Jonathan Butler talks to May Olusola about his Christian walk.
May Olusola: Thank you Mr. Butler for agreeing to let me interview you.
Jonathan Butler: The pleasure is mine
May Olusola: What got you started in the gospel arena?
Jonathan Butler: I was saved twenty five years ago. All this while I have been serving the Lord and doing what he called me to do. People do not know it but I used to be a worship leader in my church in England before I came to America. The Lord has taken me through a journey that he personally called and anointed me for. It has always been important for me not to try and do anything myself but to wait on God’s timing.
May Olusola: Why did he decide to switch at this point in time?
Jonathan Butler: Gospel music has always been my calling. I did not get into it all these years because the Lord did not give me the release. Now I have the release. Prior to this release, I was a witness for Christ at all times.
May Olusola: How did you know you had gotten the release?
Jonathan Butler: I waited for a long time before I heard from God. Some years ago in South Africa, God spoke to me during a service in one of the Rhema churches that I attended. He told me that he will use me in both worlds. As a Jazz artist and a gospel artist. Four years ago in the Bahamas, a close Pastor friend of mine invited me to be part of a convention he was hosting. I willingly and gladly obliged.
He waited for God for a long time. Some years ago in South Africa, God spoke to Jonathan during a service in one of the Rhema churches that he will use him in both worlds. During that convention, I was prophesized to that it was time for me to embark on the journey to the realm of gospel. This was a confirmation of what had been spoken to my spirit. That was the beginning to my entrance to gospel. As you know, there are different kinds of prophets. There are prophets that are not called to sit in the church but to be on the outside working for the kingdom of God.
May Olusola: How do you get your inspiration to write your songs?
Jonathan Butler: I wait on the Lord to bring songs to me. I go through a season of waiting. My songs come from the throne of God. Even when I was in the Jazz arena, I got my song under inspiration from the throne of God. When there is an anointing on a person’s life, God’s presence will always be there, great or small. I believe the anointing of God has been with me for a long time.
May Olusola: Do you think your role as a gospel artist is impacting people?
Jonathan Butler: It is not my place to determine that but I hope that is the case. One day, I was opportuned to meet a very great gospel artist, Andrea Crouch. On seeing me, he commended how well I sang gospel. I felt very elated that a great artist like Andrea took note of my presence in gospel. I try to share with the body of Christ that our salvation has been paid by the blood of Jesus Christ; it is important to do according to the word so you are authentic most of the time.
May Olusola: How did you come about the classical gospel album with Juanita Bynum?
Jonathan Butler: I was approached by a lady during the stellar awards about doing a classical gospel album. That same night, the same lady approached Juanita separately and put forth the idea of a classical gospel album. It turns out we were both interested because there was nothing of its kind out there. It was an awesome project. I really enjoyed working with Juanita.
May Olusola: What should your fans expect from now on?
Jonathan Butler: More anointing and more work for God. My heart’s desire is to a blessing to the body of Christ. I want to be settled in who he is and what he has called me to do. I want to also be open and available for the Holy Spirit to help me do what God has called me to do.
May Olusola: Do you see yourself ever preaching?
Jonathan Butler: I can see myself actually preaching from a pulpit. The only thing is God will have to confirm it to my wife who I have been married to for twenty four years. I do everything with her. Any major decision I have to take, my has to approve. I have come to the realization that I will not mind being a pastor despite my knowledge of what pastors go through. I have a lot of friends that are pastors and it is a very challenging task. It does not really bother me. My passion is the word of God and in the depth of my soul, I will like to be a pastor. It may happen during my lifetime and it may not happen. It all depends on what the will of God is for my life.
May Olusola: What is your message to the Youths?
Jonathan Butler: I want these men to know that it is very important to try to be a good father, a husband and friend. They should have a heart for other people and be givers. The bible says “God is the vine and we are the branches.” Since we are created like God, we should try to live as God’s children. We should be like God in our daily lives. The legacy is to love the Lord with all our mind and strength because God is so gracious and loves us dearly.
May Olusola: Are you involved in any charitable projects?
Jonathan Butler: I am involved in projects in South Africa. I love South Africa very much and anything to do with it concerns me deeply. I am involved in helping to solve the current aid crisis. I am a part of Artist for a New South Africa. I thank God for everything and I am ever so grateful for everything he has done.
May Olusola: At this point, you have answered all the questions I had for you. Thank you so much Mr. Butler for granting me this interview.
Jonathan Butler: The pleasure is mine and God bless you.
May Olusola is the Publisher of MannaEXPRESS.