From Megahits To Megachurch: Pastor Montell Jordan Explains Why He Left The Music Industry
Have you ever been in the club when a DJ starts playing jams from the ’90’s? Inevitably, Montell Jordan’s megahit from 1995, “This Is How We Do It” is going to make its way into the rotation. Right after Montell harmonizes those first few chords but before you put your drink down and head to the dance floor, you think ‘Whatever happened to him?’
Well baby, today I’m here with an update.
Montell Jordan recently told LA Weekly, that he’s a pastor at a Megachurch in Atlanta. And though it might seem like it’s in direct contrast of who we know him to be, it’s more of a coming home than it is a reinvention.
After all, Montell Jordan grew up in the church. Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Jordan was surrounded by gangs and violence but his affiliation with the church kept him protected. Growing up, Montell belonged to the same church the grandmother of a Crip leader attended, so the gang members didn’t mess with him.
“That was a Crip neighborhood. They knew we were church kids, so it was almost like we had a pass, we had protective covering, we could walk all through the neighborhood.”
And though his connection through the church helped him to make it through the neighborhood, once his music career took off, he abandoned it. In one of his sermons about the use and abuse of the godly gift of music, Jordan describes how his involvement in the industry could have easily resulted in his death, several times over.
I know I should be dead. I’m going to tell you personally, I know. There was an instance in 1995, I was on tour with Boyz II Men and I fell off the back of a stage with my hands in my ears, I fell off a stage, onto my head and I know that I should be dead. I can tell you from the things that I did, the promiscuous things, in the music business, outside of my marriage. I know I should be dead. I can tell you about a time when I was recording in a studio in Los Angeles, California and two days after I decided to switch studios, murderers ran up into the studio, robbed the place and asked for me by name…It’s because of Jesus I’m alive. I have more now in Christ than I ever had when I was in the world.
Ironically, when Montell was “out here,” his wife, Kristin, was right beside him working as his manager at the height of his success. Krsitin told LA Weekly, she was a part of the reason Montell abandoned the church and opted instead to be an R&B sex symbol.
“I was part of the reason. I was his manager the whole time. When we first got married they told us we would sell more records if we didn’t let people know we were married.”
But in 2010, when his career was stagnant, Montell and his wife joined Victory World Church in Atlanta and that’s when God revealed the plan for his life.
“The Lord spoke to me and said ‘you got to retire, you got to lay that life down.'”
And though Montell wrestled with the decision, that’s exactly what he ended up doing. He started small by serving in the children’s ministry in his church. After that a church leader asked him to be a part of the worship ministry one day in church. Montell had his reservations.
“I was scared because I knew I wasn’t one person,” he says. “I was probably fearful that me standing on stage would mean that people were going to think that I’d completely given my heart over to Him when I haven’t.”
But what was done was done. He left an impression and he was offered a position as a worship pastor. Now, he has a license to marry, baptize and christen.
Though he’s a pastor now, Montell still wanted to make sure he was able to use his musical gifts to glorify God, so he founded the Victory Music Ministry.
So now you know what he’s been up to these days. Still singing, but for the Lord now. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
If you want to see how Montell holds up as a preacher, check out a clip from the sermon I mentioned earlier on the next page.