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Megachurch Pastor Mike Jr. is taking gospel music by storm, but who is he?

Pastor Mike Jr
Pastor Mike Jr at The 37th Stellar Gospel Music Awards, 2022 |

Pastor Mike McClure Jr. snagged top awards at the 37th Stellar Gospel Music Awards over the weekend. The Christian Post spoke with the 38-year-old to get a closer look at the man and minister behind the great honor.  

McClure, the leader and founder of the Rock City Church in Forestdale, Alabama, won a total of six Stellar Awards, including Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Male Artist of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year and Album of the Year for I Got It: Single's Ministry Vol. 1.

For a decade, McClure put his music aside to lead his expanding ministry. Before starting a church, however, he regularly led worship at his father's ministry and revival events. 

"My entire life. I've loved God,” the artist shared in a recent interview with CP.

McClure comes from a long line of ministry leaders. His grandfather, Bishop Calvin Woods, was the president of Dr. Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 

"I come from a family that was in rich tradition,” he explained. "My father was a pastor, so serving God and loving people has been embedded in my DNA.” 

In 2009, at 25 years old, McClure started a church with 10 friends. Within a year, that church grew to include thousands of people. 

"Within two years, we were filling up arenas in the city of Birmingham, transforming lives,” he testified. 

Still, music was always at the heart of who he is. 

"I clearly heard the Lord tell me, ‘For the next 10 years, love God, love your family, love your city, love your church, and the world will come looking for you,’” McClure recalled. "So when I started my church, I literally didn't do anything music related for the most part.”

In 2019, 10 years later, he released his first solo single, “Big,” and “the rest is history.” The song made it to the top Top 20 Billboard charts, including Top Gospel Songs and Gospel Airplay.

The pastor told CP that his goal is “very simple.” 

“It's to inspire people and help push them to Jesus,” he noted. “Gospel music is the only genre of music where the message plus the melody equals a miracle.” 

"For me, the problem isn't music. It isn't the gospel. Sometimes, we have this weird way of making people feel unworthy of the Gospel,” the Birmingham pastor explained. 

McClure said his approach is to be "transparent and an inspiration" and show people that if "you trust God and dream big, He will come through for you.”

He said his goal is not just to accumulate awards or to be famous but to help those who are "on the margins, the least, the lonely, the left out, and the loss." He wants to help people see that God loves them and has a purpose for them. 

"Influence is better than money,” he declared. “So my goal is to have influence. So that mother who has a son in court was a good kid; he just made one bad decision. We can call the judge and say, ‘Hey, sir, this is a good kid, he didn’t mean it,' and help transform lives on a very real level.”

McClure was incredibly humbled by his recognition at this year's Stellar Awards. 

"No words can describe how I felt. I'm sitting in the room with Marvin Sapp whose 'Never Would Have Made It' [song] got me through some of the most difficult times in life. Then you look over there's Erica Campbell. Then you look to your right, there's James Fortune and there's [Kirk] Franklin. So for me, it's still surreal,” he told CP. 

He said he is just "a kid from Birmingham" who is crazy enough to dream.

McClure was named Artist of the Year for two consecutive years, something that has never happened in the history of the Stellar Awards.

“It's just surreal, and for a lot of independent artists to walk up to me after and say, ‘Man, thank you, you given me hope, you give me inspiration,’ it was worth it!” the gospel performer concluded.

For more information on McClure, his music and ministry, visit his website.

Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: jeannie.law@christianpost.com She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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