When acclaimed Nigerian gospel music artist, Frank Edwards released his first album, “The Definition”, in 2008, Christ Embassy Church’s Loveworld Records produced the album. The same year, on the first night at the Church’s hugely attended “Night of Blaze” meeting, his album sold a reported over 100,000 copies, and on the second night it was sold out. After the event, Loveworld Records gave him his first payment of 1,000,000.00 Naira (about US$3,000.00; ZAR45,000.00), which was a significant amount, considering his tough upbringing.
A mother’s advice
He called his mum to tell her the news of the album’s success and how much he had been paid. His mum said to him, “You know this is your First Fruits. Leave it to them”. This was the largest amount he had ever earned. Neither him nor his mother had touched such a significant amount before. He recounts how he grew up selling vegetables and small goods with his mother in the streets of Enugu in Nigeria. His mother didn’t have any money and he expected her to say this is a breakthrough for the family, but she insisted they give the money back to the church.
Frank started singing at the age of ten and learnt to play the piano from his father. As he was growing up, during selling breaks with his mother, she took him to Scripture Union meetings everyday. As a result, he became a born-again Christian in his early teenage years. He grew up very fond of his mother and valued the sacrifices she made for him and his six siblings.
He obliged, listened to his mother, and asked them to keep the money.
Declining an unusual request that seemed profitable
As a follow-up to his album, Loveworld Records flew him to South Africa to do his first video. While shooting, he met some producers and promoters who loved his music. They wanted to promote his music and circulate it all over the world, but they had an unusual request.
They asked Frank if he could replace the name “Jesus” on his songs with “God” so that his music could also appeal to those whom the name “Jesus” offended as well.
The offer placed on the table was good. After introspecting and meditation, God told him that if he took the option, he wouldn’t last, so he rejected the offer and went back home to Nigeria after shooting his video. His manager believed this was a mistake, but the conviction in his heart told him that it was ok.
Then God started to do his thing…
One day, someone who had been hugely blessed by his music, sent her staff to look for him and called him. She said God had placed it on her heart to do something for him. She called him to their offices and handed him a gift envelope. He opened the envelope and found USD10,000.00.
The following week, someone else called him, and gave him a similar huge gift.
The following week, someone else called him and said, “Where do you stay?” After telling her, she said, “No, Ikeja is noisy. How do you concentrate and make your music there?”
“How would you like to move to VGC?”, referring to an upmarket surburb in Nigeria.
He laughed, and knowing how much even the land costs there, said, “You know I’d love to, but I have a lot of other things that I’d like to do with money now”.
She said, “When would you like to move?”
“I’ll work on it,” he said thinking that she wanted him to pay for it.
The next day she sent trucks to his home and offered him her furnished house in VGC, where he currently lives.
Meeting Don Moen
Then he met leading world gospel artist, Don Moen at an event. He just wanted to get a photo shot with Don, his icon. As Don Moen looked at him, he shouted, “Ah, Frank Edwards… I’ve been listening to your music. Look at my phone, all these are your songs. I’ve been saying, any time if I ever see you, we must do something together.”
Puzzled, Frank wondered, “Don Moen knows my name?”
Don proposed that he would come to Frank Edwards’ home studio and record with him there, and then he actually came, and they composed songs together. In order to complete the story, Don invited him to his own house in Nashville, Tenessee, USA, for them to record the other leg there.
“God doesn’t make empty promises”, says Frank Edwards, “and when He is doing His thing, he doesn’t want any man to take the glory.”
After the visit to the US and the completion of the album, Don Moen, said “What can we do to help the upcoming artists in Africa? Let’s start a new company together, I’ll be the President and you’ll be the vice President.”
Knowing the wealth of experience that Don Moen and Integrity Music brought to the table this was a dream-come-true for Frank. From hawking in the streets of Enugu to being the Vice President of one of the biggest gospel music record labels in Africa.
Today, Frank Ugochukwu Edwards, who was born on July 22, 1989, is a multi-instrumentalist, keyboard specialist, worship leader and member of the Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s Presidential band in Christ Embassy church. He is the founder of Rocktown Records, which is home to recording artists such as himself and many others. He has six albums and many hit songs to his name and has established himself as one of the leading gospel artists in Nigeria and Africa.
Listen to him tell his testimony
About The Author
Desmond Mapfumo is a Mindset Coach, Startup Builder and Consultant. He is a Strategy, Systems and Maximization Expert. He is the Founder and Contributing Editor For Inspiration Media Publications. Inspiration Media is member of the Rebirth Group, which he also founded and leads as the Executive Chairman and CEO. Desmond is a writer, speaker, teacher, mentor and trainer.