Having worked with many artists over the years, there are few that stand out as memorably as Evangelist Lemmie Battles. I met Mrs. Battles while working with The Chicago Mass Choir. She was always jubilant and bubbly, never afraid to put her audible approval on a song during rehearsal. She struck me as a southern girl and my summation was correct. She is from Arkansas, the place from where she gets her charm and warmth. Lemmie is easy to talk to, friendly to approach and, for a young songwriter at the time of our meeting, incredibly inviting to work with.
Please allow me to submit to you that “Evangelist” Lemmie Battles is just that. A strong and competent Ambassador of God’s Word. In addition, she serves faithfully as Worship Leader at Southside Tabernacle, her church home. With all that she has accomplished, this wife, mother, sister and mentor has never once strayed away from her hospitable roots. This is a virtue a lot of people in the industry need to adopt.
“He Will Come Through” – Lemmie Battles
I had the pleasure of penning this song for her first independent project called, coincidentally, “He Will Come Through”. I saw what every young person who endeavors to succeed in the music business should: an artist who portrayed whole-hearted exuberance. She gave her all in the studio with every take and re-take. I remember thinking: “Where does she get the energy?”
Energy is what Lemmie Battles is all about. Whether she stands before 30 at a prayer breakfast or thousands overseas, she gives her all on stage. In any given performance, you can expect her to lift her hands, implore the crowd to worship and, at a moment’s notice, do what we have affectionately named “The Lemmie Hop”. She always engages her audience and stays true to what she does – Traditional Gospel Music.
While she could be compared with her contemporaries such as Dottie Peoples, Dorothy Norwood and even Shirley Caesar, she has carved her own niche. She does everything with excellence and with her own style. While I could go on about her, I’ve learned that history gives you credibility. Lemmie has a history of memorable music.
She debuted her aforementioned solo career with “Let’s Have A Good Time” a compilation of house-rocking songs and traditional ballads. June 2006 saw her sophomore project which kept the consistency of the first yet pushed her to a higher plane – something many new artists have trouble with. “You’re Looking At A Miracle” not only propelled her as a viable solo artist, it also garnered her a Stellar Award nomination for that year. In my opinion, the song itself, speaks volumes about Evangelist Battles, personally. She has battled and won the fight with cancer three times. It is clear in her enthusiasm and testimony about God’s healing that, when you look at her, you are truly looking at a miracle!
While working diligently on her own career, Lemmie has probably been best known for her work with the award-winning Chicago Mass Choir. Songs like; “I’m Going With Jesus”, “I’m Gonna Praise The Lord” and “Holy Ghost Power” are among the hits for which she has become a perennial favorite. Many solo artists usually leave the group from which they garnered their platform. Lemmie is not one of them. She continues to travel and rehearse with the choir .
Other opportunities have been given to this forceful and dynamic singer like joining the AARC Mass Choir with “I Plead The Blood Of Jesus” and regularly touring Europe extensively with Dr. Bobby Jones.
Despite having recently celebrated her Diamond Birthday +, perpetual forward motion continues to be part of her ministry. In 2012, Evangelist Battles signed with Ashro Records. Her new project “Testify” (available at all digital media outlets) upholds the standard by which she is known and allows new followers to understand why this “Songbird of the South” is not only a talented recording artist, but a genuine singer. One of my favorite tracks on the project is “Lord You Make A Way“. The song is a dramatic departure from her common ground, but I enjoy her laid back approach to the song, which is masterfully arranged and expertly produced.
“Lord, You Make A Way” – Lemmie Battles
She continues to do the work she’s been called to do. Continues to befriend and teach. Continues to spread excitement and the Love of Jesus wherever she goes. Evangelist Lemmie Battles, as this video shows, is truly an Artist You Should Know.