TRU2GOD, the new project from Charles Woolfork on Marxan Records

Minister Charles Woolfork
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Charles Woolfork's new project, TRU2GOD pushes the limits in format, covering many kinds of music (see review and free audiovisual souvenir postcard). His personal testimony, which has taken him through cancer, a suicide attempt, divorce and family deaths, also pushes the limits. Some would argue that Woolfork's openness about having experienced some of these things is definitely over the line. He does the taboo thing —he talks about it.

Though many Christians share similar experiences, it's so easy to assume that if we don't talk about it, it will just go away. In fact, it is theCharles Woolfork sharing of our experiences —our testimony— that scripture says is one of the reasons He allows us to "go through" at all. It is more valuable that we tell it, and most importantly, that we confess our victory in Jesus Christ, over it. In our quest for perfection (or at least the appearance of), our value of what people think of us can sometimes overpower our confession of the truth.

Gospelflava.com shared this e-mail exchange with Minister Woolfork about some very real topics, and in true Chas fashion he keeps it real. True to self. TRU2GOD.

GospelFlava.com: You are very blunt about the trials —both as an artist and as a person— that Jesus Christ has brought you through. It stands out simply because you don't often hear that sort of confession from an artist placed in the spotlight such as you are. Can you comment?

----Original Answer Follows----
To: "GospelFlava.com"
From: "Charles Woolfork"
Subject: Your Comment on Blunt Trials
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 19:23:45 -0500

I believe that God is definitely calling for us to be blunt and transparent, especially as artists/ministers of the Word. We have to come to the point where we realize we can't minister to people and meet them at the point of their need with our testimony if we're not willing to be open and talk about it!

Frankly I'm becoming disgusted with the fact that more and more people want to get into ministry and put out CD's and travel the country to get paid! It's about so much more than that, and it's time for us as artists and ministers to set a TRUE example of what ministry is really about —Servanthood! We need to let people know that unfortunately they are sadly mistaken to think that this is the huge money side of music! :-0) We just don't sell the units like certain pop or rap groups do. I know there can be huge money made on our side (Gospel), but that will come as God's favor is granted to your ministry and as HE promotes you, not as we promote ourselves.

We always wish to discuss the positives about ourselves, when it's actually the ability to share our negatives that truly allow people to get fully in touch with you as an artist and appreciate your ministry more because they can relate to the "real" things that happen —even to artists!

GospelFlava.com: Does your ministry cater to any particular audience, and how do you describe your ministry?

----Original Answer Follows----
To: "GospelFlava.com"
From: "Charles Woolfork"
Subject: Describe Your Ministry
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 19:32:23 -0500

No, I specifically cater to the LORD! It's due to the fact that when you have a near "non-conformist" (meaning I let God give me direction on how to construct Charles Woolfork my projects, and I don't really follow any particular framework for my music) type of diversity to ministry, unfortunately you don't always have the love and understanding of audiences! :-)

You'd be amazed to find the number of people that still are not open to different types of Gospel music on the same CD! Especially some announcers who at times will refuse to play you if they feel you don't fit their 'format'. I always thought Gospel was not about having a certain format but simply to encourage the world about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and to tell of his death, burial, and resurrection. So I cater my music to God and allow him to open me up to audiences that will accept and embrace my ministry.

I would describe my ministry as definitively "diverse". I have a lot of influences on my project because I just appreciate music, but there's definitely a younger approach to what I'm doing. I like to say, 'Everyone under the age of 'dead' are young people, so if you are not 'dead' then you should find something on this CD to make you appreciate the God in me and my ministry.'

GospelFlava.com: Do you have any advice to Gospel artists who may be going through some of what you've experienced?

----Original Answer Follows----
To: "GospelFlava.com"
From: "Charles Woolfork"
Subject: Advice For Gospel Artists in Similar Situations
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 19:46:12 -0500

If I were to offer any advice to other artists going through some of the things I've experienced, I'd have to [advise they do what] I've had to do and STAY FOCUSED!! Do not let the enemy make you believe God is not in and around you and your vision that He gave to you. You have to develop a REALLY, REALLY thick skin and stay rooted in prayer and in the Word. Stay connected to your local church and heed the advice of your Pastor or spiritual covering. Also, just know God, and He'll make sure you don't have to take any path that will hinder you from completing His work in your life.

GospelFlava.com: You have a notable reggae influence on some of your songs. Where does that come from?

----Original Answer Follows----
To: "GospelFlava.com"
From: "Charles Woolfork"
Subject: Carribean Influence
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 19:56:25 -0500

I believe it comes from my true love for the reggae/Caribbean culture. They are really carefree about a lot of things that go on in their lives. They have a love for the simple things in life and for nature, and can really appreciate the beauty of God in all things. I love to pay tribute to their culture and music in my music because it is such a heartfelt and internal musical genre - just like Gospel. Also, if you CAN do this type of music and make it effectively minister to people around the world —why not???

GospelFlava.com: You say that your wife, Page, is your former manager. How did you come to the point where you decided you wished to marry her?

----Original Answer Follows----
To: "GospelFlava.com"
From: "Charles Woolfork"
Subject: You Married Page
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 20:12:35 -0500

It is indeed a blessing to be married to Page. (See wedding photo shoot) We are so similar in so many ways and yet so different. I could comment for fifty pages about her so I'll keep it short!! ;-) She simply completes me. People always seem to leave out the second part of the scripture that says 'whosoever findeth a wife findeth a good thing...'. They forget that you will also 'obtain the favor of God.' I am indeed a witness that getting my life solid and re-dedicating myself to the vision that God gave me and now having my help meet to assist in accomplishing these things is indeed a true blessing and I am seeing more of God's favor daily. I can't imagine any man not wanting a wife such as the one God has blessed me to find!

GospelFlava.com: You state that you both come from previous marriages, and that you each bring children from these marriages into your union. Can you speak to the challenges and issues that this situation brings?

----Original Answer Follows----
To: "GospelFlava.com"
From: "Charles Woolfork"
Subject: Challenges
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 20:32:57 -0500

I got a lot of "guff" from a lot of people for marrying a woman with three children, but to me I had to approach it like this —she was a package Charles Woolforkdeal! :-0 What was she to do?? Throw the kids away? I love her just as much because she accepted me and knew I had kids from my previous relationship also! So we both had to dedicate ourselves to the knowledge that God was able to make us work out — above all financial challenges, social challenges (even challenges from church folk). God has done nothing but place every challenge under our feet and has given us the land where we trod to possess. He has been faithful and shown himself to be nothing but "TRU" in our friendship and marriage. She is my world and as long as we keep God first in all we do (to coin a phrase from my first CD) "We can make it"! :-)

e-interview by Melanie Clark

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