I think my faith grew the most when I left home and came to Boston. I knew nobody. I wasn’t going to church at the time. If somebody wanted to hire me to play the piano at a church, I’d go, but I was looking for money. Don’t play with my money! But they told me I had a gift, and a gift comes from God. People would say, ‘Earl, come on up and play this song!’ I’d look around, and people who had all sorts of degrees would be there. I’d say to myself, Why are they asking me to play?
I ended up playing for three churches. As I grew, I found that I enjoyed it. I saw that people appreciated the gift I had, and then I really started appreciating it. So I said, I’m gonna do the best with whatever I got. And that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been at this church for 40 years. We’ve had more than 10 musicians, but I’m still there.