Trinity Dawson was an NFL hopeful whose career in sports took a turn for the worst after an injury sidelined him.
While playing football for the Division 1 school University of Toledo, Dawson’s on-field athleticism landed him third in the school’s history books for rushing yards. But the Tulsa, Oklahoma-bred athlete showed his true resilience by bouncing back from the disappointment of realizing he would never one day play in a Super Bowl game.
When Dawson left the University of Toledo he began his career in business, working up from a professional development trainee to a national account manager and by age 27, he’d become the youngest executive account manager of a publicly-traded, Fortune 500 company.
The happily-married Dawson faced a crisis in life when his wife suffered a miscarriage in 2012. While the tragedy was tough on them, it was the time when God starting giving him songs to help him through the process. Apprehensive about pursuing music, Dawson conceded to the calling and in his own words, “and just went for it 100mph at that time.”
Now, he is a recording artist and worship leader working to spread the message of God, family and overcoming adversity. AlwaysAList.com caught up with the Dawson at the Busboys & Poets Restaurant in Hyattsville, Maryland to discuss his journey into music and the release of his debut CD, “With All I Am.”
You’re from Tulsa. That’s home of Charlie Wilson—you have some big musical players from your city!
My dad actually used to play for the GAP Band. He played for the GAP Band and he played for Rick James at one point, so Tulsa is definitely in our blood and so is music.
I can imagine having hopes of being in the NFL and an injury abruptly bringing that to an end has to be emotionally hard on a person. How did you cope with that?
It was an extremely challenging time for me—it’s one of those things when your identity is so wrapped in what you do that it can take a bit of a blow whenever it doesn’t work out the way that you anticipated that it would. But I believe that was God’s way of shifting my perspective and making my identity more about who’ve I’ve become and who God has called me to be. So in that season I wrote a song called, “Just Be With Me,” when I was just saying: “You know what God/I’ll go wherever you want me to go/I’ll do whatever you want me to do/as long as you’re with me.” Because my perspective changed! It didn’t happen overnight, you know, so it was a lot of ups and downs. I went from signing autographs at one point, to when I was figuring my way out, I was washing toilets and washing windows at a gym that I was working at. I was working at the front desk, and that was just a part of the process and I was just trying to stay faithful to it.
At some point, you transitioned into the business world and had great success. Then met your wife in 2007 and you all married in 2010. But in 2012 while trying to have your first child, you all experienced the tragedy of a miscarriage. Tell me about that time.
We were ready for kids. Well, we thought we were ready for kids and we got pregnant and on Oct. 22, 2012 we had a miscarriage. That hit us real hard and we said “ok, let’s just stay on our face and trust God..” We were going to read the word and do the whole scripture thing and thought “we’ll get what we want” and even though it was a godly desire, it might not have been God’s timing so we got pregnant again on October 27, 2013 and we had another miscarriage and that was when it just pushed all of the wind out of our sail, and it was like I know this thing is real, so that line in the sand has been drawn and so if I really want to get something from God, I have to seek Him and so I got to this place where I said I am going to put this desire that I have with God and really just pursue God and when I did that, that’s when He brought me to a scripture—you know the servant with the talent? The parable of the servant with the talent and basically I was that servant that had buried my talent and the Bible calls that servant a wicked servant. Because I was always a little bit insecure about music and it was just something that I hid from people—and it was my secret so to speak. I had written all of these songs and they were just buried, and God kind of called me up out of that thing at that point. So, I just said “alright God, I’m going to obey” and just went for it 100 mph at that time.
Now you live in Houston, Texas and are part of the Worship and Arts Ministry at the Fountain of Praise Church. You’re there with Kathy Taylor. When did you realize that music could become a real venture for you?
It just happened by other people really seeing something in me that maybe I didn’t see in myself. I always was going to use my gift. I didn’t necessarily think I would do what I’m doing now, but I was going to be singing at church at the least, I told myself I would be doing that at the least. It’s one of those things to where, when you look back in hindsight in 20/20 you kind of see God working the whole way because, you know, James Fortune was at that church at one point in time. Micah Stampley was at that church at one point in time. Kurt Carr is there now and Nakita Foxx is there now. I was in an environment that was conducive to what I’m doing now because whenever God says go and do something, if I needed to call and ask someone a question I have people I can talk to. So it really was God kind of working, working the process the whole way through.
I think there’s a certain age, for some it’s younger and for some it’s older, where you are truly trying to figure out: “what am I here for?” I believe regardless what your background is or whether you go to church every Sunday and every Wednesday, everybody is meant for some kind of purpose and some kind of fulfillment in life and through my music I want to encourage, edify, and empower those people on their pursuit of purpose! Because a lot of the songs are prayers that I prayed while I was going through it or something that I felt, so those are all songs that they can connect to as they pursue God and pursue their purpose.
Lastly, do you think you’ll find a way to combine your ministry work and athletic background together? Whether it is being a chaplain for some team or working with NFL’s Super Bowl Gospel experience, there could be some synergy.
Definitely! One of the things that I learned through the process, as God’s processing me towards purpose is that every aspect of who I am or every hit that I have is being used for God’s glory! That’s when I’m walking in purpose. So I hid the music or I didn’t get the opportunity at the NFL for that purpose, but not necessarily. Everything that He’s deposited in me and every gift that He’s given me, He expects a return on what He’s invested and so I most definitely am praying about and thinking about how do You want me to use this background for Your glory.
Trinity Dawson’s CD, “With All I Am” is in stores and available on all digital retail outlets now.
VIDEO: Watch Trinity Dawson’s new music video for his single “Not That Easy.”