Brittany Campbell grew up in a family of talented singers. (Knyla Harris photo)

BY MIKE FUHRMAN

Brittany Campbell is a mother, a daughter, and a force for good in our community.

For the past 20 months, she’s worked as the shelter manager for My Sister’s House, helping domestic violence victims in Iredell County and the surrounding region.

She’s been inspiring friends, family members and church congregations with her voice for years. Singing is a central part of her being, Campbell said, because it’s how she communicates with God and one of the ways that He works through her.

So it’s hardly surprising that she was named the winner of the 7th Annual Gospel’s Finest Singing Competition, which raises money for the Circle of Giving’s scholarship program.

Whether she’s singing with the choir at Christ Cathedral of Deliverance in Statesville, at weddings or funerals, Campbell has one goal when she picks up the microphone: to glorify God and uplift others.

“I want Him to be pleased. I want lives to be changed,” Campbell explained. “I just ask God to have his way and flow through me.”

There was plenty of “flowing” in Mac Gray Auditorium on April 28 as she performed “Oh How Precious” in the annual singing competition.

“Brittany’s performance didn’t just help her win the competition,” Gospel’s Finest organizer Felina Harris said. “It touched everyone in the room.”

Campbell grew up in a family of talented singers. Her dad, Jeffrey Minor, and grandfather, Henry Campbell, sang with the Mighty Blazing Stars. Her grandfather — whom Brittany likens to Joe Jackson –instilled the confidence in her at a young age that she had talent.

“Every time I would sing he would be so happy,” she said, joyous at the memory of her grandfather, who passed away in 2005. “That’s all he wanted.”

Today, Campbell gets to share the family’s gift with her 7-year-old son Trey.

Campbell has never had professional training. Her ability has been developed over a lifetime, shaped by choir directors who have helped her along the way. Darrius Hopkins, who was the director of the Statesville Middle School Gospel Choir when she was a student there two decades ago, gave Campbell a gift when he asked her to sing “Now Behold the Lamb” during a concert.

“I sang it in front of the whole school,” she said. “Oh, my God, I was scared to death.”

Singing might come naturally for Campbell, but the idea of competing makes her nervous. Even talking about it brings back painful childhood memories, when she was routinely passed over for others who were prettier or smarter, she said.

Two years ago, after Harris asked her to compete in Gospel’s Finest and she agreed, Campbell had to withdraw from the competition after the tragic death of her 32-year-old cousin, Roshaude Campbell, who was like a brother.

In the grief and sorrow that followed, “I couldn’t find what I needed,” she explained.

Earlier this year, Harris asked Campbell to submit a couple of songs to the committee that selects the contestants for Gospel’s Finest. When she was chosen to be one of the eight performers, Campbell admits she began to feel anxious.

But on the afternoon of the competition, she was able to put her nerves aside and provide her testimony through Kathy Taylor’s profound lyrics. Later, when she watched a video of her performance, she felt gratified by the audience’s reaction.

“I felt like I let God have his way,” Campbell said. “I could see everybody was moved. … It made me feel encouraged. I was humbled. I am God’s choice.”

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