Read below for the FULL details of our interview with Minister Gloria Salisha-Lynn Williams…
How did you come up with the title UnMute Me?
As illustrated in the “UnMute Me” prayer (which is disclosed throughout the “UnMute Me” project), I have always been a very shy individual and a person who enjoys being isolated. I have always had a fear of speaking publicly and have never developed a great desire to have much dialogue privately [either], even with my family. As a result, my sister empathetically named me the family’s “functional mute.” =)
Along with being bashful to speak, I have always been even more timid to sing. It was actually a great struggle recording the project because I was afraid of singing out, full voice, in front of witnesses. I remember several times I would be in the studio with only my brother as an audience and I would literally begin to cry. At the time, I did not know why I was so scared or why I was so overwhelmed with the feeling “I can’t.”
When the notes finally came out, no matter how great anyone thought the vocals were, I was very displeased. I was frustrated because, even though I had never witnessed myself at “better”, I knew “better” was in me.
As I continued my journey I discovered that my struggle with recording had nothing to do with the fear of singing. The reason why the notes wouldn’t come out was much deeper than being bashful. The root of the issue was insecurity I had developed over countless years of me telling myself that I was not good enough. The tears I shed out of frustration were actually the manifestation of neglected weaknesses and suppressed insecurities I held inside.
I had spent all of my life attempting to hide my insecurities, not knowing that in doing so I was restraining myself from my full potential. I never knew how low-self esteem literally infests and cripples every aspect of your being. “UnMute Me” created an opportunity for me to face my weaknesses and challenged me to reach beyond my insecurities to strive for purpose.
- “UnMute Me”, which was titled by brother/producer/music director Kavoris Fruster and eventually manifested to “UnMute Me (Salisha-Lynn)”, was a perfect depiction of the message/journey that is portrayed throughout this project.
- “UnMute Me” is my prayer to God that I am ready to accept his calling and will over my life.
- Salisha-Lynn, my middle name, is symbolic of my center — my heart and love for God.
- “UnMute Me (Salisha-Lynn)” reflects a sincere story of how God’s love for me and my love for him empowered me–a very meek, shy, insecure person–to stand up against every thing, every one, and every force that bounded me from not believing in myself and challenged me to rise up to the purpose I was destined to fulfill.
- “UnMute Me” is a journey of me learning how to surrender myself completely by fully embracing God’s love. Through the journey “UnMute Me”, I allow myself to be driven by my heart and I discover my purpose by losing myself.
In order to be UnMuted you must first make a conscious effort to be muted–silence the world around you.
What message are you hoping to share with the tracks on your album?
I hope that this project delivers the message that dreams are meant to be achieved, life is meant to be abundant, and love is meant to be given and embraced. With God all things are possible! Take the limits off of your life and success. Expect the unexpected! Miracles are happening everyday!
If God can use a Mute as a messenger, imagine the possibilities he has in stored for you!
Which song is most special for you and why?
Um..Wow.. this is a very hard decision for me. All of my songs mean something uniquely special to me. [The] majority of my songs were given to me by God in the midst of personal worship so they are all near and dear to my heart. If I had to pick one that is “special” I would say “Simple Love.” When God gave me the melody “Simple Love”, I immediately recorded it on my computer and had it on repeat all night long. The song, which is as simple as it’s title, spoke directly to my spirit. It reminded me of the beauty of God’s simplicity and how we often fail to embrace or acknowledge God’s splendor because we complicate his instruction, his grace and his love.
Explain some of the challenges you face being a minister?
- being in a fishbowl – people watching your every move looking for a mistake
- feeling isolated
- having to endure great sacrifice for the better good of the mass
Do you feel that your gender impacts your ministry in any way? If so, how?
I can say that I do believe that, not only in just the religious/church environment, but in society as a whole there are definitely gender stereotypes and discrimination that exists (none of which the love of God can’t help us through 🙂 ). I, however, have been very fortunate to be nurtured under such great leadership, Doctor James E. Jones, Jr. of Grace Fellowship Worship Center. We are a church that truly lives by our name of “Grace” and we have an atmosphere that empowers everyone to treat and love each other in an unbiased way with the heart of God. So I have been ooooh…. so fortunate and grateful to not be the victim of negative impacts due to my gender regarding ministry thus far in my journey as an evangelist.
Did you ever imagine that you would release a CD or be a licensed minister?
NO! and ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NO! hehe. Although many people who witness me ministering may not believe the fact, I am still a very shy person and public display/speaking is one of my greatest fears. But with God I know that I can conquer all fears and as I continue to build confidence in him I know that day by day I will become more confident in my ability to not only face my fears, but to overcome them.
What was has been the biggest learning experience for you during this time?
I’ve learned that I am my greatest weakness and constraint but I’m also my greatest strength and greatest opportunity. When I take responsibility and accountability of how I manage my life and how I react to situations that are beyond my control, I empower and equip myself to transform every challenge into an opportunity–an opportunity to be stronger, wiser, and most importantly a blessing to myself and others.
What do you have in store for the future of your ministry?
- To be a positive role model for young women.
I know that God has instilled in me a heart for young women and a love to encourage them and empower them to KEEP GOING!
- I am beginning seminary in September to draw even closer to God and equip myself to be a more effective minister
[I] want to be a model that you can achieve whatever your heart desires if you keep God first and remember to encourage yourself.
- I have a vision to give back to young women
Through offering seminars/programs and scholarships
If you could share a word of advice or tip with other women or young ladies based on your experience, what would you share?
- Know that you are your greatest asset! Never be afraid to challenge yourself. If you don’t challenge yourself you will never know your full potential or obtain your greatest reward.
- Do not allow your fear to rob you of your destiny or your situation to distract you from your potential. Your greatest blessing can be discovered in your least desired circumstance!
- Love yourself and others! No force is greater than the power of love and with love you can conquer all!
Finally…Knowing where you are now and what you have overcome up until this point, what TWO words of advice would you share with your younger self?
- Love yourself and embrace how God created you and who you were created to be. Appreciate your uniqueness and know that your uniqueness, your purpose and your life matters!
- Never allow people, possessions, or circumstance distract you from being empowered to be your fabulous self! Remember that your boldness can help change the lives of many! Live life abundantly, humbly, and UnMuted!
For those of you located within the Virginia area, Gloria’s next speaking engagement will be at 6:00pm on Saturday, September 21. She will be part of the Young Christian Leaders’ Summit. Full Details can be found via EventBrite OR Facebook.
GET SOCIAL with Gloria!
- Tune in for SUNDAY SCHOOL!
WATCH Gloria’s message and compare how Evangelist Gloria Williams is quite different from the Gloria we are currently discussing!
- Check Out My Review of UnMute Me for #MUSICmonday!!! (a popular hash tag that you should start to use when marketing)
Here I’ve provided my review of Gloria’s album, UnMute Me (Salisha-Lynn) along with the initial responses of a few other reviewers.