By Keri Evans/EEW Magazine News Reporter
Grammy-winning gospel singer Le’Andria Johnson is seeing firsthand the truth of Proverbs 14:34: “Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” That reproach brought upon her by giving birth outside the confines of marriage continues to be felt. “You get pregnant out of wedlock and the whole world turns against you. That's how it felt,” she said in an interview.
During Johnson’s chat with Essence.com she said, “I've gone through so much with people who say they love me – people who say they're there for me,” but they abandoned the unwed mother who just welcomed a new son, Caelington Forrest Walker.
The gifted singer, signed to Matthew Knowles’ Music World Gospel label got transparent about how she used to struggle in two areas: addiction to alcohol and making poor relationship decisions. And yet, no one seemed to shun her to the same degree back then during her public battles, though she admits it got the gossip mills going.
“I was battling drinking and that was all people talked about in the gospel industry,” Johnson said. “Different things like having men problems or falling in love with the wrong guy… maybe that wasn't juicy enough for the gospel industry.”
But when the twice-divorce, single mother revealed to the public that a new baby was on the way, things changed. “The moment I got pregnant out of wedlock, that was the juicy part and that carried. It's still carrying on. To hear different ones say, ‘She needs to be sat down until she gets this together...’ I disagree…” she stated emphatically.
In fact, the singer had some very pointed words to share with “pastors and bishops that sit their members down for whatever type of behavior they have.” She said, “Listen, for one, I'm a member of your church, I pay tithing into your church. I sew seed into your ministry. If you're going to silence me, then I feel like you need be silenced as well. If not, you're letting me know you're perfect.”
Then, Johnson outright said, “I refuse [to sit down]. I'm not the first woman in this industry to be pregnant out of wedlock. I'm not hiding it or condoning,” she interjected before making it crystal clear that she was not the type to pander and cave in to others’ desires and ideologies—not even Christian leadership.
“But this is reality. I'm not going to stop because you think I should stop. I don't serve you, I serve God. I'm letting you know that God still blesses and he uses whoever He wants. When people get out of that pointing stage or that judging stage they'll be alright.”
Pastor Donnie McClurkin, who fathered his own son Matthew out-of-wedlock 12 years ago, tweeted a quick message Le’Andria Johnson: “Congratulations on your beautiful baby! I just found out I love you, Lee.”
The singer is set to release her new album "Le'Andria Johnson: The Experience" on September 18.
See the full interview with Essence here.