SW: Share with us about your call to the Lord, not so much to ministry, but when God called you to himself? I grew up in the church, and a strict upbringing within C.O.G.I.C (Church of God in Christ). I come from a long lineage of pastors and preachers. My grandfather ministered and traveled with Bishop Mason who is the founder of C.O.G.I.C, and I’ve had great men and women of God in my life. I thank my parents for the solid foundation that they gave me. As a young child, I remember that I would stand in front of a mass choir and would teach and lead them. I recall when I was about 7 years old and they placed me on top of the offering table because no one could see me. So, music and church have have always been apart of my life.
SW: Was there a defining moment, when you decided that this is what you would do for the rest of your life? In high school, I was very athletic and I really thought I was going to the Olympics. As a sophomore in high school, I was running and competitive on a collegiate level. I think the turning point for me was when God shut every other door for me that was not music or ministry and so those options just went away. I knew God wanted me to pursue the call on my life. I cannot pinpoint a certain time or event, but basically this was the only door that God allowed to remain open.
SW: What was this time like for you and what did you learn? I learned not to beg God for opportunities, instead I learned to ask Him to make me ready and process me, because I had seen so many people go before me, they had the gift and the talent, but their character was not able to keep them there. So, I have so many things that I need to work on, the bible says that we all are born into sin and shaped in iniquity, so in this physical body that we live in, we constantly have to die to our flesh to be able to walk and live in the things of God. I had to learn early, that as God closed the doors that were not for me and opened up new opportunities, that if wanted to have longevity and not be a one hit wonder, then I would have to subdue this flesh. If we learn to pray for God to prepare and process us, we will learn to have better judgment and in turn make better decisions for our lives, families, careers and ministries. Let God work in you and through you, so then he can work for you!
SW: What are some of the difficulties that you faced establishing your ministry as it pertains to the spirit of jealousy, something I believe comes along with being in the spotlight? You mentioned the spirit of jealousy and that is something that I still have to fight today. I have been out for ten plus years and I have yet to win a stellar award, and I have yet to actually sing at the Stellar or Dove, and I have had to sit back and watch my peers and those who have come years behind me and they are winning their Grammy’s and a part of me asks “God, am I doing something wrong here?”. I love and appreciate the artists and their talents and I buy their albums and support them, but when do I get to experience that? Even in Gospel music, it’s ministry but we all love to be appreciated by having something tangible. I have to really bring that spirit under subjection because jealousy will turn into covetousness, and covetousness will turn into envy, and then when you become envious you have all of his cousins showing up and then you have legions to deal with!
So, I find myself encouraging and being there for those who have had those experiences and have learned to say “God if it is your will, I’m fine and if it’s not your will …I’m fine.”