With the recent release of The Journey (Pearl) by the anointed Adrian Medearis & God’s Anointed People, Fort Worth, Texas looms large once again on the proverbial Gospel radar, joining other native sons of ‘Funky Town’ likeKirk Franklin and Myron Butler as dynamic modern-day disciples of the area. Adrian Medearis’ current project is a personal testimony put to music of a journey that’s taken 10 years to tell…but how (Fort) Worth the wait.
In our recent conversation with Adrian Medearis, we discover what held up the messenger for 10 years from delivering a message from the Lord. We come to understand a little more about the journey that brought Adrian a little closer to his destination. And we come to understand that this race is really not for the swift or for the strong but for those who will endure unto the end.
Christopher Heron: Adrian, let’s start by talking about being a product of your environment. What has been the impact and influence of growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, where Gospel music has certainly found fertile ground? Names like God’s Property, Kirk Franklin and Myron Butler quickly come to mind. When you think of Texas, you have to include Kim Burrell, Yolanda Adams and V. Michael McKay. What were some of the enduring lessons learned from watching and working with other ministers of God? And what has your ministry at New Hope Baptist Church done in cultivating and nurturing your love for both music and ministry?
Adrian Medearis: New Hope was a good solid foundation for me. My church choir, music staff along with my singing grandmother basically influenced my early development; not to mention I also participated in almost every ministry at the church growing up. While attending O. D. Wyatt High School, Ms. Jewel Kelly, my music teacher, became very instrumental as she would bring national recording artists to our school on a regular basis for workshops and concerts. Jewel Kelly was the very same music teacher who I know had been a training tool for Kirk Franklin while at O.D. Wyatt.
CH: Your latest project – The Journey – is not your debut release. A decade ago, you released an Independent project called, Standing In The Gap. How important and fulfilling was your debut release? And why did you wait 10 years before releasing your new project, The Journey?
AM: My debut release was basically a confirmation from God; the wait was more of a pause for the development of my personal ministries at church, giving workshops and doing outreach ministry. The wait to release the 2nd project was actually in process but we endured various road blocks such as finances, the selection of group members, a live recording gone bad and studio transitioning …ultimately it was me needing to wait on God’s timing! I believe when God gives His approval, then everything works in harmony with minor issues.
CH: What was the inspiration and purpose behind the title of your new release, The Journey?
AM: The inspiration was that God was enlarging my territory to do ministry. When purpose actually meets destiny, your journey is sometimes very uncertain but in God there’s an expected end that He will bring you to, which will blow your mind when you look back on it!
CH: A lot changes over time. Experiences in life and relationships with God and family teach us a lot over time. What is the biggest difference between the artist and minister who released, Standing In The Gap, a decade ago and today’s Adrian Medearis who’s returned to the spotlight with The Journey?
AM: The trails I’ve encountered, my Mother being hospitalized, the near death situation with my Grandfather, family situations and then searching for my true purpose in life. Sometimes while in God, I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride trying to hear from him and realize my true calling. Therefore through all of that I’ve learned how to wait on God’s will, have confidence in my gift and have patience through the entire process!
CH: You’re presenting some of the finest voices in Gospel music on your latest album. Tell us a little about your relationship with Nikki Ross, Kimberly McFarland and Nakita Clegg-Foxx and why it was important to feature each of these incredible vocalists on your latest project?
AM: Well Nikki Ross and I became friends a while back. It was great to watch God elevate her ministry while singing around the city at various musicals. We actually would personally talk while at the barbershop together, where her son and I would get our haircut. Nakita and I sang together in our college, (PVAMU) gospel choir (BSM). Believe it or not G.A.P. was the first group she sang with when we first began. Kim McFarland was my guest for our first CD Debut Concert for “Stand in the Gap” and we just became good friends since then. I figured what better way to celebrate our 15th Year in the Ministry not only with friends but friends that have history with us!
CH: Finally Adrian, what is the lasting message and Word from the Lord you want to leave with each person when the last song has played from The Journey?
AM: want people to understand that no matter what you go through or what you have been through in your lifetime; just know that God is positioning you for His glory which is ultimately your purpose for the kingdom! So enjoy the journey and walk into your season…