Helen Clark has been writing songs since she was a teenager. When her kids were grown, her husband encouraged her to record some of them.

“If you’re ever gonna make a recording, its time you better do it,” he said.

She recorded her first album in Oklahoma City with her older daughter, Darlene Williams singing along. Her second album was recorded in Beaumont with both her daughters. The younger, Velena Taylor passed away from cancer at 42. “My baby girl could out sing me 10 to one,” said Clark.

Clark is from the Lufkin area and was born in Crockett or Kennard. “I don’t know which one is on my birth certificate,” she said.

Clark moved to Orange County as a young girl with her family during World War II. She has lived in Orange County ever since, with the last 37 years in Bridge City.

After she made the recordings, people from the Church of Christ encouraged her to bring the discs to local radio stations, but she didn’t feel secure about her gift.

“I said, ‘No, I’m embarrassed.’” She was afraid of what the disc jockeys would say about her music and couldn’t go through with it. Friends submitted the tunes for her. The late Gordon Baxter and the recently passed Bill Clark both played her gospel tunes on their shows.

“They always had something positive to say,” she said.

Clark said a man that worked at one of the plants with her husband said he would quit his job and be her agent if she would sing Country, but she had no desire for fame or fortune. She only wanted to sing for the Lord.

Clark said she probably won’t record another album because of the cost, but she has plenty of songs that have never been published.

Her inspiration comes from hard times and experiences the Lord brings to her.

“When I go through a battle spiritually, or just in life and the Lord would bring me through, I always had a song in my heart about this. Nearly every one of them is either to the Lord or a journey of a problem I had.”

“I went through a dark period. We all do,” she said. “God just opened it up to me in a sermon and I went home and wrote the song. I had it all written but the last verse and that night at church I received the answer I needed.”

One of her songs reflects a sermon the pastor gave one day. He was very animated, using a handkerchief as a prop, preaching about walking on the streets of gold. It inspired a song of the same name.

“It was always something spiritual from which I write my songs. It’s a spiritual walk with God that I have always felt.”

She has transferred both albums to a single CD of 20 tunes. “Songs from the Heart” sells for $10 to raise money for the church.

Clark is a member of First Pentecostal Church in Orange, but sings for the Lord every Sunday at Faith Tabernacle Pentecostal Church, where her son, David pastors. Darlene no longer sings with her, but David does.

“He’s pretty good too. I don’t know why he didn’t sing with us before,” she said, then corrected that statement with a laugh. “I know why, he had his mind on girls, we had ours on singing.”

The 78 year old says she wants to go out of this world singing. “I feel God has blessed me extra special, to have lived this long and still have a voice to be able to sing.”

If anyone is interested in purchasing a CD, contact Clark at 409-882-4947.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.