Christian comedian graces The Light

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 14, 2003

Alice Arthur knows she has been given a gift &045;&045; and she’s not afraid to use it.

Arthur, sister to Selma resident Denise Dukes, who works with Alabama Safe Schools, is about to release a new soundtrack under her own label filled with the artist’s trademark Christian comedy.

The CD, &uot;Joy Power,&uot; was recorded live at the West Angeles Theater in Los Angeles. According to her Web site, it will be released on Tuesday.

The girl from Wilcox County is now a minister, a motivational speaker and a Christian comedian.

It is her minister and comedian side that brings her to Selma. She recently performed at The Light, Ellwood Community Church’s new Christian nightclub, and also spoke at Sunday morning services at the church.

Arthur had never been in Selma before now. She was raised in Lower Peach Tree, about 35 miles from Camden. She attended the now defunct Lower Peach Tree High School. Around 200 children attended the rural school at the time, but it is now a community center.

She has appeared on &uot;A Different World&uot; and &uot;Soul Train,&uot; among other shows. She has toured with the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Stephanie Mills, B.B. King, Al Green and others.

She recorded an album, &uot;Natural 10,&uot; for CBS/Columbia Records back in the 1980s.

Arthur became a comedian after leaving an ordinary desk job. She had always been a Christian.

It was during her tour with the Temptations that she became aware of an emptiness in her life. One morning, in Washington, D.C., she got up early to see the group off, then turned on the TV.

On the screen was a broadcast of a church service and a man preaching from the Bible. The service captivated Arthur, who had never seen a service taught with such fire and passion before.

After seeing that service, Arthur decided she would uproot herself from New York City, where she was living at the time, and head to California.

She wound up one day at a church called Crenshaw Christian Center after a friend invited her. There were so many people in the building that she was ushered to a room called the overflow room. This room had a monitor set up so people could still see the service.

The program started, showing the service going on in the sanctuary.

Arthur jumped in her seat and cried out, &uot;There’s that guy! There’s that guy! There’s that guy!&uot;

The guy was Dr. Frederick K.C. Price, pastor of Ever Increasing Faith Ministries in Los Angeles, a church that currently has more than 22,000 members. He was the pastor that Arthur had seen on television in Washington, D.C.

She tried her best to get to the front row of the sanctuary every week and hung onto Price’s every word. She used her faith combined with her talent as a comedian to record &uot;Joy Power.&uot;

And Arthur has seen the results of her ability to make people laugh and to minister to people at the same time. One of her lessons to people is that no matter what happens in life, laugh. Because, she says, it is easier to get through difficult times in life with laughter.

Arthur relates the story of a woman who heard this lesson at a conference. After it was over, the woman walked out to discover her car had been stolen during the night.

So, the woman laughed. And laughed. And laughed. Within 24 hours, the insurance company told her that they would pay for the stolen car. Then, her children surprised her by getting together and purchasing a new Mercedes-Benz for her.

Arthur has been recognized professionally for her talents.

In 1995, Arthur created Laugh Break Enterprises Inc., which is based out of Los Angeles. Arthur’s CD and other motivational material is available through the company’s Web site at http://www.laughbreakrecords.com/ and at local music stores.