley is Pastor.

During that period, Reverend Melvin’s singing, Reverend Alvin’s musical direction, and Reverend Holley’s sermonizing were a combination unmatched. They were heard regularly all over the city through live broadcasting on radio station WJLB.

His admirers say Reverend Melvin could sing it all from arias, standards, and show tunes, to rhythm and blues, but his forte was gospel. He has performed at such venues as Ford Auditorium, and Orchestra Hall. His voice was featured on a gospel recording of a Thomas Dorsey original song called “Today” which was arranged by Reverend Alvin. Reverend Melvin, who went to school with Motown’s Kim Weston, said that they both went together to audition at Motown Records, but he did not stay, stating that he was more interested in performing gospel. His son Tony Womack is currently touring with Motown’s Contours featuring Sylvester Potts.

The funeral, to be officiated by Reverend Alvin, will take place on Saturday March 19th at 11AM, at the Little Rock M.B.C. which is located at 9000 Woodward Avenue, Detroit Michigan 48202. The Family Hour will precede the services at 10AM. Visitation will take place from 6:00PM Thursday March 17th, and throughout Friday March 18th, at Cantrell Funeral Home located at 10400 Mack Avenue at Garland, Detroit Michigan 48214.

Written by Reverend Melvin Porties’ nephew Larry Buford