Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV)
GOD’S ANOINTED PSALMIST
Sharon Jackson recalls like yesterday when something rather conspicuous began to unfold her life.
At the time, she was a junior enrollee at what was known as Memphis State University (presently the University of Memphis).
Or as she tells it, it could have very well been her senior year as a college undergraduate.
Regardless, all she knows is that something rather discernible and unmistakable were on the brink of transpiring right before her eyes, a trend that because of her steadfast obedience unto God, has appropriately found its way on the historic Church of God In Christ’s grandest stage.
“I believe I was in my third or fourth year of college,” Jackson, during an exclusive interview this week with Making Headline News said, when asked when she officially accepted her calling into the ministry. “I believe I actually saw it in college, but looking back over my life, I now see He started positioning me as a very young child. I can recall so many times hearing the Lord speak to me as a very young child, though not understanding in that moment what was really going on.”
To grasp a thorough concept of why God had often revealed to Jackson — an internationally-acclaimed psalmist and accomplished gospel recording artist — that she was strategically being positioned and empowered to be thrust upon a global praise and worship platform, look no further than her notable upbringing.
The youngest of six children born to the Pastor Andrew Jackson, Sr. and the late Lottie Jackson, Sharon Jackson essentially was born and raised in the church.
And, if you listen to her long enough, chances are you’d come away fully convinced that while being brought up in a mostly strict, Christian-oriented environment wasn’t merely something about which she chose, she certainly isn’t harboring any ill feelings or regrets as a result.
A native of Memphis, Jackson, 51, is the Minister of Music and Worship Arts at Greater Community COGIC in Marietta, Georgia, one of Atlanta’s largest suburbs with roughly 59,089 residents according to a 2013 census.
A ministry she has overseen since January 2012 — or approximately two months after she relocated from her native establishment of Tennessee to Georgia — Jackson is extensively known for her extraordinary gospel-singing background that was spearheaded mightily by her mother whom, even after nearly five years removed from her death, is still widely regarded as the “Songbird Of The South.”
Interesting enough, Jackson’s father is the founder of Memphis’ Faith Temple Ministries COGIC, where he served as Senior Pastor since his church’s inception in 1969 until his ceremonious retirement in June 2016.
As for a professional praise and worship tenure that spans more than three decades and is highlighted by Jackson having served 16 years with the COGIC’s International Music Department as the coordinator of the “Send Judah First” international praise team before her recent exodous from the national church’s praise group, Jackson acknowledged that amongst the notable factors that has given way to sustained success are the indispensable values taught and demonstrated by her parents.
“(They taught us) responsibility, integrity and accountability and (they taught us) to stay committed to whatever you commit to,” Jackson said. “And (they taught us to) treasure relationships with family and friends, because at the end of the day, it all comes down to the relationships you have established and built upon.”
All things considered, while Jackson was raised in the proverbial “PK” — or Preacher’s Kid — scenery, that didn’t merely insinuate that she was exempt from life’s occasional hardships and turmoil and misfortunes.
Heck, if nothing else, because of her indubitable PK affiliation, she essentially was a moving target for the enemy to launch his customary attacks.
Consider, for instance, how she recalled time and again having endured what she described as “fierce attacks” surrounding her marriage, which ultimately ended in divorce.
Consider, for instance, how she recalled having endured numerous surgeries that eventually led to what she described as “almost bleeding out.”
Consider, for instance, how she recalled having dealt with a slew of complications with pregnancies.
Consider, for instance, how she recalled those frequent attacks against her adoring children, or those occasional financial challenges or, most recently, that disheartening, yet untimely death of her oldest sibling, who lost her brief battle with cancer on March 29 at just 62 years of age.
All things considered, it would be rather befitting to take in account that come hell or high water, Jackson is a woman whom…well…you know what?
Come to think of it, perhaps she can best sum it all up.
“I’m glad I don’t look like what I’ve been through,” said Jackson, assessing the present state of her life amid an assortment of obstacles that could have very well caused someone else to vacate their right mind. “And I attribute that to my praise and worship. My praise and worship had kept my grounded and focused on the One who is Sovereign and able to deliver.”
Well, that’ll preach. Still, that isn’t where this tear-jerking, comeback-for-the-ages testimony ends, mind you.
“When I could’ve lost my mind in the midst of losing so much, He kept me,” said Jackson, placing a pretty compelling spiritual bow on an emotional testimony much like she does when she’s standing before the masses and eloquently ministering in song. “My praise and worship was and still is my secret place, my hiding place, the place where I can go to be with the one who loves me. It’s where I find sanctuary, a tabernacle, a dwelling and resting place.”
And for what’s it worth, Jackson, even at five-plus decades in on this thing called life, hasn’t shown any signs that she plans to slow down any time soon, particularly as it relates to lifting up Jesus through her remarkable, awe-inspiring singing, coupled with her keen, unorthodox way of ushering the masses into worship.
Currently, Jackson is active in the studio, where she is assembling what she has labeled her sophomore project, one she admitted is long overdue.
Although she hasn’t revealed a projected time for the release of her forthcoming album, she’s confident this one figures to draw just as many rave reviews as her debut project, “Make His Praise Glorious,” which was recorded and released in 2004.
“Make His Praise Glorious’ really helped me to build an audience and taught me so much about the whole recording and releasing process, as well as the promotion side of a new project,” Jackson said. “I’m currently believing God to send underwriters and to extend favor with people who can financially help make this next project a reality. I’m excited to see what He has in store for me.”
Because after all, her labour isn’t merely in vain in the Lord, as the above passage implies.
For more information about Sharon Jackson or to book her for a speaking or singing engagement, email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Andre Johnson is Founder and Publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson is the former chief adjutant to Elder Andrew Jackson, Sr. of Faith Temple Ministries Church of God In Christ. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.