Friday, October 4, 2013

 Le'Andria Johnson (Grammy and Sunday Best season 3 winner) stops by The Nook to chat about her journey!


            Photo provided courtesy of Le'Andria Johnson

It is with great pleasure that I welcome season 3 BET Sunday Best and Grammy Award winning gospel artist, Le'Andria Johnson to The Nook today. I said that you never know who will stop by. Today is a perfect day  to share motivation to overcome professional and personal obstacles. Self care is a very important aspect of living an artistic life, and life in general.

In addition to her outstanding musical accomplishments, Pastor Johnson opened the doors of IPC Ministries (Imperfect People Changing The Game)  in Hapeville, Georgia. Le'Andria Johnson was recently called to the ministry. Some critics object to Pastor Le'Andria Johnson's methodologies associated with her desire to reach all people, and they object to her own stumbling blocks, but she says that her haters have been assigned to her.

"I love them for keeping my name in the public. They're pushing me more," Pastor Johnson informed.

Can God can use our imperfections to prove His goodness?

Le’Andria Johnson’s journey has been speckled by struggle. I would like to share additional details about it as you explore the question I posed. While experiencing financial crisis in her life, Pastor Johnson corageously auditioned for Sunday Best in flip flops and socks. In 2012, the 30 year old, twice divorced, unwed mother announced that she was pregnant with her fourth child and proceeded with her decision to have her baby, despite some individuals in the gospel community recommending abortion, to help salvage her image and career. Instead, Le'Andria Johnson went on to record her third album, "The Experience," while expecting. Now married, pastoring and preparing to release her fourth album, Le’Andria Johnson uses her experiences to help others overcome their own personal struggles.

How does she manage to stand firmly with convicition, despite ridicule and judgement that she has faced?

"I am not the God. I serve God. It is not about us anyway. Look beyond that and see what God has done for us," Pastor Johnson revealed, during a special press conference that was held for selected bloggers.

Throughout the conversation, Le'Andria Johnson's heart, music and ministry showed signs that she is helping to break the cycle of judgement in her corner of the faith community.

"Trust God, not man," was cited as her biggest lesson learned through her ups and downs.

The annointed artist admitted that she wouldn't neccesarily say that she's been 'keeping anything together.' Le'Andria honestly spoke about her desire to be here, to enable someone else to see how she survived through her storms.

"I want to look into the faces of Le'Andria Johnsons, and love Le'Andria Johnsons with children out of wedlock, and say, 'This is just the beginning of your journey, not your future.' I want to give them the opportunity that I didn't have and tell them who they are, and who they are not. Love and kindness inspired me to pastor."  She continued, "I'm trying to empower women, telling them to live and not die. There are going to be women in the church who get pregnant out of wedlock. There is no rulebook saying its not."

Now married, Pastor Johnson says that so many people have something to say about everyone's personal life, but we have to get out of all of that.

"I was never bound by the stigma (of being divorced twice). I decided to tell it," she reminded.

Le'Andria Johnson said that she is getting closer to God and remembers what He's done to bring her through obstacles. She wants others to realize that He'll bring you through "this," when challenges come their way, too.

I asked, "What advice would you give writers and artists about building a brand in the entertainment industry?"

Pastor Johnson replied, "Without God, we can't do anything. Keep God. If you want to be this good writer and entertainer, start looking at your forefathers. Start studying these people. It will help you in your journey. That's the problem.  We are not giving respect where respect is due. Look at your forefathers. That is how you will last."

Kirk Franklin and Warren Campbell were also mentioned as points of reference, in addition to God and Le'Andria herself.

On October 6th at 9:00 AM, you can catch this talented artist live on the Bobby Jones Gospel Premier on BET. Afterward, Le'Andria Johnson & Fantasia will appear together at 10:00 AM.

For readers who are located in the Atlanta area, this coming January 15th-19th, an event called 'Breaking The Cycle' will be underway.

If you would like to keep up with  Le'Andria Johnson's ministry and musical news, her official fan club can be found on Facebook:

IPC Ministries is located at:
631 North Central Ave
Hapeville, GA

Listening to Struggle Not helped to me to answer my question about God's ability to use our imperfections to motivate and inspire others. Furthermore, if we are all works in progress, what human is qualified to truly judge anyone?

Special thanks to Rhachelle Nicol' for setting up the virtual press conference! I also wish to thank Le'Andria for speaking with us.