Williams’ powerful lead vocals swept over the crowd with “Jesus Is Alive and Well,” then brought Pilate’s poignant words to song in “I Find No Fault in Him.”
The famed group wrapped up the night’s celebration at St. Paul United Methodist Church on North Spring Street, where young and old celebrated with them.
“The Spiritual QC’s have been No. 1 for 20 years,” promoter Ollie Collins said of the program stars.
Rows and rows of men, women and children sang along with their favorites.
Lynn Banks of Tupelo came for what she gets from the music.
“It’s like food for my soul,” said the North Mississippi Medical Center employee. “I’ve always loved gospel music. It’s my roots.”
Williams still lives in Tupelo. He says an uncle in a popular local quartet named The Gospel Stars were his first inspiration and role models for Williams’ first quartet with his three older brothers.
That same uncle formed the first QC’s, including Lee’s brother on guitar. When the act disbanded in 1964, the two hung on to the name and brought together new talent to round out the group.
One of the warm-up groups, Tupelo’s Spiritual Messengers, brought the early crowd to foot stomping and hand-waving with “I Need a Blessing,” a mixture of gospel and R&B.
Women stood at their metal chairs, dancing in place, hands raised in praise.
Outside, at least two large travel buses’ motors hummed as they waited to take the gospel stars back out on the music trail.
Sunday night, they’d rolled in from two different shows in Tennessee.
Collins said Williams and his QC’s are on the road at least 200 days a year.