In this series we are featuring our interview with DR. JASMIN SCULARK affectionately called “Dr . Jazz”.
Dr. Jazz, I would like to start this session off with a discussion about the many facets of Dr. Jasmin Sculark.
I am the Senior Pastor and Founder of Victory Grace Center in Maryland. I am also the Chief Executive Officer of Dr. Jazz Ministries, where we travel globally impacting lives through the written and spoken word.
Excellent. Can you take us back to some of the renowned ministries you have shared the same pulpits with?
Well, I have had the privilege of ministering at the Woman Thou Art Loose Conference with Bishop T.D. Jakes and Pastor Jamal Bryant. I also have had the privilege of speaking at Megafest; and have ministered internationally in the UK, Africa on the Word Network, and TBN. I served as a minister under Dr. Charles Edward Booth and pastored two churches before I started my own.
How do you take charge of your day?
Just waking up every day is a blessing. So, after I receive the blessing, I thank God. Then, I ask myself, these four things: Who do I want to be; What do I want to have; What do I want to do; and Who do I want to help? I use these 4 points as a focus for helping people outside of my acquaintance, like women. I want them to be wealthy, healthy, in good relationships, and finally to have faith. So, I help them with advice and support as it pertains to finances, family, and faith.
Dr. Sculark, I have attended many of your Events and I have noticed that the norm for attendance is standing-room only, why is that?
Most of the time, I get people coming to my events to be inspired. For example, I had someone from Maryland come in, she did not know what she was coming to the city to do until Dr. Renee Allen introduced me to her. She got inspired and found her purpose.
I know you came from Trinidad, please tell us what was your life like growing up there.
I’m from a remote village in Trinidad called Laventille. My story was like that of Jesus of Nazareth when people questioned his legitimacy to speak about the things of God because of where he was from. My community was infested with drugs and crime. A family of seven kids, and I am the last one. My mom died when I was 14, so I was raised by my siblings, especially my sister. We did everything we could to survive in that village because that was the only thing we could hope for. I once told a story on the TD Jakes show about the $32 seed contributed to me by members of my village to help send me to America. It was the wish of my sister for me and my siblings to come here.
I am the Fruit of a $32 Seed
I see myself as a product of that $32 seed, not $32 million. However, I faced a traumatic situation before leaving Trinidad, which I recorded in my first book “Dancing with Broken Bones.”
For many years, I did not share this incident, only to bring it up at the Woman Thou Art Loosed conference because I realized I needed to heal. My first book, Dancing with Broken Bones, was centered around the culture of Trinidad and my ability to dance despite the brokenness. The brokenness involved losing my mom and being a victim of rape.
I developed a survival instinct and a determination that $32 was going to be the lowest amount I would ever earn in America. I came to Binghamton, New York, and attended a school—Practical Bible College— which was predominantly Caucasian, and that was where I discovered my preaching and teaching gifts.
As a child, I was usually an outspoken person, so I was sent to detention a few times. My high school teacher would say to me, she wished God could turn my outspokenness into something better, and I guess He did. The same mouth that got angry and said hurtful things is now the mouth that is constructive, and God is using it to create wonders.
My experiences set the table before me and enabled me to interact and dine with all races and nationalities around the world. In college, I did a lot of menial jobs to attain my degree. I continued my education and received my Masters and later my doctoral degree without any student loans. I had no help but God.
Because the school needed more people of color, I was given the opportunity to speak to people of all races in 40 different cities and states. Before you knew it, African American student numbers started to increase in the school. During this time, I had an epiphany and realized that public speaking was my gift. I then relocated to Washington, D.C.
Amazing story. What’s the next plan for empowering women? I know you have the marketplace ministry, but what are we expecting anytime soon?
It is good that you asked that. I love what I do in the church while preaching to the nation as a manifestation of my gifts. But I want to empower women globally to be themselves. That’s why I started my FinallyMe4Real movement. This movement seeks to empower, equip and encourage women to freely live in the full authenticity of who they are in all areas of their lives which includes their ministry, money, mental health, and more.
When women without financial security speak, it saddens me. They attend all the seminars and conferences but still end up broke. I’m of the opinion that without a strategy, the trend will continue. I will use myself as an example: getting married and then ending up in divorce. The divorce wasn’t my real concern; it was how I would live financially because everything we had together was in his name. It was then that I developed a strategy to move from poverty to prosperity.
I have seen the best of both worlds, poverty and wealth. I realized I had placed all my eggs in one place. I believe that everything outside of us is a resource for financial stability rather than a source. It doesn’t matter who the person is; you don’t have to depend on them for joy, peace, and finances.
During my days at my first place of worship, the church grew exponentially under my guidance and one day someone asked me, how much money did the church have in the bank, and I didn’t have a clue. He told me I haven’t started my pastoral work until I knew where the money went. That is when I realized it is not just important to have faith but to understand finance.
I was busy working for God’s people, and the Board couldn’t give me a raise. That is what women pastors must contend with because we don’t know our value. If we do, we would know our worth. We don’t because we get emotionally enshrined in most situations. That is why my advice to women is to keep their emotions in check and work with the numbers in front of them.
According to Dr. Sculark, You must be logical and smart in a boardroom. When asked the meaning of that statement, she said, You must be logical and smart in a boardroom. I spoke with a friend of mine, and he proposed that we deal with racism. I promised my support to him but emphasized that we both live in separate worlds. While racism is primary to him; sexism is more of my primary concern. Because I see no reason why men should be earning more than women who take on the same amount of work. The stats don’t support black women when it comes to making money.
I want equality in all areas between opposite sexes, which is why I keep championing equal pay passionately. Having the confidence to demand what you deserve is what I am seeking to teach women.
Thank you Dr. Sculark, All of this has been so inspiring, and I hate for it to end, however, we have reached the end of our interview unless you want to bring in something more before we close out. I was hoping not to take up too much of your time.
No, not really. If your readers desire to contact me they can reach me at Jasmin Sculark firstname.lastname@example.org