Sonnier reaches the masses through ministry
Gloria Sonnier will be the first one to tell you this interview is not about her but about the glory of Jesus. A humble woman from Mallet, Sonnier’s voice can be heard live from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on Sunday’s over KVPI 1050 AM for her “Hour of Power” radio gospel ministry where she preaches the Word of God.
Sonnier, who grew up Catholic, was encouraged by her parents to pray. “Before I was born, I was praying because my mother prayed all the time,” she said. “My mother was very devout in praying. I was blessed with a mother and father who did everything they could to get us closer to God.” Though her parents were devout, Sonnier did not grow up with a Bible in the home because her parents couldn’t read.
As she came of age, Sonnier realized she had to get off of the coattails of her parents’ faith and come into her own relationship with Jesus. About 30 years ago, Sonnier’s life started to change, and she realized there had to be more than what she had learned. “I had to go into deeper waters, allowing the Spirit of God to come alive. It was laying dormant somewhere, because I failed to realize I had to stir it up.” She did this by joining prayer meetings and choirs and “the things I felt God would want me to do. My work now is because of the born again experience.” From then on, it was “learning by living, by making mistakes and sinning and receiving Jesus,” who she believes can anoint someone to make a difference in their own life, and anoint them to preach his Word so that others will hear and come to believe.
Though Sonnier’s ministry hour is going into its third year at KVPI, the show got its roots on June 15, 2003 with KSLO. It got started when Sonnier would go to make activity announcements for St. Ann’s Catholic Church. “Every time I would go and speak with Mr. Johnny Wright, he would tell me, ‘Oh, you are a natural. Have you ever thought about a radio program?’ I told him no, but asked if he had someone who could minister in the gospel,” said Sonnier. Wright had someone doing just that at the time, so Sonnier continued making her announcements. Wright kept encouraging her. “He had to see whether or not I was serious.” Wright finally asked her to get 10 sponsors and he would try her out for 13 weeks. She was able to get her sponsors, and the 13 weeks turned into 10 years.
When Wright passed away, his daughter took over KSLO. Sonnier stayed with the radio ministry, but when Wright’s daughter passed away after a few years, the station was sold to a company that did not want to continue with “The Hour of Power.” While the show was still on the radio, though, Sonnier took her ministry to Channel 22 on Delta Media. The show is called “Come to the Water” and has been on the air for 12 years. “Come to the Water” comes from the Book of Isiah where people are invited to “come and receive,” to see what Jesus has for them.
Though she does not know how many people listen to her ministry, Sonnier said even if only one person listens, it could be a domino effect to spread the Word of God. “It’s just to surrender to Him and say ‘I’m helpless in this situation.’ On my own I’m helpless and I tell Him you must speak to your people. This is Your ministry, this is Your Hour of Power. Use it to bring souls into your Kingdom,” she said, adding, “I do not proclaim to know the entire Bible. I know a little, but He knows everything.”
Sonnier’s mission is to give the Good News of the Gospel and tells the world about Jesus because, “One of these days, we’re going to have to leave this place here. I say all the time, make reservations as to where you want to go. Heaven is a good place to me!” she said. Sonnier believes we should live Heaven here on Earth as much as possible. She further said her ministry is adamant about salvation, asking the important question: “Where are you going to spend the rest of your days? You need to come to know Jesus and the pardoning of your sins. The price has already been paid, and all you have to do is receive it and live it. When the time comes you have to go home, you have an eternal home not separated from God, but an eternal home with Him.”
According to Sonnier, her ministry is for all denominations. “God is going to touch your heart because it’s about His Word that is going out to all of mankind.” She said when the Lord called her to minister with these ministries, “He said, ‘You’re going to go fishing. You catch ‘em and I clean ‘em.’ These are the words He told Peter who was a fisherman. He told him, ‘From now on you’ll be catching souls.’”
On the subject of having faith in difficult times, Sonnier said, “The quality life we live here is not a fairy tale life because you have troubles when you’re a Christian, just like if you are not a Christian. You have tracas and misère, but I’d rather have the tracas and misère with Jesus in my life than the tracas and misère out there on a limb by myself. It’s not to tell anyone that when you become a Christian all your troubles are over. No, sometimes they’re just beginning.” Sonnier further said not everyone is going to be in agreement with you or understand what you’re going through, but the Lord gives guidance in the Bible as to what you should do. “We have his Word, which is a blueprint for our life,” she said.
Sonnier said she has been trained by the Holy Spirit. When asked how would someone know if the Holy Spirit is speaking to them or if it’s their heart’s desire, she said, “You’ll always find the Word of God will confirm what it is that’s in your heart. And you pray and ask God, ‘Okay, is this of me? Or is this what you want me to do? Give me the clear direction.’ Always seek God in wherever you find yourself, whether it’s to make a decision or whatever. Seek God and He’ll give you that supernatural direction.” She further said God will give you “bits and pieces here and there” to let you know what you’re supposed to do.
When faced with burdens, Sonnier’s best advice is to “Rest in Him. This is something we have to learn. Jesus experienced everything you’re going through right now. All of this was taken to the tree, the cross, in our place so that we could be free.” Her favorite phrase comes from this very idea of Jesus’ cross made from a tree. “I believe the Holy Spirit gave me this phrase: ‘Jesus died for me, on a tree, and set me free.’ I take refuge in that, that everything that comes up against me, any disappointments I have, He has already bore it. He has already brought it to the tree, nailed it to the cross, and by His stripes, I can be free. I can be healed. I can be delivered. He died so that I can be adopted into His Father’s kingdom.” Sonnier added, “We are not designed to carry these burdens. We have a burden bearer, and His name is Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God.” Another favorite phrase has to do with Facebook: “The Bible is Facebook for Christians because we face ourselves in the Book.”
Sonnier believes everyone should have a relationship with Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. “He’s not only our Lord and Savior, but He’s also our brother and our friend. Because of that relationship with Him, God the Father looks at us as being His children, because we have received His Son, and we are living for His Son,” she said, adding that sometimes we miss the mark, and none of us are sinless. “We have an advocate. We can run back and repent and turn to Jesus. Turn away from that tracas and misère sinful life.” She believes surrendering to Jesus will get rid of selfishness, allowing the Holy Spirit to step in.
Speaking on her own troubles, Sonnier said, “I went through some struggles on my own, and one thing I promised the Lord, ‘If You heal me, I will start a prayer meeting in my area.’ I did start one. I will not break my vow unto the Lord. I do these things because salvation has come, and it is where I’m anchored.” She called God “a light in the darkness” and said the good works she does is not to “earn points” with the Lord, but to live a life that is pleasing to Him. “I’m sure I missed it so many times. As I continue to seek Him, He will perfect in me the things that are not aligning with the Word. I’m still a human being in the flesh, but His super has been placed upon my natural. With the supernatural, who is Jesus, has come to us, our lives and minds begin to change. To renew the mind is to renew the mind with the Word of God, so I would advise everyone if you feel you have reached the end of where you are with your faith, maybe you’re the one who has to open up your heart a little wider to Jesus and say ‘I’ve come to the end of myself, and now I need more of You to survive.’”
Sonnier is a prayer group leader at Unity in Christ prayer group in Mallet. Since the pandemic, the prayer group came together to pray seven days a week, but they dropped to six days a week so that members can spend time with family and rest. “I’m believing God has spared us a lot because of His love, and we have seen changes in our own lives,” she said.
On the state of the world today with problems concerning the younger generation and families, Sonnier said, “Our country is in trouble. In order to bring things back in order, Jesus is going to have to step in again. He’s perfectly able to turn everything around, but He’s looking at us and saying, ‘Okay, what are you going to do?’ So we cry out to Him and we bring the Good News of the Gospel to the lost and alienated in a dying world.”
When asked how she feels about Christians who are only Christian in church on Sundays, but are not living their lives as Christ would want them to, Sonnier said, “There will always be storms in our lives that will bring them closer to Jesus. Other Christians should lead by example to show them how being closer to Jesus could help them.”
Despite the troubles of the world around her, Sonnier is excited about what is happening in her life. “I look for greater things to happen to me. As I continue to let it be on God’s time and not mine and continue to stay in the Word and strengthen my weak hands and feeble knees, I know that God is going to work greater works through me. If we’re going to dance this dance, I’m going to let Him lead.” Her personal prayer is, “Lord, I am anchored in You according to Your Word. Though the sails may be torn, the anchor holds in the midst of a storm.” For now, she is faithful she is being led by the Spirit of God. “I’m looking forward to greater works being done.”