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  Sheri Jones-Moffett  
 
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When asked about her successful gospel music career which has span more than two decades, Grammy Award nominee Sheri Jones-Moffett simply says, “When I decided to make music my career at 15 years old, I’m just glad my parents had the presence of mind to know my gifts were bigger than the environment I was raised in.”

When asked about her successful gospel music career which has span more than two decades, Grammy Award nominee Sheri Jones-Moffett simply says, “When I decided to make music my career at 15 years old, I’m just glad my

parents had the presence of mind to know my gifts were bigger than the environment I was raised in.”

A Memphis native and Pastor’s daughter, Moffett credits a simple but happy childhood in “the woods” for her resourcefulness and ability to survive through tough times in life and the demanding music industry. “My grandmother had a water well in the yard. I now know that if you can survive in the country, you can survive anywhere,” said Moffett.

Starting as a teenager singing with a Memphis-based community choir, a desire to do even more with her gift was ignited by the required regional travel. Seven years later, Moffett was introduced to Donald Lawrence, who has become her long-time career mentor and the writer of her award-winning hit single, “Encourage Yourself.” “I don’t make a move in my career without his consultation,” said Moffett. She later partnered with her god brother Ted, who formed the duo Ted and Sheri and went on to perform with the likes of gospel heavy hitters, such as the Clark Sisters and The Tri-City Singers. Moffett also performed and traveled with Donnie McClurkin, Donald Lawrence, and Kurt Carr, eventually launching her solo career.

Now a mother of two and in her eleventh year of marriage to husband Dion Moffett, Moffett reflects on a time early in the marriage that she’ll never forget. “We had been married three years and I was six months pregnant with our first child. I was invited to travel to New York to perform. I didn’t realize until after the show that I’d been in labor while on stage and was already nine centimeters dilated.” Moffett was rushed to White Plains Hospital, where she delivered Khadera “Khady” Moffett, a 1 pound, 5 ounce baby girl.

Recently celebrating her daughter’s eighth birthday, Moffett remembers as if it were yesterday how a quick trip to the Big Apple turned into a three-month stint as a guest in a Ronald McDonald House near New York Presbyterian Hospital, where the baby was eventually transported.

“My passion is overwhelmingly loyal to this organization. My husband’s wedding ring could fit around our baby’s thigh. There were so many days of ups and downs. We had to find the strength every day to speak life to this baby and teach her how to fight, but when we needed somewhere to cry and be vulnerable, the Ronald McDonald House gave us a safe haven to do that without having to explain anything to anybody. This organization saved our lives and gave us a chance to connect with others going through similar crises.”

Out of this crisis came the emotion to sing the hit song, “Encourage Yourself,” written by Donald Lawrence (Tri City Singers) for which Moffettt has become known worldwide.

“He wrote the song for someone else but wanted me to infuse the emotion of what I had been through. Donald called a month after we had taken the baby home from the hospital and said, ‘God wants me to save this for you. Take all that you went through in the hospital, and let it come out in this song.’ By saying yes, it has set the stage for the birth of everything else which has followed.”

Moffett cites that experience for teaching her to write from where she lives, understanding more fully that more often than not, that’s where other people are living as well. “Now I know how to live life, pay attention and share what I’ve learned in the process,” said Moffett.

With a new album released, Moffett’s future is bright with plans that include being an author and empowerment coach. “Among other things, I’d love to publish something for Neonatal Intensive Care Units to give parents going through the same thing a little vitamin of encouragement and information about what to expect.”

Set to perform at this year’s McDonald’s Choir Showcase in May, Moffettt is looking forward to sharing new music and finally getting the chance to celebrate the event’s title sponsor and what she calls its institution of hope.

“I have been waiting on the opportunity to help promote the message of the Ronald McDonald House, and the McDonald’s Choir Showcase is my chance. I’m excited about performing, but even more so about spreading the word that the McDonald’s Corporation doesn’t just give the community good food, it gives hope and safety during the most difficult time a family can face. I can’t wait to let people know how necessary it is to support this organization.  If I can share just a small amount of inspiration … if that one moment is created, my job is done.”

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