- Malisa Payne
Interview: Rev. Gloria Bradley
“I was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, during segregation, though I didn’t stay there long. Just a few years into my life I was scooped up and raised in South Carolina, later to settle in New Jersey--and that is where Jesus found me. I was widowed, in my mid-forties with four children, the youngest being 16 at the time. I was sitting in a social club one sunny afternoon drinking a rum and coke with a twist of lemon when someone asked me, “Gloria what are you doing here?” Before I knew what was coming out of my mouth I answered, “Waiting for Jesus.” I have been His ever since. Actually, I was His long before this time but this was when I finally got it.
I see myself as a loyal person, one that follows God absolutely. I live and breathe Jesus. I don’t know what that means to anybody else but that is my life. My life is all about the Lord. I love helping people. I consider myself a fairly decent listener. I am teachable, because if you are not teachable you can’t teach.
In my life I have been hurt, misguided, and overlooked which had caused a struggle within me to really trust people before God healed me. When people first meet me they get the impression that I am mean or aloof. They wonder why I am not enveloping them. It’s because I’m praying. I am waiting for God to tell me that it’s okay. And He does answer me. He has shown me real love, commitment, honor, and fellowship. I am a friend to many and a mother to grown men and women--some that I did'nt even give birth to.
Initially, when someone sees me they tend to think that I’m standoffish but once they get to know me they say, “I didn’t know you were this crazy.” Once someone has a conversation with me they realize how friendly I am and that my passions are deep and wide.
There are many things that I would love to share with the world but my love for jazz is at the top of that list. My favorite musicians are the Beegie Adair Trio, Wynton Marsalis, Quincy Jones, and Joe Sample.”