Hezekiah Walker reawakens gospel’s roots with new CD
Hezekiah Walker has experienced some major developments since the release of his last album nearly five years ago.
He became bishop of the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ Fellowship, providing leadership to more than 30 churches around the country and to Kunjalo Diocese in Cape Town – all while remaining senior pastor of his thriving Love Fellowship Tabernacle in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Bensalem, Penn.
He has also become a mainstay on New York radio, hosting a popular midday show on WLIB and a Sunday morning show on WBLS. Most recently, he created the Azusa Next Generation conference that brings together the nation’s most prominent pastors, speakers and worship leaders, ultimately revitalizing a defining moment in the Christian faith.
The next conference will be held May 19 at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York.
With each of these developments, Walker is motivated by his commitment to Kingdom relevancy.
“One must continue to evolve so that the Kingdom can stay fresh, exciting and most of all, relevant,” says Walker. He pours this passion for Kingdom relevancy into his upcoming CD, “Azusa The Next Generation,” which will be released June 11 on RCA Inspiration.
“This project honors the legacy of hand clapping, foot stomping gospel music and also provides a next generation swag that creates a foundation for where Gospel music can go,” says Walker. “It has a variety of styles, and the collaborations really make it stand out. It is a next level project for me and, I think, for gospel music.”
Azusa is cited as the catalyst for the charismatic movement in the United States, and had two significant phases. It began in 1906 with an unprecedented, powerful revival held on Azusa Street in Southern California, then, in the 80s, was introduced as a conference in Tulsa, Okla. that featured dynamic preaching and a who’s who of gospel artists. The artists would record together at the conference and, with “Azusa The Next Generation,” Hezekiah Walker revisits that spirit of collective worship. The album features guest appearances by Timiney Figueroa; Deitrick Haddon; John P. Kee; Donnie McClurkin and Brian Courtney Wilson. Walker’s robust Love Fellowship Choir is also featured prominently, and is expanded here to comprise the 500 voice Azusa Mass Choir.
The first single, “Every Praise,” is currently a favorite at gospel radio. The song debuted on the Yolanda Adams Morning Show, and Adams said: “Bishop Hez has done it again!” ‘Every Praise’ is the epitome of worship and its proper direction!”