Interview with O. Jermaine Simmons by I Need a Man
Inside the Book
Title: I Need A Man Author: O. Jermaine Simmons Publisher: Certa Publishing Pages: 116 Genre: Religion & Spirituality
In today’s world, there is a real need for men to engage in honest dialogue regarding their struggles and triumphs in life. While there are many definitions of manhood, both sacred and secular, many men find it difficult to apply those truths to their daily lives.
“I need a Man” offers a fresh perspective on the issues of godly manhood and mentoring. Using the Holy Scriptures as a foundation, you will discover why every man needs a godly man in his life and how each man can reach back and become a mentor himself. Indeed, God can use the struggles of one man to strengthen another.
Be prepared to be challenged and empowered! Learn how you can thrive in life, not just merely pass through it.
Q: Please tell us about I Need A Man, and what inspired you to write it. A: “I Need a Man” was a inspired by a sermon I preached for our church’s Men’s Day back in 2013. The message blessed so many people, especially men. I had to take this message to the world. My own father expressed to me how much it meant to him, and that he was now convinced that he, too, needed man in his life. He was 65 years old at the time! Q: What themes do you explore in I Need a Man? A: The title itself is eyebrow-raising. I’m pulling from what would be the lamentations of a lonely woman. But in reality, this book in written to teach us that every man needs a man. I define manhood from a biblical perspective. Then we explore how the world’s culture erroneously views manhood. The scriptures give us some great examples of how men related to each other in the area of modelling and mentoring. From David and Nathan to Paul and Timothy. This book explores that dynamic in great detail. Q: Why do you write? A: I write to inform and inspire. I believe people can understand God’s word with more clarity if the language is simple and practical. I write with the hopes that people will seek a closer relationship with Christ, and be able to heal from whatever hurts they’ve experienced in life. I decided before writing this book that God was going to be my agent. I wasn’t going to focus on selling it. My job was to write it and let God put the message in as many hearts as He sees fit. Q: How picky are you with language? A: I use words for a living, so I know their impact. I listen to people speak with great scrutiny. Sometimes to a fault. I take language more literally than most people. So it makes for difficult conversations. It is not something I do on purpose, for the sake of being difficult. I just don’t believe in wasting words. What you say and how you say it, that’s what grabs people’s attention. It will either attract them or repel them. I toil over which words to use and how to put the right phrases together to get my point across. Language definitely matters. Q: When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar? A: Manipulated is a strong word to use. But after reflecting on it, we are all being manipulated by some outside force every day. The culture has a strong impact on our thinking. Media, news, music, and even our own upbringing can be a help or a hindrance to our perspective. I literally argue with myself when I write. I’m hearing the voices of the culture, which most times I disagree with. The world would have us think a certain way. But I rely on the Bible for absolute truth. And even with scripture, we have to be careful not to manipulate it with our personal biases and opinions. Q: What is your worst time as a writer? A:My worst time as a writer is when the words won’t come. As a pastor, I have spent a few Saturday nights looking at an open Bible and a blank computer screen. That frustrates me to no end. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say. But I don’t write to communicate my own message. It has to be what GOD wants His people to hear or read. So I pray through my writer’s block and hope the words come soon.
Q: Your best? A: My best time as a writer is when the words are flowing! I can hear the Lord’s voice clearly and I won’t stop until it’s done. When He gives me that first page or two, I know we’re in business! Q: Is there anything that would stop you from writing? A: Only if God stops talking to me. Q: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author? A: I was most excited when I received the first draft of my completed book and began the process of designing a cover along with the publishing team. My thought was “wow, this is actually happening!”. Q: Is writing an obsession to you? A: No. I write by inspiration. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with it. I can not write for a spell and be ok with it. Q: Are the stories you create connected with you in some way? A: Many of the stories I share in this book are personal experiences of mine. How I interpret the scriptural dynamic is also tied to my experiences with the people I have served as Pastor. Q: Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Do you agree? A: It suggests that reality corrupts us in some way. I agree that the world’s culture and mindset can be quite toxic at times. But for me, writing is not my escape. It’s more of a reminder of God’s truth. Writing helps me to reinforce my own Biblical beliefs. And it makes the world seem quite silly by comparison. I prefer to be filled with the Spirit than to be drunk on writing. Q: Where is your book available? A: My book is available on my personal website, ojermainesimmons.com, the Certa Publishing site, Amazon, iBooks, and many other major book outlets. Q: Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work? www.ojermainesimmons.com
Meet the Author
A fourth generation preacher and pastor, Rev. O. Jermaine Simmons, Sr. was born in the great state of Georgia to the Rev. Dr. Perry and Elaine Griffin Simmons. He was raised in city of Newark, New Jersey, where his father served and still serves as pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. At a very early age, the Lord revealed a musical gift which led to many years of service as a church musician, choir director, and even a jazz band trumpeter. These gifts and talents would prove to be the “glue” that would keep this young man connected and active in the Church.
After graduating from high school, Rev. Simmons entered Morris Brown College declaring a major of Early Childhood Education. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in the Spring of 2001. During his years at Morris Brown, he served as the Gospel Choir Director as well as a student-leader in the Campus Ministry department.
In March of 1999, the call to preach the Gospel was extended and accepted. Soon thereafter, Rev. Simmons was licensed by the Abyssinian Church and received further training at the Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, Georgia. During his time at Antioch, Rev. Simmons was trained under the guidance and discipline of the Rev. Dr. Cameron M. Alexander. He was ordained to further carry out the work of the ministry in April of 2004. Even now, the training he received at Antioch has guided him through the work of the ministry and community outreach.
From 2001-2004, Rev. Simmons served in the Atlanta Public School system as a fourth and fifth grade teacher at the Walter F. White Elementary school. His love for education is rooted in three previous generations of teachers in both his paternal and maternal bloodlines. He has received numerous awards from various educational organizations for his tireless commitment to teachers, parents, and students alike.
In August of 2004, Rev. Simmons relocated to the city of Tallahassee, Florida where he served as the Youth and Collegiate Director for the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. During this time, he received further guidance and training under the leadership of Rev. Dr. R.B. Holmes, Jr.
Only the Lord knew what lay in store for his servant, as his next transition was only two miles away from his previous assignment. In December of 2005, it was laid upon the heart of the Jacob Chapel Baptist Church family to call Rev. Simmons as their ninth Pastor. Standing on the broad shoulders of eight great men, the relationship between Pastor and members has proven to be a very fruitful one.
Since his arrival at Jacob Chapel, over 4000 souls have been added to the Body of Christ and the local church. Twenty Seven (27) ministries have been implemented, all of which are rooted in the motto of “Doctrine, Stewardship, Fellowship, and Evangelism”. Pastor Simmons firmly believes that we were all “saved to serve”. Therefore, the message and the ministry encourage all who attend to “get right, get in, and get active”…
Under Pastor Simmons’ leadership, Jacob Chapel has literally fed the hungry, clothed the naked, ministered to those in prisons, and built houses for those without shelter. It is the message of the Cross, the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ from the grave which continues to fuel the fire that burns within this passionate preacher and teacher.
He has been blessed to carry this message to communities and to people all over this nation. But his greatest joy is in knowing that he has reached “the least of these”, and provided hope for all who encounter his compassionate personality and heart-felt presentation. No matter where he is assigned to preach, Pastor Simmons has not wavered from delivering the Good News about “One Friday…”
Aside from being a Pastor, community leader, and dedicated Kingdom worker, Rev. O. Jermaine Simmons, Sr. is the proud husband of Mrs. Elise A. Simmons, and father of one son, Orinthius Jermaine Simmons, Jr. In lieu of the many accomplishments and awards that Pastor Simmons has received through the years, it will always be undergirded by his love for the Lord and for his family.