MEET OUR FIRST SERVANT
From her earliest years, First Servant Regina Belle Battle was called to greatness by God. At the age of eight, she demonstrated her powerful vocal abilities, soloing Shirley Caesar’s “Don’t Drive Your Momma Away.” By the age of 12, she would accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Englewood, NJ, under her Great Uncle, Reverend Samuel Belle. Her uncle, the late Dr. Fred M. Belle, Jr., established his own church, Friendship Baptist Church, and her family served at both churches. When Friendship Baptist Church transitioned to Patterson, NJ, the family decided to fully transition with the church to Patterson.
First Servant cultivated her natural gifts at Dwight Morrow High School and the Manhattan School of Music for Preparatory College where she studied classical voice training with Inga Wolfe. Despite receiving a full scholarship to attend the Manhattan School of Music, she enrolled at the elite Rutgers University where she pursued Africana Studies and Music.
With the support and encouragement of her mother, Mrs. Lois Belle, Regina continued to hone her musical talent and grow spiritually. First Servant considered her mother to be her biggest influencer. She unequivocally states that her mother was the one that took her to church, instilled biblical teachings, and set the standard for what it means to live righteously.
Her mother’s teachings made her realize that knowledge of the Bible and the world were critical to life-long success. One of her first profound understandings of the Bible came from her mom’s reading of the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors. “It made me push myself to be better,” she recalled.
As a girl, First Servant prayed the prayer of Solomon that God would grant her the wisdom, the knowledge, and the understanding to navigate through all her life experiences. She prayed that in challenging moments when she needs His wisdom and support, she can go to God for answers. Her faith and trust in God eventually called her to ministry.
Although there was always a teacher inside of her, she struggled to accept her calling.
First Servant’s decision to answer the call of God stemmed from a sense of defeat. “I was saying all kinds of stuff to get away from it,” First Servant admits. It was her spiritual Father, Bishop Paramore, who proclaimed her calling to preach. She initially struggled with questions: “Why did God tell my Bishop and not me? Why did he call me, instead of my brother?” Bishop Paramore had to remind her that God did tell her, she just wasn’t listening. He helped her realize that her questions were only manifestations of her internal fear.
First Servant immediately fell into training and learning the Bible to “rightly divide the word of God.” She would quickly learn that ministry extends beyond the pulpit. Using their personal resources, First Servant and her family started their ministry for the homeless from their home from 1997 to 2000. After that time, her former Pastor, Reverend R. L. Jones continued the ministry through the church.
As a famous entertainer, Regina Belle Battle has enjoyed career success for which many can only imagine. The Academy Award-winning and multi Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and actress, with a string of hits including Make It Like It Was, If I Could, Baby Come To Me, and This Is Love, Regina Belle Battle has made a career following her heart and moving gracefully between the worlds of R&B, Gospel and Jazz.
She is also blessed with a wonderful personal life. Since 1991, she has and continues to enjoy a strong and enduring marriage to former NBA player, John S. Battle, III. The couple raised five children and have four grandchildren whom they adore. “I’m amazingly blessed. I will never ever say that I’ve lived the perfect life to be shown such favor with God or the people, but here I am,” declares Regina Belle Battle.
Now, Regina Belle Battle works alongside Bishop-Designate, Dr. John S. Battle, III as an ordained minister, First Servant, and Minister of Music of their three churches: New Shield of Faith Christian Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia and Spread the Word Christian Ministries in College Park, Georgia, and Bread of Life Christian Ministries in Newnan, Georgia.