Jeremiah Cummings: Classic Soul Finds Salvation
By Barbara Cornick and Scott Ross
The 700 Club
If you love R & B, chances are you have at least one album by the 1970s chart-topping group Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. Their hits include “The Love I Lost” and the classic “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”.
As first tenor, Jeremiah Cummings enjoyed wealth, fame, and the fulfillment of his every dream.
“Always wanted to travel. Always wanted to meet Stevie Wonder,” says Jeremiah. “Always wanted to meet the Temptations and wanted to be on The Merv Griffin Show. Did all of that.”
Jeremiah’s love of music started at an early age.
“[I was] in music all my life from the first time I saw the Ed Sullivan Show in the early 50s and saw Elvis Presley, James Brown, and Little Richard. I started writing when I was four or five years old.”
Jeremiah was born in Augusta, GA, and was raised by his grandmother. He never knew his father. What was it like growing up without a dad?
“Well, it didn’t really affect me until I was about 37,” he says. “I would begin to realize how empty my life had been not having a male figure. It really hurt me a lot.”
Despite the pain of Jeremiah’s childhood, his love of music kept him going. His “big break” came when group leader Harold Melvin needed another “Blue Note” in the early ‘70s.
Jeremiah landed the job. For nearly a decade his career with The Blue Notes gave him everything he needed. But “everything” wasn’t enough.
“There was something empty all through my life. I kept coming to stages where I fulfilled dreams but there was something missing.”
Jeremiah thought he found the answer in the Nation of Islam as a close associate of Louis Farrakhan. Jeremiah left The Blue Notes and devoted himself to Islam and Dr. Farrakhan.
“I met a man that reminded me a lot of myself and reminded me of the father that I never had. He began to fill that void and that emptiness.”
Jeremiah spent a lot of time with Minister Farrakhan for close to 10 years. “[I] loved him like he was my father,” he says.
When asked, “What is it that many people find fulfilling in [Islam]?” he says, “We saw this father image that we didn’t see growing up as children. We saw a man that was serious. He always told us that he meant what he said and he said what he meant. So we could depend on his word.”
So instead of music, Jeremiah now depended on Islam and Minister Farrakhan to fill the emptiness. But in time, Jeremiah realized that something was still missing.
“I had a dialogue in 1996 with a gentleman named Dr. Jack Evans, and in that dialogue Jesus kept coming out. I had studied the Bible so I could not deny the Scriptures that he was giving. I began to seek and to search. I went on a 13-month study of the Bible. I went on a 43-day fast seeking who Jesus really is. After the 13 months of studying, the eight and nine hours a day and 43 days of fasting, God filled me with the Holy Spirit and just totally, supernaturally totally changed my life… I was in tears. I wrote a letter to Minister Farrakhan, resigned from the Nation of Islam, and in turn he wrote me back, would not accept my resignation but I had come too far.”
Now Jeremiah is an international evangelist. Thousands have heard his story and given their lives to God because of it. But there’s one person close to Jeremiah who hasn’t accepted Jesus as his Savior, and that’s Minister Farrakhan. Jeremiah prays for him.
“I’ve gotten a letter from him recently. I’m going to try to remain a friend of his that I may be able to share a lot of the things that I have discovered. There’s no animosity. There’s no anger. I consider him still a friend of mine.”
Since Jeremiah became a Christian, he doesn’t feel the emptiness that fame, wealth, and music could never fill. He’s got a new mission in life, a new purpose.
“My objective in life is to preach the Gospel to show that Jesus is Lord. To show that salvation is through Him. That all men -- and this is the will of God -- that all men be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth."
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