September is Gospel Music Heritage Month, but Cheston Green routinely upholds the immeasurable power of the Christian music genre. Green has been singing gospel since he was four years old. The Columbia, Maryland based gospel singer and songwriter spreads spiritual messages through his music and methods of showing up to support other men.
“I want those who feel like no one cares or understands, to know that they aren’t alone, and that God loves them and understands,” Green said.
Green recalls growing up in North Carolina watching icons such as gospel singer and pastor Shirley Caesar, and his grandfather, Allen “Sunnyboy” Green sing from their souls about Jesus. Allen was a member of a gospel quartet in Oxford, North Carolina. Cheston’s Southern gospel roots provided an impactful foundation to arm him with tools to conquer life’s valleys.
“Later in life, I battled depression and suicide ideations and it was the power of gospel music that made me want to keep living,” Cheston said, mentioning childhood trauma was a cause. “As an adult I have been diagnosed with ADHD. I suffered from asthma as a child. I had a bit of a challenging childhood being sick a lot, but it all built my faith in God.”
The performer who overcame mental health challenges wants other people to realize that hope in Jesus will carry them through anything they face. Through his songs, Cheston strives to reach anyone who ever feels hopeless.
Therapy helped Cheston to become the man that he is today after feeling invisible for years. He helps youth to know that they can also live beyond the dark days. Cheston works for an agency providing psychiatric rehabilitation for young men in Baltimore. Additionally, the gospel singer said that he creates programs with Canaan Baptist Church of Baltimore City for their youth and young adults.
Cheston’s journey includes uniting Christian men of various denominations through a movement he calls #OhMyBrother. The sanctuary for Christian men is intended to create lifelong bonds and enable them to find real relationships that challenge their growth and Christian walk. It has been in existence since 2019 after taking root as a private Facebook group.
“I created #OhMyBrother because the statistics of men having healthy friendships are despairing. I read an article that stated that men are more likely to commit suicide and it is linked to a lack of intimate male friendships. I watched men in church call each other brother but they had no connection outside of what they did in the church. That was alarming,” Cheston said.
Cheston called a few of his “brothers” who are now #OhMyBrother’s co-founders to provide foundational support. Domenique Malone; James Powell; Chris Smith; and Michael Guess assisted with planning and creating group guidelines. Members may now catch up on life happenings, discuss current events, hold conversations about empowering Bible scriptures, and participate in quarterly meetings.
“Any brother that wants to join can search for us on Facebook #OhMyBrother and request to join,” Cheston said. “We hope to begin having in-person meet-ups as the world has opened back up again.”
Cheston is also taking his gospel music interest to new heights after working on a solo music project for 10 years. He will be performing songs from it live during a pre-release event at Busboys & Poets on Saturday, October 15, 2022, located at 6251 Mango Tree Rd. in Columbia, Md. at 5 p.m. The single is called “Identity RMX.”
“My goal is to get my music in front of listeners while getting the message of Jesus and suicide prevention out to the people as well. Maryland American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is providing information to help with mental health resources,” Cheston said.
“On average, there are 130 suicides per day,” according to data provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
On October 22, 2022, Cheston will partner with the AFSP Maryland American Foundation to raise money and perform for their Out of Darkness Walk. He lost two male cousins to suicide.
The performer noted that he wants to see more “brothers” find healthy communities that encourage them to go to church, the doctor, and a therapist.
“I want to see men change the world for the betterment of women and children and other brothers,” Cheston said.
Visit chestonthegreen.com to purchase event tickets or donate to the walk. See Cheston perform “Hosanna” via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn0zOtW2XzM.