They were lifting up the name of Jesus while living lies.
Singing praises on Sundays while preying in the streets.
Such were the dual identities of Collage III, Louisianans Larry Jones Jr., Edward West Sr. and Dominic Davis.
But that was before God stepped in and straightened them out – before He paved the way for them to start saving souls through songs.
“We have a strong conviction that God can change people because we’ve been changed — for real,” Larry says. “We have a testimony.” Before God took their music ministry to a higher level, he transformed the gospel trio into a collage – a combination of broken pieces made whole.
Larry Jones is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana reared in the Lower Ninth Ward. Music has always been a very integral part of his life. At a very early age he participated in both the band and choir. It was during these formative years that he learned how to read music which serves him well today as both a pianist and composer. He has served as the director and founder of numerous choirs including: Echoes of Faith Teenage Community Choir and God’s Reflection of Love. He also used his musical talents as the youth choir director of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church and the mass choir director of Beacon Light Baptist Church for over 10 years.
His love for music and his commitment to spreading the Word of God inspired the formation of Collage III. As one of the co-founders, Larry has traveled across the country and has written hit songs such as, “Open Your Heart” and “Get Your Praise On.” Larry believes that his ability to write, arrange and structure groups is God’s Plan and God’s Plan is always working.
Larry is a singer, songwriter and entrepreneur. He often refers to God and his family as the two most important things in life. He is a committed husband and father.
Dominic Davis a native of Kenner, Louisiana. Although his mother was always there, he was raised by his Godparents and maternal grandmother. Dominic grew up singing in the church and at the tender age of four was recognized as an up and coming force to be reckoned with in gospel music. Dominic was very active in music both at church and school. It was in both of these settings he was able to cultivate his God-given talent and become a force in the church. He sung in a variety of groups and eventually became a praise and worship leader for New Home Family Worship Center.
Dominic’s soulful, smooth tenor voice was cultivated by his singing family. His love for God combined with his apparent talent made him the perfect fit for the gifted and anointed Collage 3. Dominic lives his personal testimony, despite the loss of his mom, two very severe car accidents, and the devastation and loss left by Hurricane Katrina, he is still here and available to God.
Currently Dominic is serving in the music ministry under the leadership of three dynamic men, Bishop Robert Charles Blakes, Sr., Pastor Robert Charles Blakes, Jr. and Pastor Samuel Blakes.
Edward the eldest of four children was born in New Orleans, and raised by his parents, Bishop Robert L. and Carolyn West in Detroit, Michigan until the age of twelve. Despite his strong church and musical background he was exposed to a lethal dose of thug life on the mean streets of New Orleans. In his teenage years West began living a double life.
Edward was a faithful member of the youth choir “Echoes of Faith” and later started a gospel group called Endurance, which enjoyed some acclaim during the late eighties. To further his musical ambitions he began working with Hard Head records, and produced rap artists like Murder Inc. and MCL. He continued to advance his career by working as Vice President of Ruff Era Records producing groups like Legend Man, Face Forever, Crazy and Sporty T. During this time in his life he had religion, but no relationship with God. Negative seeds were being sown and he knew he had to change.
As he began to work on changing his life, he and his childhood friend, Larry, discussed working on an R&B project with another friend. However God spoke to his heart, and changed his plan from an R&B format to gospel. Once the three voices blended they knew they had something special and the group Collage III was formed. Despite his desire to change, his spirituality and faith were tested when he was arrested. Edward said, “In jail I realized my sown seeds were reaping a negative harvest. There was a preacher who asked me if I had a personal relationship with God. I realized that this question was the key to the power I needed to successfully turn my life around.”
Edward Sr. left prison with a renewed faith. He became a dedicated husband, father and committed to a life of spreading the love of God through music. He hopes to reach as many young people as possible with the life changing message of God’s good news.
The mission of Collage III is not only to articulate the collective experiences of people but to more specifically highlight the transformative power of endurance, a strong faith in God, and a commitment to embody what they believe. Collage is a combination of broken pieces made whole and we all are a collage made whole by Jesus Christ.
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The Better Man Foundation is an organization committed to transitioning, encouraging and empowering young men. The foundation understands the importance of applying biblical principals to personal experiences and being able to shape and influence the path that a young man chooses to take. As a 501C3 non-profit organization, our ministry relies on the many contributions from our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. So we invite you to become a part of our team and help us keep our promise to the young men who rely on our support.