January 26, 1947 - April 14, 2011
Kenneth E. Kilgore, Minister of Music of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, and Administrative Assistant and Music Coordinator, organized the first Ambassadors of Faith Choir in 1979 as a component of the music department of the church. The first performance by the 42-voice group was a Christmas Eve concert in 1979 that offered an audience of more than 1,000 selections from Handel’s Messiah, as well as light classic, spiritual and gospel selections.
The first concert attracted the attention of a number of singers from other churches. The choir was incorporated into the Oklahoma City community in January 1983, and a Board of Trustees was established that included Mr. Kilgore, Norma Noble, Ollie Haskins, Terry Spigner, Nathaniel Starks and the late William S. Roche.
Additionally, Dr. Kilgore served as guest clinician in Texas, North Carolina, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Washington, D. C. He was Assistant Chapter Representative in Oklahoma for the James Cleveland Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) and served as consultant to many churches and pastors on the development of a well-balanced church music program. In June, 1997, he was guest clinician for the Sacred Choral Music Workshop, sponsored by the Dallas Metroplex Chapter of the National Association of Negro Musicians. In the summer of 2002, Dr. Kilgore became the National Minister of Music for the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. and Assistant Chapter Representative for the Oklahoma City Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc.
In 1995, he was awarded the Arts & Letters Conducting Award from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; in 1996 the State of Oklahoma Arts Award by Governor Frank Keating; the Faithful Service Award for 10 years of Service to the Oklahoma Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America; Oklahoma Musician of the Year from Oklahoma Federation of Music Clubs, Who's Who Among American Colleges and Universities; Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Excellence in Performance from Langston University and Outstanding Young Men of America Award. Further, several churches and civic organizations presented Dr. Kilgore with awards for service and musical excellence.