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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Gospel Singer Kim Burrell Breaks Her Silence: "I Would Never Apologize For Preaching Against Sin’


For those who think Pastor Kim Burrell has been hiding out in fear and shame after a sermon snippet of her condemning homosexuality went viral and sparked major backlash, think again.

Despite being dragged through the mud, in a newly published interview, the award-winning gospel-jazz vocalist, who has kept a low profile since Dec. 30th of last year, is bold as ever, and is letting it be known, “I would never apologize for preaching against sin—never.”

Burrell gave her first exclusive interview with Jerri P. Beasley on the “Keep the Morning Moving Morning Show,” where she talked about the recent controversy, the death of her brother, and what’s going on in her life now.

“I need the people to know, don’t ever expect an apology from me,” said the 44-year-old, whose sermon called gay people “perverted” and prophesied certain death this year on leaders that hypocritically proclaim the gospel while living a homosexual lifestyle.

The exclusive post-controversy interview, which was recorded Saturday, Feb. 18, the day before a tribute concert to Burrell’s late brother, Kevin Jordan, who died of complications from a massive stroke on Feb. 6, solidified the singer’s position on the matter once and for all.

“I have to please God,” the global artist said. Even though she is cast as hateful, bigoted and mean-spirited by mainstream media, she says doing God’s will is her only focus. “In all my ways, I have to acknowledge Him and He’ll direct my path, just as everybody else,” she said.

It has unquestionably been a rough ride for the pastor of the Houston-based Love and Liberty
Fellowship Church, whose home was swarmed by media in the initial days following the uprising.

“I have not interviewed. CNN has called me. Every outlet you can name—every outlet. Think of any of them in the world. They have called me since Dec. 30th. They’ve been outside my house with cameras pulled. They have been on top of my house with helicopters,” she said.

At one point, Burrell shared that her close friend Stevie Wonder, who has been a comfort to her in the wake of her brother’s death, flew her out to Los Angeles so she could gain refuge from the media’s relentless assault.

ON LOSING KEVIN


Burrell’s brother Kevin Jordan named her. They were very close, which is why his death at age 50 was a difficult blow. Though some reported that he died instantly after collapsing at work, the process played out much differently.

“I watched my brother. I looked at him while he was having a stroke January 20th at 3:30 in the morning and I walked into the Emergency Room while he was having the stroke, and I’d never seen that with anyone, never experienced that, never saw an example of it on TV, Facebook, nothing,” said Burrell, recounting the painful events leading to her sibling’s ultimate demise.

It was almost too much to watch her brother, a well-loved, talented musician waste away. Burrell,
who just lost her 70-year-old mother Helen Spears to cancer in Dec. 1, 2013, said she asked God to allow her to go through the illness in Kevin’s stead.

“There is nothing I would not have done in that moment to switch places,” said the distraught sister who is all too familiar with loss. The death of her older brother Julius Lynn Burrell also came in July 29, 2013, five months before the high-profile musician’s mother would succumb. Burrell said she told God, “I don’t care about the name, the fame. I couldn’t care less. I said, ‘God, you’ll take care of my son. He’ll understand it. Please put me there.’”

For a short time after the stroke, despite the right side of Kevin’s brain being severely damaged, the signs looked promising for him. “Kevin had a slight slur. He had the faculties of both arms and he was moving both legs,” Burrell recounted. “The boy started praising God.”

He was crying, lifting his hands and saying, “I don’t know why I’m so emotional.” It seemed that the man to whom Burrell was extremely close, had come through the worst and would be alright. But that wasn’t the case.

Burrell, who grew up in the Church of God In Christ (COGIC), was taught to have strong faith and believed God until the end.

“My brother’s last words to me in life were, he says, ‘Baby girl, much success,’” remembered Kim, though she didn’t know at the time that would be the last time she heard his voice.

She had to fly out of town for a meeting and when she landed, the busy entrepreneur received a phone call from her sister, notifying her that Kevin’s condition had taken a turn for the worst. “The stroke extended itself and it silenced him,” Burrell learned.

When she hurriedly returned to the hospital following her important trip, Burrell’s brother was sedated and on a ventilator. Eventually, all of his organs shut down and there was too much damage to his brain for it to ever function properly again.

On February 6th at 3:45 PM, a little more than two weeks after his stroke, Kevin took his last breath, which was hard for his big sister to accept.

“I asked him, I said, ‘Kevin, this is me’—after he passed away. ‘How could you leave what we have? I’m your baby sister. Our closeness, our life together. You named me. All of our life’s history, us, this [is] me and you,” she said, devastated.

“God let me hear his spirit. He said, ‘There’s no way Kim I would have left you if I didn’t have somewhere better to go,’” Burrell shared.

After hearing those words, she said, “I laid down and finally went to sleep.”

A PAINFUL SECRET


Before Kevin passed, as he laid sedated, Burrell discovered a secret he didn’t want her to know: He was fired from his position at a church over his sister’s controversy-stirring comments on homosexuality.

The fiery teacher, whose prophetic words featured in the viral video upset many, read Kevin’s text messages to friends saying, “I never want my sister to know that they fired me because of her message, but I’m good. God’s got me.”

According to Burrell, “That hurt me when I read that… They fired him from a church for being my brother, from the message that got out to the world. It broke my heart.”

But amid all the darkness, there was bright light, a sort of silver lining in the dark, thick clouds
above her.

As Burrell was on her way to the funeral home to view her brother’s body, she received text
messages from two industry friends: Israel Houghton and Earnest Walker. They were congratulating the Founder of the Ephesians 4 Conference on winning the “Outstanding Song” NAACP Image Award for her collaboration with Pharrell Williams on “I See A Victory” from the Hidden Figures soundtrack.

At the time, she was unaware that she was nominated. “I’m so grateful. Out of everything, out of any award, I won an Image Award,” she said, which lifted her spirits.

NO REGRETS


“Some people may ask, ‘Do you have any regrets?’ Absolutely not. ‘Are you regretful that the tape got out?’ Absolutely not, because I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation. It is the map. It is the constitution of the believer,” said the Stellar Award-winning soloist.

She continued, “The Bible says in the last days that men would be more lovers of themselves than lovers of God, so I am so not appalled. I’m not thrown off. I’m not hurt and running into a corner to hide.”

During this turbulent time, Burrell said she has been relying on 1 Peter 4:12 as her guide: “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.”

The Bible-reliant, unapologetic teacher of God’s word told her listening and streaming audience, “What the people don’t know that I’ll expose right now is when Channel 11 and 13 were flying over my house and coming to my front door with cameras, I was standing behind the wall laughing because my daddy was at the door saying, ‘She’s not taking any interviews.’ I cracked
up.

“I was sitting on the floor, kicking my legs, [saying] this is a mess. It was funny to me because, come on, I’ve been out here for years, been on TV. TV doesn’t excite me. It wasn’t about that. The whole idea [of] how mad the devil got was tripping me out.”

Burrell believes the source of all the backlash is Satan and his anger over her speaking against sin. She said, “I’m not fighting against critics. I’m not fighting against people who go under any title in the world to identify themselves. I’m fighting against a spiritual war, the spiritual wickedness in high places. We all are. It’s not just me. We’re in a fight.

“Those who are called and chosen of God, we have the principality fight. And when principalities are fighting you, that’s when you are contending for the faith. You’re in the ring for the faith. You are fighting for the faith. You’re not fighting for you. You’re not fighting for your name. You’re not fighting for your popularity. You’re fighting for the faith—the belief in the Lord Jesus Christ who is your savior. And that’s the fight you’re in, to tell the world, I don’t care what you do to me.”

While some will inevitably view the leader as hateful forever, Burrell said, “I love everyone,” and yet, she will continue to preach against what the Bible calls sin.

But preaching isn’t the only thing Burrell is up to these days. She had some more news to share.“You guys must know I’m writing a book. Are you kidding? Of course, I’m writing a book from all of this,” she said. 

Furthermore, the typically booked songbird believes the cancellations and firing from her television and radio show worked in her favor, and served a greater purpose: to free up her schedule to pen her book and more.

“God made me still so I can do all of this because there’s a lesson to be learned. There’s a story to be told,” she said.




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