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Marie talks church work

The Farmville District makes up well over 80 churches and spans many counties including Charlotte, Lunenburg, Prince Edward and Nottoway counties.

If you ask Kyla about all of the accolades her career has brought her, you would never know this woman has sung with such legends as Lou Rawls, Ramsey Lewis, Ray Charles, Mary J. Blige and Cee Cee Penninston to name a few.

Her face also graced many catalogs and well-known products such as Volvo, J.C. Penney and many other retailers throughout her career. But you will never find anything but love and acceptance from her.

It Is hard for her to toot her own horn, but you will always find her singing praises of all the youth she has encountered in last 20 years. She is quite charismatic. If you lived in Southside Virginia circa 2000, you will remember Kyla brought the Miss America to Southside Virginia, with a regional competition held in Keysville which gave more than $10,000 to young women in our very own area to further their education with scholarships from the Miss America Organization.

I remember when Miss Virginia, Mariah Rice came to be host of our new regional competition in 2004. “All the girls were so excited to meet her. She was so empowering,” Kyla recalls.

When asked what is the difference in working in music and entertainment and the church? “I actually don’t see a difference, I still get to take God to work with me and it’s a heck of an ice-breaker. I have always had a desire to help people so this is an opportunity of God’s love and devotion.”

Youth is where her heart truly lies and so it’s no wonder she has triple the amount of youth compared to adults. “I believe that’s because youth of today want the truth from adults. They don’t want the sugar coated, watered down truth that a parent feels they have to give their children, in order to shelter or protect them. I tell them of my mistakes and epic failures because it lets them know if someone as out of the pocket as I am, God can still use you. I’m also working on getting it right just like everyone else, the only difference is I now have a platform.”

Kyla remembers when she was told by a colleague, Farmville was not ready for a Black female to be in the forefront of a church. Of course, that hurts but, I said to God, well when you’re ready, let me know. So when Superintendent Bob Parks asked her about the opportunity, she replied, “Well I guess we are a go.”