Evangelist Vetrea Slack Ruffin is a national recording artist, songwriter, workshop conductor, and vocal instructor. She was born to Frederick Slack and her late mother, Vetrea Davidson Slack. in St. Louis, MO and reared in East St. Louis, IL. She attended Lincoln Senior High School; Alabama A&M University; the University of Alabama in Huntsville; and C.H. Mason Bible College.
When Vetrea was very young, her mom, who was a musician in her own right, formed a family gospel group, "The Slack Family." The Slack Family was very popular in the Missouri and Illinois areas, singing traditional gospel music. Vetrea's mother was her inspiration, both musically and spiritually. She credits her mother for her acceptance of Christ at the age of 13. Vetrea organized her first youth choir at her church in St. Louis at the age of 14 she served as the youth choir president and director. After her marriage in 1977, she moved to Huntsville, AL where she soon became instrumental in aiding many churches in organizing and reorganizing their church choirs.
The Lord has gifted her to write songs through the medium of dreams. In her earlier years, she felt incompetent to finish the songs that the Lord would give her through dreams, until she received a prophesy from a spiritual mentor, Supt. Joe Mack Bankhead, confirming that God would use her to write songs. Today, Vetrea is a very accomplished songwriter.
Through the godly inspiration and encouragement of her husband, she formed the national recording group, "Vetrea Slack Ruffin and the Ruffin Family," which consists of Vetrea and her daughters. In 1999, they completed their first album, "Help Me Render Completely."
Vetrea Slack Ruffin has studied vocally with such dynamic vocalists as Lecresia Campbell, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Elizabeth Stephenson, and others. Today, she successfully teaches classes in voice. She has conducted many workshops, teaching vocal techniques, choir administration, and songwriting classes to include: Donnie McClurkin's Back to Holiness Conferences in Nashville, TN and Orlando Florida, the late O'Landa Draper's Music Lover's Conference in Memphis, TN, Willie McClendon's Birthday Praise Conference in Chattanooga, TN, and Jamel Strong and the Triple "M" Conference in Huntsville, AL, to name a few. She has taught vocal classes alongside Lynette Hawkins-Stephens, Donnie McClurkin, and Maurette Brown-Clark.
Vetrea has directed and conducted the conference choir for Prophetess Juanita Bynum’s Huntsville, AL Conference. In the year of 2006, she was awarded “Trailblazer of the Year Award” by Alabama A&M Gospel Choir. In addition to several other projects, Vetrea's expertise appears on the following recording projects:
• Songwriter for "This World is Not My Home" on Angela Spivey's “Eyes on the Prize” CD.
• Songwriter for "It's Yes" on Alabama A&M Gospel Choir's Recording
• Songwriter for "Come Bow Down Before Him" and background vocals for the song "It's My Time" (aka, "New Season") on Jamel Strong & the Triple "M" Mass Choir album
• Songwriter/Soloist on Alabama State Mass Choir's two recordings.
• Guest Soloist and Background Vocals for Terry Townsend, "The Blessed Project."
Over the years, Vetrea and her daughters have sung to people who are convalescent at home, people in the hospitals and nursing homes. Today, this continues to be a primary part of her ministry.
Today, Vetrea is an Evangelist, serving as First Lady of the Forge Temple COGIC in Birmingham, AL. She is Founder and President of the Young Inspirational Voices in Birmingham. She also serves as an Executive Board Member in the COGIC International Music Department. She has completed two exceptional books, "Church Choir Administration" and a vocal book entitled, "Using Your Vocal Instrument." In 2005, she was appointed, by Professor Iris Stevenson (the International COGIC Music Dept. President) to assist in the completion of an International Praise and Worship Manual for the International COGIC Music Dept. Vetrea is presently employed at Alabama A&M University.
She is happily married to her husband of 32+ years, Dr. Paul B. Ruffin, who is an award-winning, world-renowned scientist, educator, and pastor of the Forge Temple COGIC located in Birmingham, AL. They reside in Harvest, AL. Their two daughters, Lacretia (Kellen) Ruffin Conaway and Angelica Ruffin reside in Huntsville. She is the proud grandmother of one grandson, Jared and one grand daughter, Victoria.