G Quence Productions Recording Artist James E. Douglas knows what it’s like to experience tragedy. As an ordained preacher and Bible teacher, he’s learned how to sing praises even in the storm. A singer his entire life, he’s been blessed to open up for artists such as Byron Cage and John P. Kee, but only recently did he feel the call to step to the mic as a solo artist. “Testify”, Douglas’ official introduction to the Gospel music industry, has already netted him an Artist of the Month Award from Akademia Music Awards. The lead single from his forthcoming album, Still I Praise, features the masterful vocals of Gospel songstress Lejuene Thompson, known for her work with Bishop TD Jakes and Donald Lawrence. The memorable church tune, already moving up the Gospel charts, is currently available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and other digital music outlets.
Those who enjoy good, old-fashioned Gospel music will find pure joy with “Testify”. Perfect for the Sunday morning praise team, the track speaks of the goodness of the Lord. Penned by the artist himself, a Bennettsville, South Carolina resident, the song flaunts a mid-tempo praise. Thompson makes her entrance with dynamic vocals taking the song into the Gospel music stratosphere. Bob Marovich of Journal of Gospel Music says, “Moaning her way into the song’s vamp, Thompson gives her testimony of how God ‘delivered me from the power of darkness’”. Vocally, both artists’ performances make this record a delight.
“Testify” is more than a catchy tune; it’s James’ story. A few years ago, he encountered a situation he never dreamed he would have to confront. His wife was arrested and ultimately sentenced to years in prison. Unbeknownst to James, she was struggling with an addiction to prescription meds. Initially, he was in shock, not sure how to handle her absence or how to tell their children that their mother was gone. In addition, he was quite disappointed that God would allow this circumstance to touch his family. Not only did he have to deal with his personal heartache, but in his role as a minister, he was afraid of how others may perceive him. Despite his feelings, James turned to God. The Lord said to him, “If you take care of my business, I will take care of yours.” That one conversation was the start of James’ songwriting career. God gave him song after song after song which ultimately became his debut record, Still I Praise. God also kept His promise and although sentenced to 4 years in federal prison, his wife only served 2 years. Getting ready to celebrate 30 years of marriage, James’ testimony is an inspiration to anyone currently going through a trial. It’s just one of the reasons that James chooses to “Testify.”
The project includes a musical collage of inspirational tracks, each one with a purpose to encourage and uplift the name of the Lord. Although his first single is traditional in nature, his project contains an eclectic mix of praise and worship, urban Gospel and contemporary Gospel. The release is a family affair with his brother stepping in the role of producer and his mother making a guest appearance. A 4-year process from conception to completion, the 12-song CD contains 10 songs that James penned. The release is scheduled to drop this spring.
The completion of the project is a dream come true. James has been a lover of music his entire life. He always had hopes for a singing career, but always put it on the back burner. It wasn’t until the recent challenge that he knew now was the time. Although he has exceptional vocal skills and is clearly gifted in music, he sees it as a ministry tool and seeks to encourage those going through tough times. Encouragement isn’t just part of his music ministry; it’s part of his occupation as well. Full-time he works at an alternative school for at risk youth. He sees it as an extension of his ministry. He helps troubled students with conflict resolution, social skills and coping mechanisms to help them to function productively in society. He says, “It’s important to me to hear from God on a day to day basis so I know how to deal with my students. He instructed me to listen to them, to hear their hearts so that I could help them in the best way possible.” He and his wife have always desired to help children. They have raised countless children that were not biologically theirs. For James, it’s always about helping and giving back. “The one thing I want people to know about me,” he says, “is that I have a heart of compassion. I want people to know that no matter how low you may have gone, God still loves you; He has not forgotten about you.” Connect with James E. Douglas on Facebook and Twitter.