St Paul's was to become the biggest African American church in LA but when Rev John L Branham was assigned there he found no choir that could sing the exciting contemporary gospel music he'd grown accustomed to in his native Chicago. His choice of J Earle Hines as choir director and Gwendolyn Cooper-Lightner as pianist was inspired. Within months The Echoes of Eden Choir had grown to more than 100 voices. The rapid growth was, in part, due to the choir landing weekly radio broadcasts on KFWB (a Warner Bros station which reached 17 states). Remembered Cooper-Lightner, "People came from everywhere. We had people [celebrities] like Hattie McDaniels, Louise Beaver, Joe Louis. Nat King Cole was a friend of Rev Branham.