The Journey of Pastor Denise Garwood.
I was born in Kingston, Jamaica | West Indies. At the age of 12, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior after visiting a small church in Rollington Town named New Creation Church of God under the leadership of Pastor Alphanso Barnes.
Singing always gave me such peace and calmness, and it was at the very tender age of 12 that I first began to discover my intense passion and love for music.
Many memories flood my heart as I recall these tender years of singing in church choirs and various groups. One of the most powerful encounters that stand out is whenever I ministered in song there would be a fiery holy rush that would inundate the room and suddenly sweep through the congregation as the Holy Spirit's anointing rested upon my voice.
At the age of 21, I migrated to the Big Apple in the United States of America. It was such a joy for me when my father, Evan Brown, had finally sponsored me to come to the states.
After settling in my new home, I was introduced to a group by the name Spiritual Storm, who was managed by a young man named Dave Brown. I joined the group, and we began traveling to different states to minister. We partook in singing competitions and won titles such as "Best Gospel Group". It was a great season that eventually would prepare me for my true calling.
As I grew older, singing impacted my life in many supernatural ways, and I began to understand how important music was to GOD and how divinely powerful of a gift it truly is. There was one encounter where a man came to church with a gun, but after hearing me sing, the anointing on the song moved him to surrender his life to Jesus and then he was baptized.
Over the years, I dreamed of writing and recording songs, but I procrastinated about getting into the studio. Then one day, some very tragic experiences began to occur around me. It was during this time of healing that GOD used all these painful encounters to shift me toward my purpose. Thus, it was the beginning of the birthing pains that would soon lead me to deliver the single "Forever Thankful".
What really inspired me to really put out the single Forever Thankful was COVID-19.
In March 2020, COVID-19 struck, and it struck with excessive force. I was working as a health care provider when the first case of this demonic virus broke out in the hospital I was working in. I must confess that my coworkers, including me, became terrified.
While taken care of the many patients that had contracted the virus, the survival rate at this time was 1 out of 10; sometimes, no one survived the day. Death was all around us. It was a very sad and dark season.
The environment at work became a rapidly disease-infested hostile one as it seems the contaminated air had now triggered the asthma I battled with every day. But with the shortage of nurses rising, I decided to stay on the job under the agreement that I’d be allowed to take my asthma treatments as needed.
Despite the day-to-day health challenges I underwent and the grim clouds of death, panic, and fear that stared us in the face, I continued to help save lives all while trusting GOD for my own personal protection and healing. Some days were long-winded with feelings of unworthiness of His grace, but I found Him to be faithful and true. In His loving-kindness and tender mercies, which are new every morning, He looked beyond my faults and saw my needs. He kept me alive and safe. Eventually, my firm faith in GOD and my motivation to stand on His promises healed me from the asthma. It was yet another moment in time to be "Forever Thankful".
In April of 2020, only one month in, I finally broke down on the job because it was so overwhelming; an experience that is hard to put into words unless you were in it.
I continued to stay the course and fight the good fight of faith daily. It was in my daily pursuit to remain close to GOD’s heart that opened the heavens and I first heard the words: I’m forever thankful. I began to write what I heard.
Not long after recording Forever Thankful in the studio, I decided to make it complete by making a video for the song. That day, I remember running a little late for the appointment, so in the rush of things, as I made my way to the flight of stairs, I lost my balance and came tumbling down fourteen steps.
If my roommate had not been home, I believe I would have lost my life in the fall. I was rushed to the hospital with major head, neck, back, and arm injuries. The MRI and the CAT SCAN readings suggested to the doctors that surgery was needed. It was reported that with or without the surgery, I was not gong to be able to function normal again.
Once again, against the negative reports the doctors gave, I placed my total trust in my GOD while claiming my healing. I dared to believe the GOD that I served, and the LORD proved Himself to be faithful and true. I was healed once more and surgery was no longer needed.
This song is a living testimony, and while it may sound like a cliche, I sincerely am forever thankful. I pray this song will bring healing and change to the people of this world. I appeal to the backsliders and sinners to give God a chance before it’s too late. God specializes in the impossibilities and He loves you and has a purpose for your life.
I want to thank Dr. Neville and Lilleth Morgan and the T.O.G Radio Truth of Gospel radio family for standing with me in prayers and for being a strong support over the years.
I also want to thank the teamwork of Elder Neville Ferguson of Favvor Zone Radio and Minister Narda Goodson of His Royal Diadems Radio for always believing in me and constantly motivating me to go higher. You guys are “So Royal” and I’m forever thankful! Minister Narda those words of encouragement stays in my spirit and I’m forever thankful!!
A special thanks to my family for being supportive. Last but not least, endless love to my sons, church family, and my work family. I will always be forever thankful!
"All things shall perish from under the sun. Music alone shall live, music alone shall live, and never shall die". This was a very special song that I was taught as a child. It has stayed with me since.
With mature knowledge and understanding the power of anointed music, today, whenever I find myself going through any life changes or difficult situation, I always sing, and it changes the atmosphere around me. I can only pray and believe that those who listen to my music will be, not only touched or simply entertained, but transformed, comforted, and drawn closer to the heart of the LORD because I am Forever Thankful.