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Arkin Terrell is an artist who takes you by surprise. Itís one thing to produce an album thatís beautiful and delightful, but One Step Closer is surprisingly woven together with many layers of emotions. Itís spiritual, refreshing, lively and endearing.
In many ways it brings you One Step Closer to life, faith and a bit closer to Arkin Terrell himself. Arkinís love for music, people and Christ is evident throughout this album. The song choices, the hearts and minds that went into creating One Step Closer just shows what can happen when people come together in unity.
Arkinís humbleness and life reflects in this interview what he values as a person.
Not to mention the hope he has for others who has gone through the trials that God so faithfully has brought him through such as his parents divorce, searching and finding what was there all the time. Arkin Terrellís interview will show you just how love brings healingÖ
Jen Gís Music View
Publisher and Editor of
LOVE THAT BRINGS HEALING
Jen G: First I want to say congratulations on your new album One Step Closer!
Itís phenomenal, but before I go off on your music I really want to know what was it like for you to grow up in a family with such a long history of ministry?
Tell me how your family life and especially your grandfather impacted your life growing up?
Arkin Terrell: Growing up I was raised in a rather difficult situation. Unfortunately, my parents divorced when I was only 5 years old. To this day, I love both my parents very, very much but one can easily imagine the pain and anguish that divorce can bring to a child, let alone a family. I was very blessed that even through these difficult times my intermediate family was always supportive and caring. I was actually cared for by my Aunts and Uncles off and on for 3 to 4 years between the age of 9-13. As for my Grandfather, I have always viewed my Grandfather as a rock. As a matter of fact, I looked at him not only as a Grandfather, but most importantly a man of God and someone I could draw strength from on a day to day basis because of his deep convictions and steadfast faith. A tremendous testament of his faith is the fact In 48 years he has only missed one Sunday as Pastor. A truly amazing thing. I also have a great fondness for my Grandmother as well. She has always loved me through thick and thin. She is a true prayer warrior in every since of the word.
"The difficult times my family and I
emerged from are a living testament of
God's great and amazing love."
Jen G: I know thereís a lot of pressure when your family is heavily involved in ministry for one to do the same, but it seems like itís just apart of you. Your spirit and lyrics speaks volumes.
Did you ever struggle against fitting into the world that had been shaped around you? If so howíd you get through it and what did you learn as you grew up?
Arkin Terrell: Absolutely, life was a definite struggle and is a struggle to this day. The agony of a going through a divorce as child is something that is tremendously painful. Thankfully God is faithful and true. The difficult times my family and I emerged from are a living testament of God's great and amazing love. Prior to my parents divorce my mother was largely responsible for bringing me to Church and introducing me to God's word. During this time she undoubtedly helped lay the cornerstones for my salvation. Following the divorce, while being raised by my aunts and uncles, I attended a private school that was set up by my Grandfather. The school was founded on Christian and Biblical principles. It was there that my spiritual walk came full circle and I was saved at the age of 16, baptizedby my Grandfather.
Jen G: How did you know at twenty years old that God had called you to sing? And when did you realize you were called to be a lay minister too?
Arkin Terrell: I always have loved to sing from the time I was a child to now. Not unlike many singers I started out singing publicly in my home Church. During these times my music seemed to have a profound effect on the congregation. However, I honestly did not see or feel God leading me into full time ministry. It was upon moving to North Carolina and singing at our new Church that I began to see God's calling on my life. Amazingly, He was using my voice to touch the lives of people in that congregation as well. At age twenty I recorded my first CD at Derita Sound in North Carolina. Following the recording my vision for my music was still a little blurred but I knew somehow God had something in store. One major thing I struggled with at the time was insecurity. My Uncle, Terry Terrell, is a Southern Gospel singer and I didnít want to come across as removing attention from his ministry to my own. This was in my mind borne out of a deep, deep respect for him as a person and his wonderful outreach. Looking back now, I know it was the perfect will of God to move forward to the point where I am today.
As for me becoming a lay minister, my Grandfather saw something in me that brought me to that point. I initially started studying the word and preaching on different occasions. However, at the same time I was also pursuing a job as a carpenter, with my own construction company. Almost instantly, I felt a tremendous burden about becoming a minister, but at the same time I did not want to disappoint my Grandfather by not following in his footsteps as a pastor or miss the will of God. To this day I am deeply appreciative and flattered that he felt I could One day step into his shoes upon his retirement. Those are some very big shoes to fill. With much prayer I eventually made the decision that my future as a pastor was not where God wanted me to be at that time.
Jen G: What were some of the difficulties that you faced personally as you took that step into Godís will as you went forth in ministry in both song and the word?
Arkin Terrell: I think the most important thing was for me to find the will of God in both areas. I just wanted to be certain that this was God's plan and was not of my own doing.
Jen G: What challenges have you found in writing a song verses writing a sermon?
Arkin Terrell: I would love to answer this question but as of right now I am
not engaged as a writer. For the time being I have left that task up to much more talented individuals than I. As far as preparing a sermon,
verses writing a song. The two can be easily equated. After all,
for every song there is a unique message within. A song aims to connect with the listener. This is why I love singing and sharing not only my music but also the message behind the song. So In essence at my concerts I am actually sharing 10-12 different messages for the audience to apply to their lives.
Jen G: Why are both areas of ministry important to you?
Ultimately , God has entrusted me with these ministries and I want to do the best I can at all times to glorify his name. I want to be a vessel of his word and use the talents, he has so gratefully given me, for the benefit of His people and His Kingdom.
"The most important thing we can do as
Christians is to seek and follow Godís
will for our lives."
Jen G: Your life seems to reflect that God is your cornerstone as youíve built your family, ministering and music through Christ.
How have you managed to keep your family and your gifts in focus?
Arkin Terrell: My wife and children are true gifts from God. Coupled with God's calling on my life, the importance of family and raising my children in a godly home are of the essence to me. Shaped by my life experiences while growing up, God has undoubtedly used those circumstances to show me the importance of my family and their ultimate purpose in my life and ministry as well.
Jen G: What would you say to someone who feels called to more than one area of ministry, but has family responsibilities whose wondering if they could really do it all?
Arkin Terrell: The most important thing we can do as Christians is to seek and follow Godís will for our lives. Pray, Pray and Pray and let God show you the path. If we ask him to reveal these things he will. He is always just and true to his people.
Arkin Terrell Talks About...
One Step Closer...pg 2