‘Beauty for Ashes’
The memories of last Christmas will forever be burned into the mind of one local pastor and his family.
“The fire was two days before Christmas,” said Try Jesus Ministries Apostle Joseph Green. “But the scripture says, ‘I will give you beauty for ashes.’ And that is how I see my life right now. We had this tragedy and we lost everything in our home. All of that was destroyed, but it never slowed us down from working for the kingdom.”
Two days before Christmas, Green’s home and all of his family’s possession were destroyed in a fire. His daughter fractured her leg jumping from a two-story window to escape the flames.
“The fire revealed to me how God can turn the devil’s work around.” he said. “I saw the community come together. They gave and reached out to my family, throwing money at us. People I had never known or seen before, but who heard about our tragedy.”
Now, the family is “back on track” and celebrating their recent successes and recognition.
Green was recently named a Pastor of Excellence by The Rhythm of Gospel Awards, an international organization that recognizes success in the gospel industry, and the gospel group he leads, Joseph Green & God’s Glory, was nominated for four awards, including CD, song and group of the year.
God’s Glory, which has nine members, including Green, traveled to Jacksonville, Fla., this weekend to perform during the televised gospel awards ceremony and find out if their group won.
“I am looking forward to someone being encouraged this weekend by our singing,” said Tierra Martin, Green’s daughter. “And, hopefully, change someone’s life. I am very excited and it’s a new experience. And this is really where God has been preparing the group.”
God’s Glory member Amanda Barrett uses the gospel group to not only serve others, but grow in her faith.
“God was able to move in this group and I wanted to be a part of that,” she said. “As we are able to minster to people, we are able to minster to ourselves.”
Green, who began writing gospel music as a teenager and has crafted more than 200 songs, said he wanted to use his music to spread his pastoral message.
“A lot of time, singing goes further than preaching,” he said. “I wanted to reach more people. ... Every song builds up the individual. If you’re going through challenges, these are songs you hear to lift you up.”
Everyone goes through trials and storms in their life and gospel music can point people to God, Green said.
“I believe that the less of ‘you’ there is, then the more God is,” he said. “And what I mean by that is to humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and he will exalt you. God puts us on display not so that we will be seen, but that he will be seen through us.”
Members of God’s Glory include Apostle Joseph Green, Amanda Barrett, Wilma Barrett, Ta’Shiva Green, Phyllis Lindsay, Geahala Maness, Tierra Martin, Claudia McGee and Jalisa Scotton.