Born on the far south side of Chicago in the community of Morgan Park, Illinois, Maceo L. Woods showed promise as a servant of God early in life; being interested in and concerned about the welfare of others. From early youth to manhood, he labored in the field of church music, as a soloist, choirmaster, and organist. By the year 1950, Maceo L. Woods was already universally acclaimed by many to be one of the world’s greatest gospel organists and choirmasters; appearing in such noted auditoriums as New York’s Madison Square Garden, and Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater. His soulful interpretation of ‘Amazing Grace’ has been immortalized.
Since the time of his calling to the ministry in 1959 and the birth of Christian Tabernacle Church, in 1960, Pastor Woods continued producing, training, and directing choirs, recording, and reaching vast public audiences through radio and television ministries. Pastor Woods is included in the pages of gospel music history as accounted by author Anthony Heilbut in his book, The Gospel Sound.
Although he and the Christian Tabernacle Choir were continuously in demand for engagements in churches, civic affairs, and on concert stages throughout the nation, Pastor Woods chose to spend the majority of his time pastoring the flock of Christian Tabernacle Church. He was often heard saying, “I thank God I’m a preacher who can play the organ rather than an organ player who can preach.” Pastor Woods was unique among pastors in his strength, purpose, and delight in which he led his church flock.
Considered by some of his colleagues as ‘a gentle giant,’ Pastor Woods effectively extended his Christian ministry through involvement in many community and civic causes. He was a member of the Broadcast Ministers Alliance, a registered Agent of the Community Cable Consortium of Chicago, Inc., and a board member of the Harold Washington Cultural Center (T.R.I., Inc.).