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Gospel songwriter James Fortune moves forward after
domestic assault of wife, says ‘I forgive me’
Article By Stacey Johnson // EEW Magazine News // Gospel
Posted February 23, 2017
Photo:  Getty
Domestic violence carries with it a stigma for both the abuser and the victim—one that isn’t easy
to shake, particularly for Christians.

But once on-top gospel songwriter James Fortune, who pled
guilty to battering his wife Cheryl
Fortune last year, is moving forward, reclaiming his life, forgiving himself and re-launching his
music career.

Though the public scandal ruined his reputation, family and ministry, he believes the key to
getting back up is self-forgiveness.

“There are a lot of times we try to move on and we understand the grace of God, and we receive
the grace of God, but if you haven’t truly forgiven yourself, you’ll continue to replay those
negative circumstances,” said the 38-year-old, whilst marketing his new single “I Forgive Me”
during an interview on nationally syndicated radio show
Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell.

“You’ll continue to replay those things that you may have done,” continued Fortune, who
admittedly assaulted his wife.

“When you carry around the guilt, and shame and the anger of your past, what you do is, you
continue to be hurt, and of course we know that hurt people hurt people,” said the “Live Through
It” songwriter who was sentenced to five days in jail, five years of probation, 175 hours of
community service, and required to complete a "batterer's intervention" program, and keep away
from Mrs. Fortune.

The previously abusive spouse, who was also sued for $5 million by his stepson's father who said
the singer burned the boy in hot water when he was four years old to punish him, told listeners,
“In order for me to have the future God has planned for me, I’ve got to be able to forgive the old
During the call-in discussion, the interviewer, Erica of the GRAMMY® Award-winning duo Mary
Mary, asked the Houston, Texas native and preacher's son, “How heavy or challenging was it to
forgive yourself after all the public opinion and everything kind of being in front of everybody’s

He answered, “That was one of the most challenging parts of it and it wasn’t so much the people,
but it was just [difficult] for my family, for my children, for everyone who was affected.”

Fortune explained, “You publicly see people that you love and care for have to go through
because of decisions that you made, because of choices that you made.”

As badly as he messed up, the artist who is now starting over said therapy helped him realize
“the importance of being able to forgive yourself" so he would not “just go on about life, and
you’re prayed up, and you ask God for forgiveness, and you receive his grace, but on the inside
you’re still carrying around shame. You’re still worried about what this person has to say and
what about what this blog is gonna write. You’re continuing to allow the cycle to go on and on,
because you’re hurting.”

At present, the fallen leader who is working hard to rebuild his shattered life and career said, for
the sake of himself, his children and the rest of his family, “I had to be able to say, you know
what? I forgive me. God has forgiven me. I forgive me.”
Copyright © 2017-2020 Empowering Everyday Women Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
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