Giving You the Gospel

Donnie McClurkin Reflects on Fatherhood & More

Singer, author, pastor and host of the Donnie McClurkin radio show—the Grammy, Dove and Stellar Award winner leaves no stones unturned on fulfilling his musical journey. From New York Restoration Choir’s Speak to My Heart, We Fall Down and Stand—McClurkin has delivered anthems of encouragement and praise that transcends religion worldwide.

With over a million Twitter and Facebook followers, the humble Senior Pastor of Perfecting Faith Church and the syndicated radio show boasts 5 million fans and has received top awards. His latest CD—Duets is a collection of songs that will uplift and inspire. It debuted number one on iTunes earlier this year and continues to climb the Billboard charts. McClurkin wrote eight songs on the project that features Erica Campbell, Tye Tribbett, Marvin Sapp and other favorites. But somehow the regular TBN and Word Network host manages to juggle preaching and singing internationally. If that’s not enough, his record label—Camdon Music will present the CD release of artists—Nancy Jackson Johnson and his sister, Andrea McClurkin Mellini later this month.

After taping an episode for The Steve Harvey Show, Pastor McClurkin spoke with me about the call on his life, how he stays encouraged, his latest CD release as well as his most prized accomplishment—being a dad!

JET: Which one do you like more: singing or preaching?

Donnie McClurkin: Singing is what I do, preaching is what I am. I will always be a preacher. My voice is giving me the flux now because of vocal damage that prohibits me from singing to the full capacity that I’m used to, but it doesn’t prohibit from preaching. It will always be the delivery of the gospel. Music brings people to the point of being open to receive the gospel, but it never brings them to salvation.  It is the word of God—the Bible says the preaching of the gospel is salvation. The Bible says that’s my whole duty—that’s my call—that’s what I was born to do. I will always gravitate to being a minister—not just a pastor, but a minister, someone who serves everybody that God gives me to serve.”

JET: How do you manage to do it all?

DM: Very strategically at times and very, very badly at times. Right now, I want to go to California to see my son, Matthew. I’m his dad and he’s my boy. He will be 14 and I will be in Africa. Now is a real precarious time raising him because he has a mother and stepdad, but he’s identifying with me as dad. With all that I’m doing, it’s getting on my nerves because keeps me from that boy. And my son has got to be a priority over everything that I do. I’m at a point where I’m about to make people angry and start cancelling stuff. These times are the most precious times. My prayer from the time I wake up until the time I pick him up from school—God teach me how to be a father. In a few minutes, he’s not going want to me around. But in the times he wants to be around me, I want to make sure I maximize that, in addition to time with my daughter, Michelle, and grandson, Elijah.”

JET: How do you stay encouraged with all you’ve gone through?

DM: Everyone has gone through things and if they haven’t, they will. What I’ve gone through might seem herculean for some—but there are some people who have been through much worse. Really, the greatest problem I have is dealing with my parents not being here. This is the first project they were not here—so it’s a little bittersweet. They both left the same year—right before this came out. Right now, that’s the greatest problem I have and me not being able to be with my son on a constant basis. Everything else is peripheral distractions. That’s white noise. It just gets on your nerves, but it can’t stop you. The greatest thing you can do when you’re struggling is to keep moving.”

About Effie Rolfe

Effie Roffe

Effie Rolfe is a media consultant, personality and speaker. For years, she was the “voice of inspiration” each Sunday morning and middays on Chicago radio. She also speaks at schools, churches and workshops. Effie writes for several publications and is the author of The K(N)ots Prayer. Visit her Website; like her on and follow her via @effiedrolfe.