Friday, August 12, 2022

Somebody Say Amen! Warryn and Erica Campbell Talk Church and Changing a Community

Story by: Viola C. Malone, Interview by: Lee Bailey

Warryn & Erica Campbell
Warryn & Erica Campbell

*With the recent release of Erica Campbell’s “I Luh God,”  Erica and Warryn are speaking out about the growth of their church, their purpose and community.

Erica’s new hit “I Luh God” off of her Help 2.0 album isn’t your typical gospel record. From the similar hip-hop elements in beat, the hype-man adlibs, and the delivery you may think it’s a new club banger. And in a way it is, just with far more meaning and context. The video is very simplistic, with bold colorful backgrounds and scenes of people partying in praise of their love for the Lord, Amen! So why not just use the word love?

Erica tells Lee Bailey of EURweb that using luh instead of love wasn’t anything special at all.

“Just how I chose to say it. No rhyme or reason to it. It’s fun.”

From the looks of the video, it is indeed fun to luh God. The gospel star released the video exclusively on the Elev8 website last Wednesday afternoon (but you can see it below). Tina Campbell and producer LaShawn Daniels have cameos in the video.

It has been said that this song falls under “trap gospel,” but Erica – who had no idea what that even means – just wants to spread the gospel. It was her love for God and upbringing that inspired this song.

“I grew up in an urban neighborhood in Inglewood so it’s not foreign for me to say I love God,” she shared on where the change in sound for her song came from. “I didn’t have to go research; I didn’t have to YouTube hood people. I didn’t have to do any of that. I just wrote the song and sung the song.”

She isn’t worried about the opinions of others in terms of this song being labeled trap gospel, her focus is delivering a message and serving a purpose.

“I don’t focus on the negative part of it because that takes me away from the purpose. The purpose is to have young people everywhere say that they love God, declaring how they feel about God. My goal and agenda is to reach the un-churched; the ones that don’t know that God loves them, the ones that don’t know that he died on the cross for them. My purpose is to reach those people.”

erica campbell (I luh god)

She also serves her purpose as first lady of The California Worship Center in the North Hollywood area of Southern Calif. alongside her husband Warryn, who pastors the church. Although the church is still in its early stages, having opened its’ doors in April of this year, they have already had to make several changes for great accommodations. The first service ever held at the Worship Center, hundreds of people arrived at the congregation that there wasn’t enough room.

“We had to suddenly impromptu two services,” Warryn shared of the turnout, “and had to turn away at least 200 people.” Since then, they have relocated the church twice in order to house all those in need of the good word. The Campbells took that as a blessing and a reason to work harder. Warryn, who initially pushed the thoughts of starting a church back, has been in the surrounding community where the church is located for years. He says the community is “dark” as there aren’t churches nearby or a place of positivity for the children.

“What that said to me was there is a need and people are hungry. I have no problem sharing anything that I have that God has given me.”

Warryn, like Erica, grew up in church with his father as his pastor. It says it’s interesting to now pastor his father, who is a beloved elder of the church. He mentions that his father as well as his grandfather groomed him to be the man he is today.

“I am strong but I lean on the wisdom of my father, because he is wise,” he said after recounting the process of his growing church and the challenges that come along with it.

No need to worry, he has his first lady to back him up. Erica says she has had a great example of a first lady her whole life, her aunt.

“She did an amazing job as a wife, a mother, a spiritual example, an example of excellence and femininity,” she spoke of her aunt in admiration, “but still strength and supporting the pastor and teaching the women of the church. That’s what I hope to be.”

With God by her side anything is possible and she is certain that “anything God challenges you to do He will equip you to do, and as long as He equips me I know that we will be fine.”

Check out Erica Campbell’s “I Luh God” video:

To learn more about the California Worship Center click here.

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