If one could be a fly on the walls of an NtoU office for several days, there would be one constant. I recently had that chance; I wanted to see what made this great magazine work. Was it the advertisers, the phenomenal men and women of God featured on its covers each month, or could it be the deeper spiritual emphasis to the saved and unsaved alike? All of these things could be a part of the success of this great Florida publication, but I didn’t find a what, I found a who. As I scrutinized her methods, I also found time to buzz in a few questions for our Editor-in-Chief; the answers would be astonishing, honest, and revealing.
Young, black, single, and saved (not in any particular order); Angell Marcella Davis is a Cleveland, OH native who has always had a passion for writing. Poetic, thoughtful, opinionated, and driven; she has been determined to get NtoU to greater summits for the last seven years. So far on her quest for excellence, Angell has yet to fail. Her constant smile would lead many to believe that making NtoU happen is easy, hence many have tried and few endured. In her most honest moments, Angell has revealed that doing this on her own is exhausting to say the least. Virtuous, sensitive, empathetic, and compassionate; still she perseveres, because in her own words, “I want to be that light in their (the readers) dark place.”
When I bring up the history of NtoU, there is a sigh, a smile, and a gleam in her eye all at the same time. NtoU is her energetic child that she has seen grow, challenge her, and ultimately grow her as a woman and a child of God. What started as club advertisements and bikini models has transitioned to a Kingdom publication without becoming just another religious periodical. Of course God is her first response, but when asked about this spiritual trek, she attributes a lot of credit to her staff.
One example of Angell’s eclectic taste in journalism would be the Real Talk section of NtoU. She hand-picked Demetrus, a Pastor and national recording artist, to write a column that is raw, in your face, funny, and far from religious but more spiritual than a month of Sundays. Angell encourages her journalists to write on every subject including faith, sports, entertainment, health, and current events. The Kingdom is the mission I sense in our conversation, a mission that makes outsiders want to be in, not the other way around. “I want to be able to minister to the world, saved and un-saved.”
Angell is not the first and certainly will not be the last to undertake a “Christian” magazine; many have come and gone for a variety of reasons, but Angell’s most recent proof of her stability is a Gospel Announcers Guild Award for Excellence in a Magazine in 2008. Ask her about this high esteem and you will find out it is more a reward of God’s faithfulness and confirmation than it is an award for her accolades. Excellence, however is the key word, any casual observer in her office would have to submit to that fact about Angell Davis.
I have found out personally that to work with NtoU for more than five months, one has to be driven and that might be an understatement. What has driven Angell for seven years? Again without hesitation God is her first answer; she will also point out that God has used circumstances and more importantly people for her inspiration. First mention for motivation is her teenage daughter who she aims to give what she herself never had. Her pastor, her best friend, her mother, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have all offered several points of inspiration, but still it is clear to Angell that “God had a plan for the magazine long before it became a thought in my mind.”
As for the future of NtoU, Angell has immediate plans to make the magazine more diverse, take it statewide and sooner than later to a national audience. This expansion, of course, will be without compromise and more powerful than ever before. Angell is not trying to do anything new with the growth and success of NtoU, the constant will be a “Christian magazine that has developed quite a name for itself through-out the Christian and non-Christian communities alike.”
Entrepreneur, founder, pioneer, and visionary; Angell Davis is the one constant at NtoU magazine who is constantly pursuing deadlines, relevance, excellence, and truth. Ask anyone who really knows her or those who have had a chance to meet her, her smile is contagious and purpose-sure. In my brief interview, I again realized why I am on her team. Shortly after our honest moments, Angell reminds me that my articles were supposed to be done yesterday and I am behind as usual, my response is simply, “yes ma’am.”
Read an up close and personal interview on Angell Davis at Sh’Shares Network. Click here