D.K. Foreman – Personal Blog

Archive for February, 2016

Evangelist Denise K. Matthews – Obituary from Official Memorial Program, February 27, 2016

by on Feb.27, 2016, under 2016 Year


Denise Katrina Matthews, the Christian Evangelist formally known as “Vanity”; was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada, on January 4, 1959 to Helga Marquadt and the late James Levia Matthews. Denise grew up in Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada. She graduated from Westlane Secondary School. She won the Miss Niagara Hospitality title in 1977 and went on to compete for Miss Canada in 1978. At the age of 17, Denise moved to New York City where she signed with Zoli Agency and began a modeling career. Denise’s modeling consisted of commercials and photo shoots; she appeared in ads for Pearl drops toothpaste before completing a modeling stint in Japan. In 1980 at the American Music Awards, Denise’s early life was changed forever when she met the entertainer Prince; whom she would often tell us that she loved and respected until the day she left us. After this meeting her star began to shine bright in the entertainment industry and she obtained celebrity status touring with the girl group Vanity 6. She also appeared in films and TV episodes in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, including “The Last Dragon” and “52 Pickup”. To understand the complexity of our beloved Denise, one would need to look deep into the black hole of her early childhood during which she experienced horrific abuse and neglect that shaped her character and self-image. Denise had a way of testing the love of others by behaving in a way that would turn them away if she behaved badly enough. She spent most of her adult life hating herself and never considering herself worthy of love. It was in an ordained meeting in the summer of 1991 with Louis Burrell, that the wheels of redemption were set in motion for our girl Denise. Louis met her and knew right away that she needed jess, a mentor and friend. It was at that meeting that he put her on a plane to San Jose to meet Pastors Roxanne and Willie Harper, and her Jesus Christ for all Nations Family with whom see spent the last 24 years of her life. Denise received the new birth according to the scripture, was baptized in the name of Jesus and beautifully filled with the Holy Ghost speaking in other tongues. This heavenly experience and real life encounter with God changed her life and finally brought her the peace joy and love she sought for entire life. She picked up the mantle of Jesus Christ and started on a life long journey toward salvation. On this journey Denise was called by God, ordained as an evangelist at JCFANS and begin preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone that would listen. She was steadfast about her love for God and ministered the saving power of God to thousands by way of television, radio, book sales, church conferences, through Facebook, her personal phone ministry, the JCFANS prayer line, and throughout the city of Freemont and the world. Publishing her book “Blame it on Vanity” was one of the highlights of her life. It was her greatest desire that souls would be saved because of her story. Denise spent every day of her life attempting to win souls for Jesus, even when her health begin to fail. She would preach, teach, and minister at times when she was suffering excruciating pain in her body, she loved her Jesus that much, it didn’t matter what she was going through she was on a mission for the kingdom. The last words she spoke in this world was “Get My scripture cards.” Denise was a biblical example of the delivering power of Jesus Christ that he can save to the uttermost. Everyone that truly knew her can testify to the change in her life. Jesus saved her, he loved and now he has taken her home. Denise was taken to be with Jesus on February 15, 2016 at 11:59am in Fremont, California. Those left to celebrate her life and cherish her memory are her mother Helga Marquadt of Toronto, Canada; her sisters Patricia Matthews Dalton (Husband Drew) of Los Angeles; DeBorah Helga Matthews-Brown of Sacramento, CA; Renay Bridget Matthews of Los Angeles, CA; Judith Matthews of St Catherines, Canada, Brenda Carrier, of Vancouver, Canada; and Lisa Carrier of Ontario, Canada. She also leaves to carry on her legacy nieces and nephews Logan Dalton, Nikkolah Brown, Brizelle Brown, Conner Matthews, and Ariel Lenay Brown, along with a host of relatives and friends. Denise was a lover of Animals, left behind her precious cats, King, Isabela, heaven, Joseph, and Angel. She also leaves to cherish her memory hundreds of God children including (Sig Harper, Joshua Nicholson, Tenika Porter, Giara Nova, Christine Harris, and Leslie Covington), friends, ministries, her beloved pastors and the JCFANS. Keep the praise going up Dee Dee! We love you so much.

Evangelist Denise Matthews Memorial Service Announcement

Evangelist Denise Matthews Memorial Service Announcement

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In Memoriam: Evangelist Denise Katrina Matthews (1959-2016)

by on Feb.16, 2016, under 2016 Year, African-American Community, Leadership, World News

NEW YORK — Denise Matthews, the singer, model, and actress known as Vanity who toured with Prince in the 1980s before eschewing her wild persona for a life as a minister, died Monday in Fremont, Calif.. She was 57.

Vanity in the 1980's

Vanity in the 1980’s

Ms. Matthews’s sister Renay Matthews confirmed her death. She said Ms. Matthews had checked into a hospital Saturday night after years of health problems related to her kidneys.

Denise Katrina Matthews was born on Jan. 4, 1959, the daughter of Helga Senyk and James Levia Matthews, and grew up in Niagara Falls, Ontario. She worked as a model in Canada before moving to the United States.

She met Prince at the American Music Awards in 1980, and the two soon became romantically involved. He also invited her to be a part of Vanity 6, the funky, erotically charged girl group that had a hit in 1982 with “Nasty Girl” and toured with Prince. She appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone with Prince, in a portrait shot by Richard Avedon, with her hands creeping down the front of his pants.

Prince and Vanity in 1982

Prince and Vanity in 1983

Ms. Matthews was supposed to play the female lead role in “Purple Rain,” the semiautobiographical Prince film that was a box-office hit in 1984, but she abandoned the project before filming began. She went on to release two albums as a solo artist on Motown, “Wild Animal” and “Skin on Skin.”

She thrived on raciness, often performing in lingerie. “My music is very sexual, so you could say I’m just putting all of me out there,” she told the Associated Press in 1985. She was on the cover of Playboy in 1988.

As an actress, she appeared on television and in films including “The Last Dragon,” “Never Too Young to Die,” “Action Jackson,” and “52 Pick-Up.”

By her own later admission, Ms. Matthews led a fast life, and it took its toll. In an interview with Jet magazine in 1993, she said she had been “extremely wild” in her younger days.

“There was a lot of cocaine,” she said. “I tried men, women, everything. I didn’t snort cocaine, I smoked it.”

Denise "Vanity" Matthews Pictured Center with fellow band mates Brenda Bennett on left and Susan Moonsie on right in the former girl group Vanity 6

Denise “Vanity” Matthews Pictured Center with fellow band mates Brenda Bennett on left and Susan Moonsie on right in the former girl group Vanity 6

She told Jet that drug use had nearly killed her: She had had renal failure a few years earlier and was told by doctors that she had only three days to live.

After that experience, her life took a religious turn. She left the name Vanity behind and became a Christian evangelist.

Evangelist Denise Matthews

Evangelist Denise Matthews

“All I had become was thus painted on my face — vanity,” she later wrote on a personal website.

From Vanity to Denise the Evangelist

From Vanity to Denise the Evangelist

According to her sister, Ms. Matthews eventually became an ordained minister and preached in churches around the country. She published an autobiography in 1999, “Blame It on Vanity.”

In the mid-1990s, Ms. Matthews was briefly married to the professional football player Anthony Wayne Smith, who was sentenced to life in prison for murder last month.

Her and I used to love each other deeply. She loved me for the artist I was; I loved her for the artist she was trying to be.’ – Prince

Prince, onstage in Melbourne, speaking about his former tour-mate
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As news of her death spread Monday during the Grammy Awards, many musicians expressed their condolences on social media.

“Vanity was everything to me,” wrote the drummer for The Roots, Ahmir Thompson, better known as Questlove.

The rapper MC Hammer said he had been in church with Ms. Matthews on Saturday. “Vanity left church after giving a beautiful testimony,” he wrote.

Onstage in Melbourne on Tuesday, Prince offered a tribute of his own. “Her and I used to love each other deeply,” he told the crowd, according to Australian news media accounts. “She loved me for the artist I was; I loved her for the artist she was trying to be.”

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