MUCH MISSED: Derek Wade
THE UK gospel music community is in mourning following the passing of Derek Wade, a member of pioneering UK gospel group The Wades, who died on January 6 from a heart attack.
Derek, the third eldest of the Wade brothers was born on 30 March, 1966. He was the second Wade brother to become a Christian, with Lloyd, the youngest, getting saved first, Derek was followed by David and finally by Denis the eldest.
The brothers initially attended Mount Zion Seventh Day Church of God in Croydon, led by Bishop Eric Henry and Shirley Henry. They got a break in 1985 following a performance at Kensington Temple, west London, The Wades became an in demand gospel group, appearing at major events and being featured extensively in the media.
They appeared on pioneering gospel show People Get Ready, performed at the Chicago Gospel Festival, where one of the acts that performed in front of 50,000 people at Wembley Stadium at the Champions of the World in 1995 and were regulars at Spring Harvest. They even signed a deal with Kingsway Music - an unheard of feat for a black gospel group during the 1990s.
In latter years, Derek concentrated on raising his four sons, to whom he was devoted, as well as supporting his brothers Denis and David who are both pastors of churches in south London. Derek spent his last Sunday in church alongside Denis, who leads Micah church in New Cross in south east London.
Derek was also involved in community work and ran a sports project. He also ran his own jewellery business which he was seeking to grow.
Denis, pastor of Micah Community church and the eldest Wade brother said: “My brothers have been my best friends. And it was an honour to sing alongside Derek all those years performing in The Wades. Now that he’s gone, we have to soldier on as a family and ensure that his four sons are looked after the way he would want.”
Derek is survived by his wife of more than 20 years, four sons, six siblings, mother and numerous nieces and nephews.