Gospel artist and founder of the On Stage Gospel video channel Charles Jerkins calls himself a “cowboy hat-wearing country guy from Newtonville, NJ” (outside of Atlantic City) who emerged from the Jerkins music dynasty, blazing a trail of his own. Raised in a family with 13 siblings, Charles’ brothers, Paul and Fred, are ministers within the Evangelical church.
While being brought up in a strict religious household, Charles admits that it was artists such as Michael Jackson who inspired him to become a singer. “I used to sing all of Michael’s tunes when I was younger – even though singing pop songs was not the way to go at the time, being from a God-fearing family,” admits Jerkins. “At the same time, I was inspired by (Gospel bandleader) Rance Allen, who was very successful with bringing Gospel music to the mainstream. In fact, many years later, the first church I joined was Rance’s parish in Toledo, Ohio.”
The music-making bug bit Charles at an early age as well. “When we were kids, brothers and I would record our vocals on one tape recorder, then play that back with one of us playing guitar onto another machine,’ Charles recalls. “We were cutting songs that way without really understanding that was how it is done.”
In the late 1990’s, Charles signed with J&M Records, which released the albums “Blessed,” and “Do It For Christ”. “I always felt in my heart that Gospel is what I’m meant to sing and record,” says Charles. “It’s the music and the spirit within that moves my soul and got me through times good as well as sad.”
Unfortunately, while getting his recording career off the ground, Charles’ son was seriously injured after being hit by an automobile when the young man was a child. This resulted in Charles taking care of his son until the latter passed recently. “My son was everything to me,” Charles explained. “I was with him on the day he died. Doctors said he wouldn’t live past his childhood years but he beat the odds and lived to the age of 26. On his deathbed, he said that I should continue living my dreams and don’t give up, no matter what comes my way – and that is exactly what I’m doing.”
That dream is Charles’ new online platform, On Stage Gospel, his goal is in his words, “To give new and upcoming Gospel artists, choirs and ministers a platform to be seen by thousands through the internet. We already have music videos and interview shows on the channel. Our next step is to bring on board pastors, churches, Gospel artists and producers of faith-based films to create content for On Stage Gospel as well as on camera VJ’s to host music video shows.”
Charles Jerkins is a man of conviction and spirit – all of which are directed towards the goal of having On Stage Gospel become the go-to channel for audiences who are hungry for music and entertainment for the heart and the soul.