School of Music


Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS)


James Siddons


African American Female, Gospel Music, Composer


Liturgy and Worship | Music


Margaret Pleasant Douroux (b. 1941) of Los Angeles, California is one of the most influential African American female gospel music composers of the twentieth century. She has penned classic hymns and gospel songs such as "I'm Glad," "We're Blest," "God is Not Dead," and "Rivers of Joy". Her compositions "Give Me a Clean Heart," “He Decided to Die," and "If It Had Not Been for the Lord on My Side" have become standards in the African American Church and have been sung by congregations and choirs for decades. However, in the roster of composers who have contributed to the genre of gospel music, she has often been overlooked. Many of her compositions appear in hymnals and songbooks and have been professionally recorded by gospel and secular artists alike. Margaret Douroux' body of work has often transcended cultural boundaries of style, genre, race, denomination, and doctrine. To examine the influence of this living composer who has contributed greatly to the musical and spiritual richness within the African American church community, the qualitative descriptive study approach is used to gain understanding of the life, music and influence of Margaret Pleasant Douroux and her importance to the history of African American Gospel music. As a result, this study distinguishes Douroux as an emblematic contributor in African American gospel music and makes her worthy of recognition and celebration amongst the genre's greatest contributors.