Rickie received her schooling from choir directors in the segregated school systems of the South. This schooling was to become the foundation for her life's work- creating a universal sound of music. Rickie learned about all kinds of music from 60s radio, specifically from the sounds of Motown, Memphis and Liverpool. These sounds now permeate and soar through the Sound of Agape Rhythms. An outstanding student with scholarship offers from a number of prestigious east-coast colleges, Rickie attended Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia where she started to compose music. Her later work with some of New York's finest musicians provided another important aspect of her musical education.
She continued to mature as an artist working as lead singer with The Pharaoh Sanders Ensemble, Roland Hanna and The New York Jazz Quartet and many other vocal ensembles. Rickie recorded professionally and Billboard Magazine wrote enthusiastically of her original musical style.
Rickie moved to Los Angeles in the early 1980s, continued to compose music and performed in various notable venues as she continued to discover her own unique song/style within her head and heart. Agape's Rev. Michael Beckwith invited her to create the Choir that was to become the cornerstone of the Music Ministry, and Rickie thus continued on the journey that would more clearly define and reveal her life's work. Rev. Michael Beckwith was moved by the depth of Spirit communicated through Rickie's musical genius.
He became convinced that he had found in her a performer with the power, range and vision to support the growth of consciousness within the Agape community, and to develop a Music Ministry that would achieve with music what he was accomplishing with words. One year later marked the beginning of Eternal Dance Music, God-inspired litany composed by the Beckwith/Byars collaboration.
As composer, conductor, performer, vocal coach, and dynamic inspiration, Rickie leads the inspiring group now known as the Agape International Choir in soul-stirring, roofraising choral pieces that she and Rev. Michael co-write.
Rickie's impeccable ear, soulful voice and intuitive grasp of the spiritual dimensions of music have made her Agape's authentic "Doctor of Soul." Under her direction, the Agape Choir contributes in a significant way to the enormous growth, both in faith and membership, that the church continuously enjoys.