June 8, 2018 by Administrator
Many people are shocked, then excited when they witness Trunae Green and her sister Trulyse Lands show up at a gig with their guitars.
“They are petite women and people think they’re little girls, yet they are gifted and talented women,” said their aunt, Pastor Shon Brooks-Kidd, another member of God’s Gurls, also known as GG. “The looks on people’s faces — when they plug up their instruments and start playing — it’s always the best response!”
And once they’ve gotten your attention, God’s Gurls wants your commitment.
“Music puts people in a different place. You can be in the most horrible mood and if you listen to the right music it can change your whole perspective,” said Trunae, who serves as music director, lead guitar, background singer and writer. “As it relates to music and ministry, we desire for our music to be life changing, to bring inspiration to people, to bring them to know God.”
Music in Their Veins
Born in the Atlanta-based Family Life Missionary Baptist Church 10 years ago, God’s Gurls presents a mix of contemporary Christian gospel, traditional gospel, jazz, R&B, and rap. Currently, the five-members are rounded out by Shakiera Brooks and Consuelo “Connie” Brown, prime lead singer. As they describe themselves: “God’s Gurls is a group of beautiful, saved, educated women who play and sing music as a band to glorify God.” They also run their own label, TruFaith Music LLC, and are managed by the sisters’ parents, Bishop Alfred T. Lands and Assistant Pastor Rosemary Lands.
Their story is a family story of generations of pastors and singers, so several of God’s Gurls grew up singing, dancing, playing instruments and otherwise expressing themselves through praise music. Shakiera, who is from New Jersey but joined the group after moving to Georgia to attend Spelman College, is now married to Rev. Darien Brooks, a vocalist, who is a cousin to Trunae and Trulyse and Shon’s nephew. The family affair keeps the women laughing and humble.
“Music can be life-changing. That’s why there are so many different genres of music,” said Pastor Shon, who sings lead and background vocals. “Depending on what mood you’re in, you have to be careful to what you listen to. If you’re blue and listen to blues, you can become even sadder. If you’re angry and listen to heavy metal, you can become angrier. It’s why we sing gospel. It’s our prayer that when people hear our music and our lyrics they’ll be led to Christ. They’ll say, ‘I want to know that God; I can have a relationship with that kind of Jesus.’”
God’s Gurls first album, released in 2012, is being updated and re-released early in 2018. The music is available on Amazon, (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NYUI24/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp), iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/gods-gurls/id567901230), and their website (https://www.onemilliongodsgurls.net/).
Trunae’s favorite song from the album is one she wrote, Psalm 40, just after her grandfather’s passing. It’s about turning to God, trusting his plan and having patience.
“God spoke to me and told me to turn to Psalm 40 and the melody and everything just came,” she said.
For Trulyse, who sings lead and background vocals and plays bass guitar and drums, picking one favorite song is next to impossible.
“All of them are favorites, each for a different reason,” Trulyse said. “I guess I relate best to the song entitled Sunday that encourage friends to get to know Jesus for real and stop playing! To see what He’s all about. The ones that encourage people to come to church and be a warrior. You may not understand yet but if you start speaking to Christ, you will.”
Music in Their Souls
God’s Gurls has given themselves a challenge to use their ministry to recruit one million women to also become God’s Gurls. They want women to become active in their spirits so they can live happier lives and do more for themselves, their families and their communities.
“We have a phenomenal campaign as part of our ministry. We talk to women about living a lifestyle to glorify God,” Shakiera said. “We want one million girls and women to join with us and take a stand in being women of God. Often times, we have people who say they are Christian but are not committed to the lifestyle. We are encouraging women and helping them know you really can live a life committed to God.”
Shakiera added that too often women tear each other down while God’s Gurls wants them to build each other up. The commitment includes a few serious yet achievable promises to: have a relationship with Christ; maintain abstinence until marriage; be a true friend; value education; share success, and respect one’s self and others.
Music and Money
Aside from growing their ministry, God’s Gurls said they want to learn as much about the business side of the music industry as possible – especially since they occupy a space where those who request the group can’t always meet their financial obligations.
“If your heart is right, we don’t mind being a blessing even if you can’t fully meet the financial obligations,” Trunae said, noting that there is a practical need to understand money and compensation. “We want to put out our very best. We want to have the best production and best tour. We want our stuff to be 5-star and that just can’t happen without money. Money is really a tool to further your goals. You also need resources to put work back into the community and to be helpful to the community.”
Trunae said that her mother often talks about being “free” in her ministry and that the concepts found in the dfree® Financial Freedom Movement align well with the goals of God’s Gurls. It’s helping them get a better handle on the music industry and their personal finances.
Shakiera noted that even though moving to Atlanta for college was a positive experience, the student loan debt that she now has is not. She said that, had she been introduced to dfree® earlier, she would have made different decisions about college. But, now that she and her husband are planning for their children’s futures, they’re using dfree® as a guide to become more successful.
Pastor Shon said she’s also brought the dfree® concepts back to Milwaulkee, Wisconsin where she lives.
“Often African Americans don’t like to discuss money because they don’t feel they have any. They don’t feel they are wealthy, so it’s not worth discussing,” Pastor Shon said. “If we’re only living check to check or robbing Peter to pay Paul, there’s not a lot of room for discussion because they are barely making it. We convince people there is a way. We use our music as a tool to minister and to get people to open up. Many people are afraid. They’ve been hurt and taken advantage of, so they need to know there is safety in Jesus.”
One of the top needs in her community, for instance, is for black families to buy life insurance.
“People are afraid to talk about life insurance because they are afraid to die,” Pastor Shon said. “We make them feel comfortable and that they are loved, and with God and family there is always a way to make it work.”
With their own work and that of their other signed artists, including Rev. Darien Brooks and rapper Brandon “B-Lat” Latimore, God’s Gurls sees great expansion over the next 10 years.
“God has given us this gift to go out and bring to others,” Trulyse said. “We’re blessed and we want to be a blessing to others.”
To become one of the million God’s Gurls, fill out the form on the GG website. Follow God’s Gurls on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @GodsGurls.