Le'Andria Johnson, award-winning singer, groundbreaking "Sunday Best" champ and Christian minister, has prompted confusion among some of her supporters after she shared photos of a revealing dress she wore to the 2014 BET Celebration of Gospel held over the weekend at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.
"Why [is] her cleavage showing so much," asks fan Eraina Wilborne on Facebook, where Pastor Johnson shared photos of one outfit she wore to the BET event. "Personally I practically LOVE her story and not to mention her passion but I just I am just (sic) very surprised she is showing so much at a gospel event......between her and Meagan Goode (sic) I just wonder who they're trying to arouse, their husbands or America....I'm just saying."
Another admirer, Yvette Weathersby, responded in kind, writing, "I don't get it. Beautiful dress, but as a representative of Christ her clothing needs to be less revealing."
While some commenters suggested that those leaving critical remarks for Pastor Johnson were being "judgmental," supporter LaVerne Wilson posted the Bible passage 1 Timothy 2:9 about the Apostle Paul's desire for "women to be modest in their appearance."
"Now honestly, this scripture truly taught & reminded me of what God expects from us as women!!! We as true men and women of Christ dare not dispute God's Word," wrote Wilson. "I really don't think that people are intentionally judging Pastor Le'Andria Johnson to discredit her, but are basically commenting about her dress per what God's Word says... She is a beautiful, talented, and spirit filled woman of God, but 'WE' as true children of God, should not dispute over what thus says the Lord."
Johnson, known for her popular gospel songs like "I Shall Leap Into My Destiny" and Grammy-winning "Jesus," has been leading the Imperfect People Changing Ministries in Hapeville, Ga., for nearly two years. Also the victor of season three of BET's popular "Sunday Best" program and a multiple Stellar Award winner, Johnson has previously been the subject of controversy due to having a fourth child while being unmarried.
Johnson, 31, said at the time in response to her critics that she was not condoning being pregnant out of wedlock, but that she was not interested in hiding her pregnancy. She insisted that she would continue to serve God.
"I'm not going to stop because you think I should stop. I don't serve you, I serve God," she said. "I'm letting you know that God still blesses and He uses whoever he wants."
Meagan Good, another visible Christian celebrity with a strong following, also has been criticized for her choice of dress at public events, such as the 2013 BET Awards where she appeared wearing a low-cut blue dress. Good, married to Hollywood executive and ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister DeVon Franklin, said "her heart was in the right place" when she chose to wear the dress.
"I know that there will be other dresses down the line that people probably won't like," the popular actress said after the event. "My relationship with God is tight, and I don't think God is concerned about those kinds of things, and if He ever was to say, 'Don't dress like that,' then I wouldn't do it. But I don't feel that in my spirit so I don't feel convicted about it."
Johnson's story, meanwhile, which includes being twice divorced and losing her home to foreclosure, and her undeniable talent have won her many admirers, although she credits God for her successes.
"There's life in a dead situation," Johnson has said. "God can use whomever he wants to use. When I don't give myself too much credit, I know God is taking care of the situation. It's not me. I'm just glad to be a willing vessel."
Pastor Johnson, the daughter of Christian ministers, recently launched a "Position & Power" conference tour that will have her visit 12 cities for three days over a period of 12 months.
In the photo below, she performs at the BET Celebration of Gospel event in Los Angeles with fellow singer Kem.