DELRAY BEACH, FL – The Spady Cultural Heritage expresses its sincere condolences to the Quince family for the passing of its patriarch, Bishop L.N. Quince Jr., on Dec. 30, 2015.
Bishop Quince was one of the featured personalities in an original 2013 exhibit, ‘The Legacies of Delray Beach Families,” in which the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum explored the stories of four families – each of whom contributed special talents and gifts to the city. Their patriarchs and matriarchs may no longer be with us, but their descendants remember the stories of how they came to be in Delray Beach and how their professions helped shape the city’s personality.
Bishop Quince was recognized in the exhibit with this narrative, which encapsulated his impact and influence on all who knew him:
The ministry life of Bishop L.N. Quince Jr. began in Quitman, Ga., when he was born on Sept. 15, 1919. As a very young child, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. His father, the late Bishop L.N. Quince Sr., permitted him to say a few words every Saturday night while holding church services in the backyard of his maternal grandmother, the late Mother Agnes Smith. At eight years old, Bishop Quince Jr. composed his first song, “You Better Run to the City of Refuge,” which his father had copyrighted.
In 1926, Bishop Quince moved to Delray Beach with his father, mother Ida Smith-Quince, and his two sisters, Idell and MaeBell. For the first few days after arriving in Delray Beach, Bishop Quince Sr. held church in his home with a few family members in attendance. After a few days, the senior bishop built the first church structure out of palmetto bushes with the help of Seminole Indians, who showed him how to build a thatch roof to keep the rain out.
Bishop L.N. Quince Jr. assisted his father in several areas of ministry, but his main area of service was as music minister. The first instrument he played in church was a four-string ukulele. For a while, he was the only gospel singer in the church, but later joined with a group known as “The Sunset Four.” The group sang a capella in Delray Beach and throughout Florida for about five years.
Afterwards, he sang by himself for about six months before training his sister, Idell, to sing with him. In 1936, Bishop Quince Jr., 17, was ordained in Nashville, Tenn. That same year, while stopped at a red light in Miami, Rosetta Thobbs heard the Bishop Quince Jr. and Idell singing in a parking lot. Thobbs asked Bishop Quince Sr. if he would allow the two to come to J.H. Cohn’s Church the following evening to audition. Following the audition, Thobbs invited the Quince siblings to come to Philadelphia, Penn., to record.
Referred to as the “Gospel Twins,” the duo recorded their first songs with Decker Recording Company. The first recorded songs were “Between Dark and Midnight there was a Cry,” “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” “This Train is a Clean Train,” “I’m Troubled About My Soul,” and “Good Lordy-Good Lordy.” Brother and sister, now known as The National Gospel Twins, became international singers at 17 and 15 years of age, respectively. They toured with Rosetta Thobbs and Marie Knight and appeared with Mahalia Jackson at the Golden Gate Auditorium. They also toured with several internationally known gospel singers, including the Clouds of Joy, Staple Singers and the Golden Gate Singers. Their tours took them all over the country and Mexico.
Bishop Quince also trained this three daughters, Alease, Elizabeth and Lillie, who were known as the “The Quincettes” to sing background with him, and they were later joined by his nieces, Yvonne, Lucille and Margie.
In 1977, Bishop Quince answered the call to become pastor of The Church of the Living God New Macedonia – founded by the late Bishop L.N. Quince Sr. Bishop Quince Jr. served with his wife, the late Artice Alexander-Quince, whom he married in 1937, and had seven children. Bishop Quince served as pastor until February 2011, when the mantle was transferred to his grandson, Pastor David B. Clark.