Jennifer Holliday and Rev. Raphael G. Warnock Jennifer Holliday and Rev. Raphael G. Warnock joined forces for a unique project combining strong vocals and powerhouse spoken word. The project, Goodness and Mercy, released in April. Here they share with CCM an insider’s take on the album. CCM: what inspired these sermon/vocal collaborations? Jennifer Holliday: God gave me this vision for Pastor Warnock and myself for this collaboration to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ in a very unique and creative way...I strongly believe that the Word of God is our greatest source of Strength and Hope in the darkest, most challenging and uncertain times in our lives. rev. warnock: The sermons that I preach emerge from my private devotional time with God and my public engagement of real people and real issues in the real world. Preaching ought to be relevant and immediately applicable to people’s lives. If it is the gospel truth, then it ought to change lives and transform communities to the glory of God. That’s what inspires me to do what I do. I am humbled by the call and continually amazed that God chooses to use broken vessels for the work of the kingdom. CCM: More than marketing strategies and sales, what is the greater purpose of this recorded effort? rev. warnock: We hope with this recording to reach the un-churched, those who have not heard the Gospel, so that they might receive our Christ who is both lord and liberator. Also, we hope to bridge some of the gaps that unnecessarily divide us among generational, denominational and racial boundaries. Hopefully, with this Cd project, we will have done just a little to advance the notion that the Gospel is real and alive. Indeed, it is the Good News for the poor who seek liberation and the poor in spirit who seek transformation in a sinful, broken and unjust world. CCM: Jennifer, you are mainly known for your stage and television contributions in the secular world. Is this project a personal reflection of a return to your roots? Jennifer Holliday: I am a Christian Woman who works in a secular world just like most other Christians. This project is more of a return to my gospel roots. I started singing in the Baptist Church Choir and I went directly from there to the Broadway stage... I just wanted to sing and present God’s Word to encourage people to, “Hang on in there!” I made it through some very hard times and I want others to know that they can make it too! CCM: Can we expect more gospel-oriented recordings from you in the future? Jennifer Holliday: Oh Yes! God is doing a “new thing” in my life and I will definitely be offering more gospel music and sermons in the very near future and for as long as I live I want to keep singing and telling the world of God’s goodness and mercy! — Andrew Greer CCM 45