june 2012

pepe epting
‘My passion is music and living life to the fullest’

Crossing Over

Pepe Epting

July 21, 1967-June 5, 2012

By Bob Marovich

Pepe Epting, 44, a singer/songwriter who's recorded with acts as diverse as R. Kelly and the platinum selling-ensemble, Shekinah Glory Ministry, passed away on June 5 after a long illness.

Just a few weeks ago, Epting was well enough to dramatically perform at Shekinah Glory Ministry's live concert recording at Valley Kingdom Ministries International in Oak Forest, IL where Apostle H. Daniel Wilson is the pastor. His last recording, "Peace for the World," will appear on Shekinah Glory Ministry's forthcoming September 25 CD release, Surrender (Kingdom Records).

"Pepe was a warm, giving person, a worshipper with a distinctive voice and a friend to many," says Kingdom Records president Joan Sullivan. "He will be greatly missed."

"Heaven regained one of God's greatest singers," said Shekinah Glory Ministry leader Phil Tarver in a Facebook posting. "You persevered, you labored, you fought, but most of all you worshipped through it all. Your golden voice, your smile and your sense of humor will be greatly missed. Don't forget to tell your stories before you lead your song in Heaven Pep. I know they will be as blessed as we were. See you in the morning."

Grammy Award nominated producer Daniel Weatherspoon noted on Facebook that he'd lost one of his closest friends. "[This] really hurts," he wrote. A childhood friend, Lana Finley-Williams, posted, "I am deeply saddened by this great loss. We grew up with Pepe from grade school and he was such a warmhearted friend and neighbor. His family is in my prayers. Rest peacefully, Pepe."

On his own Facebook page, Epting once wrote that, "[My] passion is music and living life to the fullest" and by all accounts, he did thay. Before his illness worsened he was working towards a degree in criminology.

Born July 21, 1967 in Bellwood, IL, Epting got his start by singing background vocals on R. Kelly's self-titled 1995 CD that featured the #1 hits "I Can't Sleep Baby" and "You Remind Me of Something." He later switched over to gospel music and was in traditional gospel singer Leanne Faine's backing group before he joined Shekinah Glory Ministry in 2006. In recent years, he was a backing vocalist on Phil Tarver's best-selling CDs Draw Nearer (2007) and Place of Worship (2010). Of particular note are Epting's soulful, shadow vocals on Tarver's Top 20 smash, "Betta Than That."

Epting was also an accomplished songwriter, having composed songs such as "Fill My Cup" for Donald Malloy, "Giving My Problems to You" by Kim McFarland, "It Was Your Love" by Adrian B. King, and "I Love You" for the Chicago quartet, Nu Wave.

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