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Orville ‘Coolshade’ Sutherland is a living testimony

Published:Saturday | July 30, 2016 | 7:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston
Sutherland: Although he made the commitment at an early age he has not been committed all of his Christian life, but he is happy today that he can now be fulfilling his destiny.

Orville 'Coolshade' Sutherland is a living testimony that had it not been for the grace of God, he would not have been afforded the opportunity to enter this year's Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) Gospel Song Competition.

He admits to Family and Religion that it blows his mind when he thinks about how God has been real to him.

Sutherland shared an instance when his life was spared, this after receiving a vision about his driving, crashing and dying.

"I prayed and cancelled the plans of the enemy," he shared. A few days after the vision, he was leaving for work when he had a weird feeling.

Ignoring it, he drove out to work.

"When I got to a stop light at Manchester Avenue, on my way to work in Mandeville, I got a flashback of the vision I had about the accident. I prayed a short prayer for cancellation of the enemy's plan over my life," he said.

While driving on a 'nicely paved road', his front tyre blew, sending his vehicle straight across the road and crashing into another vehicle which, he said, was coming at a very fast pace.

"Both vehicles were totally written off. I was the only person in my car and the other car had only the driver. Despite the status of the vehicles, the other driver sustained a few injuries - none life-threatening. But I came out of the ravage with not even a headache. That was God," he said.

Sutherland said that has made a believer out of him that prayer changes things.

"Prayer aligns the crooked and untangles all that the enemy has plotted against you," he said.

 

DESIRE TO MINISTER

 

As he looks forward to the finals of the gospel competition, Sutherland said his entry came about from a desire to minister in songs and sermons, so the JCDC provided a grand door for the opportunity.

Sutherland has been walking the Christian pathway for as long as he can remember. He recalls giving his life to the Lord since about age seven, at a time when his parents weren't even going to church.

"I remembered, though, visiting my grandparents when I was about seven years old. I went to church with Grandma that particular Sunday and the preacher was preaching about Ezekiel and the dry bones. This was my first Sunday at church so all I could remember was 'dry bones', so I started preaching 'dry bones'."

One day during one of his 'sermons' to his siblings, he said a powerful urge came over him to say 'Hallelujah', but he didn't know what it meant, so he didn't say it.

He asked his mother who told him 'highest praise'. Soon after he started repeating the word over and over until he didn't even know what was happening.

"Since that day, my mom, though unsaved, told me that the Lord has called me and that I should follow the still, small voice that will be speaking to me," shared Sutherland.

His mother read him the story of Samuel when God called him at an early age.

Sutherland said although he made the commitment at an early age, he has not been committed all of his Christian life. But he is happy today that he can now be fulfilling his destiny.

His entry song Silver and Gold is a testament to his renewed commitment to the faith.

"I was going through a phase of recommitment and I had to leave my job because the job at the time had to do with secular and unrighteous doings. I was broke when I made my decision, but I had this joy bubbling inside of me."

Sutherland is now a member of Pennant Wood Pentecostal Church of God, but grew up in the new Testament Church of God.

Born in Prospect, Clarendon, he now lives in Race Track in the parish.

A past student of Edwin Allen High and Vere Technical High schools, he is now a student at the Jamaica Theological Seminary pursuing bachelor's degree in social work and ministry.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com