gail song bantum

blog on identity, leadership, discipleship

advent, black lives, and 25 days of changing the narrative – day #13

my goodness, this brother brings back some memories!!

day 13 – december 12

j.j. mckay


i met j.j. back in college at eastman school of music in rochester new york. to be truthful, when i first met him, my life was not right and my testimony was nowhere near faithful… but GOD! this brother genuinely cared for me like an older sibling, always telling (reminding) me about jesus and living right. #thestruggle

j.j. was the person who invited me to catch the van on sunday mornings to his church – new life fellowship – with bishop mcgill. i loved this church. and, i needed them. i may or may not have spent some long nights in the clubs the night before, but i made it to church! [god, forgive me.]

some of my most memorable times with j.j. was when he used to walk with me to certain places in the city because he thought there was too much shade. i didn’t appreciate it back then but, looking back, we lived in the heart of the city and my late night excursions to the ATM, taco bell, and snuffy’s birdland soul food were in some rough spots, especially at night. i thank god for him!

but, perhaps the most profound gift i received from j.j. – he was the FIRST person to introduce me to soul food…i know. ALL god’s children rejoiced!

he’s a native of st.louis and moved back there after college, currently serving as a pastor in the city. i think about him a lot in light of all the recent and ongoing struggle in ferguson. truly grateful for and blessed by his friendship over those years.


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