The gift to sing is something that has always been inside of me. My dad used to sing all over New York and it was exciting for me when my older sister and I were able to go along. My mother saw this gift in me and started vocal training with a wonderful teacher by the name of Professor William H. Collins. I believed I was about eight years old and continued until I was about fourteen or so. I seem to remember Professor Collins emphasizing tone and diction.
I was always very shy; hence, singing in front of people was always such a struggle for me, but God had a means of bringing the best out in me for his purpose. My uncle, the late Bishop Allen McDaniel, (I miss him dearly), opened his church, Greater Emmanuel Temple, when I was thirteen years old. I had no choice but to sing, being shy was not a consideration. There were just a few of us and everyone had to carry their weight for the Kingdom. God began to use me in a mighty way and singing wasn’t just singing anymore. I would feel the Power of God on me and would begin to cry. As I grew older, I recognized the need for His presence, the anointing, in my life. I saw and felt the difference in my singing when I didn’t allow him to be lord over my life.
In 1981, I joined the United States Air Force to serve my country. Simultaneously, I decided that I was going to branch out and sing secular music. Wrong decision! From basic training, to technical school, to Andrews Air Force Base, where I was stationed for four years, I kept trying to do my own thing. All the while, a feeling of guilt ate me up because I knew I wasn’t in the will of God. Andrews Air Force base would send me to other military bases to represent in talent competitions. But no matter where I went, I would meet someone that God told to tell me that my calling was to sing the gospel. During that time, I started having major problems with my voice, which I diagnosed as being a sinus problem. My range dropped from soprano to tenor. When I did return back to the Lord, ‘for real’, my voice still suffered. I lost all confidence during this time. I actually never wanted to sing again. I became depressed and embarrassed of how I sounded when I did try to sing. The enemy had created such a picture of defeat in my mind; I began to believe that it was over.
In 1996, I joined Life Changers Church & Ministries of Manhattan, Inc. At that time, the church was known as New Jerusalem Holiness Church. Bishop Joseph Harris was the presiding Senior Pastor and is the Pastor and Founder of our present church. Shortly thereafter, Bishop ordained me as Minister of Praise and Worship. I accepted the call despite the continuous battle with my throat.
In 2005, it was prophetically told to me that God had appointed and anointed me to do a CD and that this product would touch the lives of many people. God said that I would travel internationally. I was scared of the call at first, so I procrastinated. A warning came through another minister that God said, “Don’t abort the baby”. I repented and accepted the call. I told the Lord that I was available and whatever was left of this voice I would use for His glory.
I decided to go to an Ear Nose and Throat doctor, one last time, for a consultation. I had lost faith in doctor’s years ago, when I just wasn’t getting any better. Timing is everything. I found a doctor that made a correct diagnosis and began to treat me accordingly. I actually had the same problem as Lionel Richie. The acid reflux from my stomach was splashing against my vocal chords, which created a lump like feeling as well the taste of acid in the back of my throat and it diminished my range. Consequently, I was hoarse most of the time. But God…
There have been endless challenges from the inception of this project until this very moment. My husband was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, but God has been faithful! It has been and still is a journey for me. You see, God is still writing my story, so stay tuned… My latter will be greater than my past!
God, I thank you for your patience and your love for me. I will submit my best service to you, for it is kingdom building time.
To my Bishop, Lady Harris, church family and my family thanks for all the support.
To the love of my life, Emm (my chuckles) and our daughter, Heather Charnee, We’ve Got to Do It!!!!!