Atlanta pastor’s song sheds light on Mental Health Awareness Month

The song “Your Presence Is A Gift” recently scored No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel Airplay Charts.

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - An Atlanta pastor is using his music to bring those in darkness to the light.

Dr. E. Dewey Smith, lead pastor of the House of Hope Atlanta says his debut single “Your Presence Is A Gift” was written to remind people of God’s presence when going through challenging times.

The song recently scored No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel Airplay Charts.

In 2016, Smith says he experienced a series of deaths in his family that challenged his mental health.

“One week my Godmother died, the next week my mother died, three days later my best friend died, and three weeks after my mom died, my sister died.

Despite being a man with strong faith, Smith says he was broken and in a dark place. But his grief birthed a new song.

“I was fixating over my mother’s absence, and not appreciating a divine presence” Smith said. “I wanted to say, ‘God I know people are absent in my life, but you are present.’”

Smith says “Your Presence Is A Gift” is a tribute to his late mother who always encouraged him to record music.

May is Mental Awareness Month, a time to fight the stigma and educate people about a medical condition that affects those we know and love.

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. Smith says discussing mental health should be normalized.

“It’s OK to own your feelings, it’s OK to pursue therapy,” Smith said. “I teach people you can have faith and a therapist.”

You can hear Smith’s song here.

Brooks Baptiste

Brooks Baptiste

You can watch Brooks Baptiste weekday mornings on Wake Up Atlanta. Brooks is known for bringing a fresh and engaging perspective to journalism covering trending and entertainment news, while also sharing community-focused stories.