Wichita woman nominated for Black Essence Grammy award

“Regardless of what the doctors said, what anybody had said, I just did not believe it,” said Cherryl Ann Clark.

Not once, but twice, doctors gave up.  She refused to.  Now, a Wichita grandmother is sharing her story with others in the hopes of inspiring the same kind of faith she says carried her through her darkest hours. It’s a tale that's led to a Black Essence Grammy nomination.

“God is good.  He's a healer,” she said.

And Cherryl Ann Clark has needed that healing more than once.  First she suffered a stroke while driving.

“I hit my head on the steering wheel.  And, pulled all of this apart here in the back,” she explained, running her hand across the back of her head to show precisely where she’d been injured, suffering a traumatic brain injury that required years of therapy to recover from.

“I went from a business college to sitting in my son's 4th grade class.”

She struggled through therapy, conquering her injury, only to be struck down again by a reaction to a medication.

“When my husband carried me in the hospital this time i couldn't move, couldn’t talk,” she said.  “The doctor said, ‘She's not going to pull out of it this time.’  I knew from the first time that God hadn't brought me that far, and that I wasn't going to make it through the second time.  I just had to make it through the second time.  As I praised God, and prayed to Him, He healed me.  Again.”

She smiled over the memory of what came next.

“And when I came out of that, I could write and I could sing.  And that's what I've been doing ever since,” she said.  “Ii never wrote or sung a day in my life.  I did everything in church but that,” she laughed.

Now, Clark shares her music with anyone who'll listen. 

As a grandmother, she's even landed a national recording contract.  And this year was nominated for a Black Essence Grammy.

“I am a firm believer that God knows what he's doing.  And my story's not just for me.  It's to share, that others will know him.”

And she's expanded her growing ministry, starting a Christian women's conference called, "Proud, Godly Women," here in Wichita this last June.  She plans for the conference to become a yearly event.  And has even had requests to take it to other cities already.

“Yes, we have difficult times,” she smiled.  “But we are... we're going to be ok.  We're good, because God is good.”

Clark will be performing next weekend at a Sickle Cell Anemia fundraiser at the Jerusalem Baptist Church in Wichita.  Her current album, He Got Up, is available online.  It’s her second.  She’s already working on her third album which she hopes to release next summer.

Meanwhile, she’s preparing to perform at the Black Essence Grammy awards, which will be presented the first weekend in October in South Bend, Indiana.

Wichita woman nominated for Black Essence Grammy award