From creating megahits in the 90s and 2000s to becoming a megachurch pastor, Montell Jordan has carved out a musical journey all his own. You may think you know how Montell Jordan does it, but you don’t. Want to know how he actually does it? Here’s how the man who made “This Is How We Do It” a worldwide catchphrase was led from one life to another.

Montell Jordan grew up in South Central, Los Angeles, in a Crip neighborhood. Anybody who knows about that area understands that it’s not easy to avoid the gang life. Both and the Crips and Bloods run rampant there, especially in the 80s and 90s. Jordan stayed away from the gangs, though. He recalls, “I was more fearful of my dad than I was the Crips and Bloods,” he says. “ If we even thought about gang banging or being around that, he would take us out first.”

Instead, Jordan frequented the local church, where he played the piano. Moreover, pretty much his whole family served at the church in some capacity, meaning that going to church was a tradition he was brought up in. Being the church pianist with service six days out of the week, Jordan got his start with music. But if you heard Montell Jordan’s records during his rise to fame in the 90s and early 2000s,  you wouldn’t guess that he spent much time in a church. His music portrayed partying, women and drinking. In an interview with The Revolution TV, the former R&B singer details his transformations:

I grew up in the church. I lived in the church. I played in the church. Then when I got to college, and I got a chance to see the world and the lure of the world. What I realized was for me at the the time, what I was doing for the church was a gift from God. And because it was a gift from God and a gift to God, there was no financial attachment to what I did in the church. I was a musician in my church from the time I was 9 up until I was 21. At 21, I was playing for my church several days out of the week, all the time on Sunday. I think I was getting $100 dollars a week or something like that. I would do that, but then I would go to a nightclub and sing a Luther Vandross song. People would come up and lay $300 dollars at my feet. That was the beginning of ‘This is what I’m doing for the Lord, and I’m still struggling, paying for college.’ I can go to a nightclub and sing for ten minutes, and I can pay for rent. That’s what led me to Russell Simmons.

Pastor Montell Jordan: From The Church To R&B To Church Again  was originally published on

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