In first interview, Gospel singer and pastor talks about her brother’s death and reveals he was fired from his church position over her comments against homosexuality; says close friend Stevie Wonder flew her out to Los Angeles so she could gain refuge from the media’s relentless assault.
For those who think Pastor Kim Burrell has been hiding out in fear and shame after a sermon snippet of her condemning homosexuality went viral and sparked major backlash, think again.
Despite being dragged through the mud, in a newly published interview, the award-winning gospel-jazz vocalist, who has kept a low profile since Dec. 30th of last year, is bold as ever, and is letting it be known, “I would never apologize for preaching against sin—never.”
Burrell gave her first exclusive interview with Jerri P. Beasley on the “Keep the Morning Moving Morning Show,” where she talked about the recent controversy, the death of her brother, and what’s going on in her life now.
“I need the people to know, don’t ever expect an apology from me,” said the 44-year-old, whose sermon called gay people “perverted” and prophesied certain death this year on leaders that hypocritically proclaim the gospel while living a homosexual lifestyle.
The exclusive post-controversy interview, which was recorded Saturday, Feb. 18, the day before a tribute concert to Burrell’s late brother, Kevin Jordan, who died of complications from a massive stroke on Feb. 6, solidified the singer’s position on the matter once and for all.
“I have to please God,” the global artist said. Even though she is cast as hateful, bigoted and mean-spirited by mainstream media, she says doing God’s will is her only focus. “In all my ways, I have to acknowledge Him and He’ll direct my path, just as everybody else,” she said.
It has unquestionably been a rough ride for the pastor of the Houston-based Love and Liberty Fellowship Church, whose home was swarmed by media in the initial days following the uprising.
“I have not interviewed. CNN has called me. Every outlet you can name—every outlet. Think of any of them in the world. They have called me since Dec. 30th. They’ve been outside my house with cameras pulled. They have been on top of my house with helicopters,” she said.
At one point, Burrell shared that her close friend Stevie Wonder, who has been a comfort to her in the wake of her brother’s death, flew her out to Los Angeles so she could gain refuge from the media’s relentless assault.
ON LOSING KEVIN
Burrell’s brother Kevin Jordan named her. They were very close, which is why his death at age 50 was a difficult blow. Though some reported that he died instantly after collapsing at work, the process played out much differently.
“I watched my brother. I looked at him while he was having a stroke January 20th at 3:30 in the morning and I walked into the Emergency Room while he was having the stroke, and I’d never seen that with anyone, never experienced that, never saw an example of it on TV, Facebook, nothing,” said Burrell, recounting the painful events leading to her sibling’s ultimate demise.
It was almost too much to watch her brother, a well-loved, talented musician waste away. Burrell, who just lost her 70-year-old mother Helen Spears to cancer in Dec. 1, 2013, said she asked God to allow her to go through the illness in Kevin’s stead.
“There is nothing I would not have done in that moment to switch places,” said the distraught sister who is all too familiar with loss. The death of her older brother Julius Lynn Burrell also came in July 29, 2013, five months before the high-profile musician’s mother would succumb. Burrell said she told God, “I don’t care about the name, the fame. I couldn’t care less. I said, ‘God, you’ll take care of my son. He’ll understand it. Please put me there.’”
For a short time after the stroke, despite the right side of Kevin’s brain being severely damaged, the signs looked promising for him. “Kevin had a slight slur. He had the faculties of both arms and he was moving both legs,” Burrell recounted. “The boy started praising God.”
He was crying, lifting his hands and saying, “I don’t know why I’m so emotional.” It seemed that the man to whom Burrell was extremely close, had come through the worst and would be alright. But that wasn’t the case.
Burrell, who grew up in the Church of God In Christ (COGIC), was taught to have strong faith and believed God until the end.
“My brother’s last words to me in life were, he says, ‘Baby girl, much success,’” remembered Kim, though she didn’t know at the time that would be the last time she heard his voice.
She had to fly out of town for a meeting and when she landed, the busy entrepreneur received a phone call from her sister, notifying her that Kevin’s condition had taken a turn for the worst. “The stroke extended itself and it silenced him,” Burrell learned.
When she hurriedly returned to the hospital following her important trip, Burrell’s brother was sedated and on a ventilator. Eventually, all of his organs shut down and there was too much damage to his brain for it to ever function properly again.
On February 6th at 3:45 PM, a little more than two weeks after his stroke, Kevin took his last breath, which was hard for his big sister to accept.
“I asked him, I said, ‘Kevin, this is me’—after he passed away. ‘How could you leave what we have? I’m your baby sister. Our closeness, our life together. You named me. All of our life’s history, us, this [is] me and you,” she said, devastated.
“God let me hear his spirit. He said, ‘There’s no way Kim I would have left you if I didn’t have somewhere better to go,’” Burrell shared.
After hearing those words, she said, “I laid down and finally went to sleep.”
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SOURCE: EEW Magazine News – Rebecca Johnson