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Pastor Charles Jenkins discusses ‘Winning’ new singles


Chicago’s Pastor Charles Jenkins is an extraordinary man of God. He’s faithfully served for 15 years as senior pastor at the historic Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago, which was founded by civil rights pioneer Reverend Clay Evans. He’s the founding president of Fellowship Educational and Economic Development Corporation (FEED), a 501c3 that focuses on education, community development, job creation, public safety, and urban renewal in Chicago inner-city neighborhoods. And he’s also a multi-award winning songwriter, recording artist, and music producer who just released his newest album.

Rolling out had an exclusive interview with Jenkins to discuss his new record. He says the new album is full of positive messages that anyone can relate to, but it’s also an album you can dance to as well. See what else he had to say below about a couple of his singles, “War” and “Winning.”

Tell us about your new record. How is this record different than the rest?

People are going to be dancing to the new record! I mean, like going for it. There are messages of hard work and all biblical ideas and concepts that should lace our culture, things that we want all our kids to know. But the expectation is that if I’m doing music, it can only be an organ in it with strings, and it can’t have big beats and bass, and if it does, it’s worldly — and “what happened to the pastor?” Naw, man, when it says worldly, that means being in sin, that doesn’t mean bass. So, it does get a little frustrating at times, but I’ve learned that it’s a lack of knowledge, not a lack of love.

“War” is the title of one of your singles. What does the song mean to you?

When I wrote the song “War,” I was in my dining room. It was like every counseling moment I had came to mind, and all the people I sat with from people losing jobs, getting new jobs, losing loved ones. The common denominator was that everybody was fighting to win. “War” is a motivational mantra. Reminds you to pick up your swag. And put your muscle back in your mind. Go hard with the expectation of going forward, [go hard] with the expectation of whatever it is.

It sounds like “War” will resonate with many people. It puts a positive spin on the word war. What overall message do you want people to take away from the song?

It’s so much negativity in the world all the time, in our personal space, our immediate space. I’ve found that people in general, non-Christians, Christians, without us even thinking about it, we spew negative. You know, even when it’s conversation — if you tell me a negative story, I’ve heard people say “I got one better than that.” We have negative story competitions. And God put on my heart Philippians 4 where the Philippians were going through a tough time and they were experiencing worry, and anxiety and the apostle Paul says “It’s the will of God that even in a tough season, that you reach for the positive even in the face of negativity. Think about these things: whatever’s good, whatever’s true, whatever’s right, whatever’s beautiful, whatever’s worthy to be talked about. Think about these things.” And so, it’s a record full of music that’s going to push your mind toward what is good. And that passage clearly speaks to the idea that even in the face of negativity, push toward the positive and look to get to a positive result.

“Winning” is another inspirational song on the record. Tell us about that.

The lead single on this record is called “Winning!” I remember I was talking about it [the record] somewhere, and this lady said “Why would you write a song about winning?” I said, “What do you want me to write one about? Losing?” I mean, we can’t even receive the concept of the idea that God wants us winning, like everywhere, and wants us to be thinking about it. When God says to Joshua, “I want you to take over the children of Israel,” he said, “be strong and of good courage.’. And then he says, “meditate on this book of law day and night and be careful to do everything that’s in it and then you will prosper and have good success.” God’s like, I don’t want you with fear and doubt and lack and disappointment and defeat. I want you thinking about “I’m strong, I got courage, I got this, I’m ready, God’s got me, I’m getting ready to bring some serious leadership, and we’re going to the promise land, and I’m going to prosper, be successful and help others do that.” I’m trying to get other people on that page, too.

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