Five-time Stellar Award and GRAMMY nominee Jekalyn Carr is a dynamic powerhouse that continues to decree and declare there is no failure in God. Through her ministry, Carr travels the world sharing her powerful journey from servant to songstress. At the age of 20, this prophetic woman of God has held accomplishments such as debuting at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album chart (The Life Project) and #1 on Gospel Airplay. She is also known as an author, evangelist and Greenleaf actress.
Currently, she is continuing her success with “You Will Win,” the first single off her forthcoming live record, “One Nation, Under God.” This song is a proclamation that this generation of believers can and will win over failure, fear, and defeat. Carr says, “When you put your hand in the hands of God and you really allow God to make you into the person He has called you to be, you can become successful as well.”
Keep reading below to find out what she had to share with Southern Laced…
KB: Evangelist Carr, I want to thank you for taking up your mantle and walking with it. At your age, did you ever believe this would be your life?
JC: I never knew to this capacity. I always knew that God would do great things through me and He would allow me to accomplish a lot at a very young age. But I didn’t know that it would be to this degree.
God is just amazing. I’m very humbled and very grateful to just know and just experience the things He has allowed me to experience especially at a young age.
KB: In today’s society, how do you feel being called a breath of fresh air? So many labels have been placed on this generation and you have come up declared “we win.” You declare that there is boldness in Christ and there is success in every one of our youth. You are a powerful breath of God.How do you take that on because there is so much negativity?
JC: You know what? It feels amazing. It’s interesting that you said that. I get a lot of young people who will tell me personally and those who would tell me via social media about how God has used my ministry to change their lives. It feels good. As you said, we are living in a world now where the enemy has begun to speak so much over our future and characters. For God to just raise me up to spread the message, not through what I say but through my life in general, that it is possible for you to go against the odds. You don’t have to accept what the enemy is labeling you as. You don’t have to accept what society says, but you can stand up and be who God created you to be. It is amazing that a lot of young people caught on and still are catching on. They are walking into their purpose and they are becoming successful.
KB: With the different albums and the singles you have, “One Nation Under God” will be released in 2018. Tell us about that. Also, tell us about the vision for that album.
JC: One Nation Under God will be released in early 2018. What I wanted to do with this album was to help people understand that it does not matter whether you are in America, Africa, Asia, Australia or where ever you are. If you have a heart for God, we are gathering as His nation; one nation under God giving our God glory. Others will catch on and they will do the same thing. For those who don’t know Him and don’t have a heart for Him, our worship will be so strong that it will begin to draw them. So that is what we are doing with this album. God said, “If I be lifted up, I’ll draw all men unto me.” So we want to lift God up.
In this album, you get so much diversity. Of course, you will get “You Will Win”, the first single from this album, which is putting people back in the place of the champion that God has called them to be. You don’t have to accept failures. You don’t have to accept being defeated. You can stand up; be the champion God called you to be. Why? Because there is no losing in your bloodline. No. It may not be easy, but at the end of the day… what you are going through, what you are experiencing, does not change who you are in God. So that’s why you got to keep pushing and keep fighting to win.
You also get songs like “Stay With Me”, which helps us understand the value of the presence of God. It also helps us understand what God means to us. A lot of these songs are birthed straight from the presence of God.
KB: I remember seeing you years ago with Benny Hinn not knowing you would be this woman of God now. We create the atmosphere. All throughout the Bible, worshippers created the atmosphere and they were able to win wars and change kings’ heart. How has your life been impacted today working with Benny Hinn and Donald McClurkin?
JC: It has impacted my life strongly. As prophets and men of God, they saw things that I didn’t see. He prophesied that when I began to minister through song people would be healed. Right to this day, that very thing is happening. Around the age of eleven or twelve, Pastor Donnie McClurkin prophesied that in two years the world would know my name. And look where we are today! All of that has played a huge part in my life.
KB: Growing up, how active were you in the church? Did the church help to usher you into gospel music today?
JC: I actually started singing at the age of five years old. Singing in the choir and all of that. Every time you turned around, I was singing, making songs, and just doing something that had to do with music.
When I was five years old, I was at choir rehearsal and the adult choir was singing. They were out of key. So I stopped them and said, “Y’all out of key,” and I gave them their correct key. I guess being so young, it was highly unusual. My parents saw my gift and they began to nourish me even more. They always taught us the values of Christ, but that was the point where they knew there was an anointing and a gift that God had given me. It’s not just a gift, but it’s an anointing and purpose. Ever since then, they’ve been nourishing it. So I was very active in the church.
Even with that, I started preaching. Before I started preaching, God called me to serve as a praise and worship leader at church. You know that’s where I put my time in; serving others. I’m still serving, but that was a moment where God was testing me to make sure my heart was in the right place. My heart was genuine. I passed the test and I am where I am today.
KB: Your life has been so impactful. At this point, you are a veteran in gospel music because you started so young. I understand that you are writing a book. Tell us about that.
JC: This is my first book and the name of it is “You Will Win.” Of course, you have the song, which is available for download now on Amazon. In the song, you get me declaring and you are declaring that you will win. It is only so much that I can put in a song. So in the book, you get your how to’s. How to win because it’s more than just speaking and hearing it. You have to actually do things for you to win. In the book, you get me giving you information and knowledge on how to win over family and career issues. Those of you who are struggling with your dreams and all of that, it gives different How To’s in different areas.
What I love about this book is that it is not just for one situation. It’s just not for one age bracket or one particular observation. It’s for each and every person who feels defeated or maybe you feel like you’re becoming defeated in a particular area. So in this book, you get different information about rerouting yourself on your journey to win. It’s actually going to be released the same day as my album. I’m releasing them together, the book “You Will Win” and the album “One Nation Under God”.
KB: Did you know you were going to write a book or did God do you like He did me and just drop it on you?
JC: I kind of always knew it. Even though this book is not about my life’s journey, I always knew that God would give me a book. I did not know it would be this one first. It’s been a long time coming.
KB: You already touched on the single. Tell us this single that dropped September 15th.
JC: “You Will Win” is the first single from “One Nation Under God” album. I love this song because, again, it puts you back in that champion’s identity that God has ordained and predestined for us to have. So many times when we experience things and life issues, we feel defeated. The enemy makes us feel like we can’t get back up again. We feel defeated by our credit score because we can’t get what we desire. We feel defeated in our health because we can’t live the way we desire.
This song is to tell you that all of that may be fact, but the truth still remains that in the name of Jesus you will win. Why? Because God doesn’t birth failures. He doesn’t call you defeated, but He calls you a champion.
Unleash that champion that’s on the inside of you so you can start winning again. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve lost long enough. I believe it’s time for the people of God to regain their strength again and began to snatch their victory title back from the hands of the enemy because you deserve to win. It is God’s will for you to win.
As a matter of fact, every day you declare that “I will win. Everything attached to me wins. And guess what? I will not be defeated again.” No. It’s not going to be easy. But at the end of the day, like I said before, what you go through does not change who God has created you to be. So that’s why you have to stand firm and know who you are as a champion and child of God. Because if you are His child and He is a champion that means you are a champion too.
KB: You’re receiving rave reviews from touring and sharing the single itself. You have blown up Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Everybody is talking about it! That’s great because our culture is going through a lot right now, especially with racial tension. So we needed something to take our focus off that to really get back at the feet of Jesus. I thank you for releasing it during that time.
Let’s talk about your acting role. You recorded the song “Hold Me Close” on Greenleaf’s soundtrack. You also made an appearance on the show. Tell us about that.
JC: They actually called for the acting role first. They were like, “We’ve got to have you on this part.” I went and did the part. Then, they called back maybe a week and a half later and they were like, “ We’ve gotta have you on the song. We’ve gotta have you on the soundtrack.” That’s how “Hold Me Close” came about. I had so much fun. There are so many gifts that God has placed inside of me. I believe that slowly and in His timing, He’s just unfolding them and causing me to be successful in them. You will be seeing more of Jekayln Car on the big screen.
KB: With all of your success, how do you keep yourself grounded?
JC: Number one, my foundation is strong. I never forget why I do what I do. It’s not for me and it’s not for self-gain, but it is to be a blessing to the people of God. When God calls us, He has His people in mind. We’re just the vessels that He’s using to get the messages across.
Also, remembering where I come from. I haven’t always been where I am today. I love doing what I do and I just believe that It might have taken me a long time to get to where I am, but it’ll take a snap of a finger if I get out of place with God for me to go back to where I was. That’s what I always keep in mind while making sure that my heart remains pure towards my assignment, purpose, and people of God. At the end of the day, that’s the reason I’m here.
KB: Out of everything you’ve done, how was it paying tribute to Pastor Shirley Caesar?
JC: I actually met her a couple of years back. She sang on my album “It’s Gonna Happen” on a song called “All Good”. She is such an amazing person. I don’t know if you know it or not, but she is my inspiration. I love her. I love not just what she does on stage, but I love her life behind the stage. Even though she’s a fun person, you never see her get out of character. Who she is… is who she is.
It was amazing to share the stage with her. She’s always imparting wisdom nuggets in me. Before the world knew my name, I think I was about eleven when she told me, “Never compromise who you are. If people love you, they’re gonna love you for you.” I’ve held on to that.
KB: At the age of twenty, you are leading nations! That is so profound. What’s next for you on the horizon?
JC: Yes. There’s actually quite a few things that are happening now as we’re speaking, but I can’t speak it just yet. For those that would like to stay informed about what’s going on in my life, you can stay connected to me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook under my name, Jekayln Carr. My websites are www.youwillwin.org and www.iamjekaylncarr.com.