Inform. Inspire. Impact
One year ago, Delisa Ferguson said her faith took a hit with the death of her husband, gospel recording artist Japheth “Lyrically Blessed” Ferguson, who succumbed to health challenges. He was described as a person who had blessed thousands of people through his music ministry. Now his widow, Delisa Ferguson has launched the Japheth “Lyrically Blessed” Ferguson Foundation which is aimed at extending the impact of the ministry of “Lyrically Blessed” through mentorship, outreach (community service), and health awareness.
Ferguson said the thrust of the foundation will be youth mentorship, as “Lyrically Blessed” was one of those people who gave back to the youth, and “poured” into young people when he was alive. The aim is to also assist the less fortunate through feeding programs, clothing drives and to assist through health awareness and health education.
The goal is to inform, inspire and impact.
According to Ferguson, in the days and months that followed her husband’s death she had many questions – and still does as she said her life has been an emotional roller coaster and not easy.
“My faith had taken a hit. I had so many questions. I still do. In the midst of all the pain, the hurt, the anger, and the uncertainty of what tomorrow would bring, I was forced to fully trust and lean on what I’ve been taught for so many years growing up in the church. God has been my refuge and my strength,” she said.
Ferguson said her husband taught her through his ministry and his lifestyle, that worship is always due to God, no matter the conditions.
“I felt the arms of my protection and peace of our loving heavenly Father wrap around me. In that moment I knew that everything was going to be alright. God showed himself strong … stronger than ever before within the past year of my life than any other time that I could remember. He placed me and my kids [twins Japheth Jr., and Jaylah] on the hearts of people [who] prayed for us and who poured into our lives spiritually, morally, and financially. The support has been overwhelming and without their obedience to God to reach out to me and my children, I don’t know where we would’ve been today,” she said.
Christian Massive, Eman, Najie Dunn, Christ Gang, Denzil Rolle & Friends, and Shaniqua Hanna-Thurston performed during the Foundation launch event at Life Changers Ministries International, Bacardi Road, hosted by Keshagen Jamaal Adderley and Antonia Lightbourne.
According to Ferguson, the Foundation will be funded predominantly through sponsorship.
Ferguson said the year since her husband’s death was “by far the hardest most traumatic season” of her life to date.
“There is not a person that has gone through … going through, or will in the near future encounter some form of traumatic disruption to their lives. One thing stands sure among us all – it’s not what happens to us that will, but how we choose to respond to what happens.”
“Someone told me if the purpose of this foundation is to keep Jay alive, then it’ll be a challenge. If the purpose is to showcase that I can do it, then it’ll be a challenge – but if the purpose is to extend the impact of his ministry, then you will be okay,” she said.
She described the Japheth “Lyrically Blessed” Ferguson Foundation as a movement that she hopes will alter the mindset of the current and future generations.
Prior to his death – in his testimony he spoke to seven years of tears and struggles on an imperfect walk with his Savior that was his life after he gave his life to the Lord in 2010. He said that everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but that he still did his best to use the gift God gave to him. He added that he would minister through song until he had no more song left in him.
The gospel artist was well-known for always singing. He sang whatever he heard on the radio, he sang in shower, in
the streets, and at school – whether it was rapping, chanting, free-styling or singing.
“You would always hear me before you saw me,” he wrote in his biography.
“Seven years ago, God opened my eyes and helped me to realize that I had been using his gift, for all the wrong reasons and that it was time to come into his purpose for my life.”
Since his “eyes were opened,” he wrote that he had been on a progressive movement for God’s kingdom, and that even though he fell along the way, throughout his stumbles, he said God did not forsake him. Because of that he wrote he was determined to keep his eyes steadfast on God and keep his words in his mouth and sing his Savior’s praises to the top of his lungs to bring honor to his name.
“His family was always his main priority. [He was a] proud husband and father. A mighty man of God, so pure and humble. The way he loved me and our children was evident for all to see and feel. To say that I love and miss my husband is a grave understatement. It’s a huge void in our hearts that can never be filled,” said Ferguson. “God carried me and my kids through this past year. I didn’t think I could’ve made it this far along without Jay by my side. I probably would not have, had I tried to do it on my own, but, God’s grace was, and still is sufficient,” she said.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.
Education: Saint Augustine’s College, BA in Mass Communication