When Ministry Meets Music

Joiterius Marshall

When the Lord called Joiterius Marshall to a life of ministry, he was hesitant. The 18-year old from Macon didn’t know if he could be a minister. When his ministry mixed with his music, though, something clicked.

“I was called to preach at a young age, but I was so unsure, I was nervous. I started denying (the call),” he said. “Eventually I just took a chance, took the shot and one of my former pastors ordained me in 2013.”

Marshall began singing with his mother and sister at age five. He transitioned to singing with the choir and leading the worship team at church. Leading worship is always meaningful, he said.

“Every time I lead worship, it’s something different. Sunday by Sunday you’re growing, you’re understanding, you’re learning, you’re gleaning. There’s just a lot that goes into being consistent in leading worship.”

Marshall’s relationship with music is special. He fell in love at a young age with greats like James Brown, Otis Redding and Michael Jackson, one of his favorites.

For Marshall, music is more than just notes and lyrics. It’s something that shapes everything from his studies to his prayer life. Music is his lifeline, he said.

This is Marshall’s third year at the Otis Music Camp, a two week long musical journey inspired by the late soul singer, Otis Redding. Participants learn skills ranging from audio production and engineering to stage presence and, of course, singing. Every year has helped him grow as better artist and worship leader, he said.

“I knew it was something that was going to change my life,” he said.

Becoming a worship leader and a minister requires a certain type of mentorship. When it comes to giving advice to other young artists, Marshall said the most important thing is knowing yourself.

“Take time to understand your purpose,” he said. “It’s always good to find yourself and realize you are set apart and that you’re unique.”

Over time, Marshall feels like he’s discovered new parts of himself. He’s gained the confidence to try out song writing. At this year’s camp, he recorded one his songs, “Amaze Me,” a song drawn from his relationship with God.

“I chose to recognize him in a way. Tell him how amazing he is and the things that he’s done,” he said. “I just wanted to let him know that I’m satisfied. I’m thankful. I’m amazed and shocked, because no other man and no other god can do the things that he can do.”

Marshall said there’s a message he wants to communicate with all of his music. He said he never wants to seem insincere or that he’s trying to do anything other than worship.

“I attach a lot of personality to what I do. There’s nothing fake, I’m not putting on a show. I really want people to understand me through my music. I think it’s something that every artist should aim for.”