Derrick “DStarks” Starks Receives Honorary Doctor of Sacred Music Degree
Stellar Award Winning Producer, 2 Time BMI Award Winning Songwriter, and Music Director Derrick “DStarks” Starks has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Sacred Music Degree from Wayland Baptist Theological Seminary.
With 20 + years to his credit, Dr.Derrick Starks has made significant contributions to the Gospel Songbook. From his pen has flowed songs of power and praise, validated by prominent charting on Billboard and Mediabase charts while simultaneously impacting audiences across the globe. Dr. Derrick Starks has shared stages with and written, produced and served as Music Director for some of the genre’s most celebrated artists including The Clark Sisters, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Thomas Whitfield, Edwin and Bishop Walter Hawkins, Andrae Crouch. Bishop Marvin and Ronald Winans, Donnie McClurkin and numerous others.
Dr. Derrick Starks has capably adorned many hats in various capacities of producer, musician, composer, arranger, musical consultant, worship leader, workshop facilitator, and music director. A bevy of Grammy, Dove and Stellar Award nominations accompany his musical works. His composition, Take It Back (as recorded by the Rose of Gospel, Dorinda Clark Cole) was lauded by BMI as the Most Performed Gospel Song of 2010, followed by Hang On (as recorded by the Greater Emmanuel Institutional Mass Choir and featuring Kierra Sheard Kelly) landing on the BMI Most Performed List in the Top 5. Angels Watching Over Me garnered a Stellar Award for Bishop Paul S. Morton as Dr. Derrick produced landmark recordings including the triumphant return of The Whitfield Company and receiving the baton from the late Ron Winans to revive the Family and Friends Choir workshop and recording series. Derrick served as music anchor and director for the prestigious Trumpet Awards for 6 years. His penchant for excellence in music ministry has propelled him to greater as he travels across the nation and overseas to facilitate workshops and seminars, having most recently visited the Holy Land as part of the Church of God In Christ pilgrimage.
Dr. Derrick currently serves in the Worship and Arts Department at the Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ under Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle J. Drew Sheard. Dr. Derrick also serves the Church of God in Christ denomination as a Vice President of the International Music Department, as well as President of the music department for the Church of God in Christ Israel Jurisdiction under the auspices of Bishop Glenn Plummer. Dr. Starks joined Grammy Award-winning violinist Miri Ben Ari for a Concert of Brotherhood during Black History Month in New Jersey and was a featured presenter during the reboot of the Edwin and Walter Hawkins Music and Arts Seminar now helmed by Donald Lawrence and held in London at the start of the spring.
Dr. Derrick takes it all in stride and attributes his success to growing u[ in the church. “Church prepared me for what I do today”, says Starks. My late parents Pastor CJ Starks and Mother Dorothy Starks taught me to value prayer and bible study. I learned to love Gospel music from my parents as well, as they were both singers in their youth and during my formative years. As I grew up, being a son of Detroit, the other Gospel capital, I was privileged to train under and work with greats like Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, Professor Iris Stevenson, Bishop Rance Allen and even Pastor Andrae Crouch. God has been good to me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to carry on a rich and wonderful legacy”.
As for new music, Dr. Starks is putting final touches on the hugely anticipated release from the Family and Friends Choir as well as music workshops both locally and abroad.