J.J. and Trina Hairston James “J.J.” Hairston (best-known as musical director, principle songwriter and front man for the acclaimed contemporary gospel choir Youthful Praise) began courting his wife-to-be Trina in November 1989. Their courtship began not long after the young couple first met while members of their local church choir, Teens of TFT, which came out of the Turner Faith Temple in Bridgeport, Connecticut. J.J. and Trina felt an immediate spiritual kinship and bond and fell deeply in love. Experiencing a mutual profound love for each other, for gospel music and for the Good News the music proclaimed, J.J. and Trina began their life ministry together. Shortly after graduating from high school, the young couple secretly eloped and became man and wife, with the local justice of the peace presiding over the ceremony. Meanwhile, by 2001, under J.J.’s direction, the Teens of TFT evolved into Youthful Praise, with Trina’s alto singing becoming an essential component in the ensemble’s powerful gospel sound. Bound to matrimony as love-struck teenagers, without the benefit of counseling or instruction on the responsibilities of a lifetime commitment, J.J. and Trina faced many real world difficulties, both at home and on the road as Youthful Praise became increasingly successful. Through the trials and tribulations they experienced alone and together, J.J. and Trina grew closer to God and open to the spiritual fulfillment of family life. Reconciling their differences and recommitting to the love that had brought them together in the first place, J.J. and Trina are celebrating 21 years of marriage and reconnecting to the plan of the loving Creator that introduced them in 1989.
“God has amazingly reconstructed and restored our marriage,” they say, “and we believe he will do the same for you if you allow him too. J.J. and Trina are the proud parents of three children: James L. Hairston IV (19 years old), Janay L. Hairston (12 years old) and Jayelle L. Hairston (5 years old). The Hairston family has recently relocated to Maryland where J.J. serves as Director of Music at City of Praise Family Ministries.