WILLIAM MURPHY III
Interview by Richard Cox, GospelCity.com
Gospelcity talked to RCA Inspiration Artist William Murray about his latest project, which is currently holding at #3 on Billboard's Gospel Music Charts and his insights about worship and his preaching ministry.
Gospelcity: Let me start by congratulating you on your latest project "God Chaser." I know you’re excited about it. It’s an exciting time when you’re getting ready to birth something new to the body of Christ.
William Murphy: I’m excited about a couple of things. This is my first album which was on Verity which is now changed over to RCA Inspiration which is a major change there.
That’s exciting because we are merging resources and teams that will help the overall effort with promoting the record. I’m excited about this record, "God Chaser" on this label.
The album is a result of just the times that we had in prayer and worship in our church. God just gave us these 15 songs and we knew it was time to make another record. We started gathering our resources and talking with folks and saying we are ready to make another record. We ended up with the relationship with Verity (now called RCA Inspiration).
This collection of songs...I call them a collection of prophetic songs. There are songs that literally meet the people where they are. Every time we sing them it’s like God present comes. You can sense God’s presence when we sing these songs. Churches all over the world are going to be singing the songs. Some of the songs are already out like ”God Chaser.” People have been singing that song for over a year. With the phenomenon of YouTube and the digital platforms somebody got a hold of “God Chaser” and people started singing it in their churches. We had not even recorded the song yet. People were already grabbing the music and singing it. People were like, "when we can get it?" These songs are what I call Sunday morning songs. It is songs people are going to be able to use to access God’s presence.
GC: I know, even in my church, the praise teams
have been already singing the songs.
It’s something fresh to bring to the worship experience.
William, how many CD projects have you done?
WM: Technically, this will be my fourth solo project. It’s funny. I was talking about this on the radio today. My first project was called "Changes" that I made about 15 years ago. I borrowed $8,000.00 from my grandfather to make it. It was one of those records. The funny thing, I was in Japan a few months ago and somebody walked up to me with that CD. I was going, Wow!! I was like, people are still listening to those songs. God has given me that grace to record and write those kinds of songs that kind of stay in people’s hearts.
GC: William, even when you are singing on other CD projects you bring this intensity to the worship experience. I was wondering, where does that intensity come from?
WM: Really, it’s a passion to be not so much in God’s presence as much as it’s my desire to please God. There’s difference. Some people, they want to be in God’s presence because they feel better, to get healed. But my desire and my passion when you hear my worship is to please God. I was saying this to someone yesterday...the reason that I worship to God with such a passion is because I’ve messed up. I’ve messed up and I need God. That’s what you hear in “Praise Is What I Do,” when you hear “God Chaser,” or “You Reign.” That’s what comes across in the music. I think that’s why it’s been a blessing to people because they are able to sense my heart and know that my passion is really for God and not just about His presence.
GC: You answered my question because I know you’re singing from a real place. You’re drawing from experiences with God when you needed Him and
you are reaching and touching others.
WM: You get to a place and realize all of this other stuff I’ve been trying...they are all counterfeits. Let me just find God for real. You get to that place and figure out what really matters and God blesses you. Man, I’m excited about this record. One of the lines says “I chase God. I want God.”
We are making a distinction between just again being in a place of need where I need something from God but making the transition to the place I just want God. I think you’ll see that transition in this record. We’re ministering to a place not just, "Hey God, help me," but to a place of, "Hey God, I just want to be with you."
GC: You are known for singing worship songs. What is your definition of worship?
WM: It’s a simple question, but it’s not. My definition is complete devotion to your relationship with God. I worship God because I’m devoted to my relationship. Not because I’m scared to go to Hell. You see the difference.
GC: I see the difference.
WM: I’m not worshipping out of fear of God. I’m worshipping God because I tried this other stuff and I’m still not fulfilled and I’m realizing that really God is what I really need. It births another type of hunger in a man’s soul when you finally get to that place when you really realize its God who I really need. I believe you’re going to see this in this record. There’s a song on the project that says “My life is in your hand” and another song that says “You Reign.”
There’s another song “It Works.” But the lyric says “this is my season of grace and faith.” It is sort of a culmination of my relationship with God. Once you get to a place with your relationship with God and He can trust you with some things, then some things can turn in your favor.
GC: When people are listening to your project God Chaser, what do you want the listener to take away from the project?
WM: My prayer is, when people finish listening to the "God Chaser" record, that they will have renewed hunger to deepen their relationship with Jesus. That’s my prayer that the music would impact their lives to want to go back to the project to have the experience and encounter every day. That’s my prayer, not to just sell some records or for people to say “Oh we love that song,” but to really create this hunger for God’s presence. People just want to have this experience daily that they experiencing God’s presence becomes a part of their daily bread.
GC: William, how do you balance being the pastor, family man and artist?
WM: Man to be honest with you, I’m juggling a little bit here. I find balance because I look for it. Some guys are so committed to the ministry that they become uncommitted to their families. I’m able to find some kind of balance because I look for it. I tell the church sometimes, I’m not coming to church or an event because my daughter has a basketball game. There are some days I have to tell my daughter, this is really important and daddy’s going to miss this game. But I’m going to be at the next 3 games. You’ve got to find that balance. There are some invitations I’m not able to accept because I’ve got something going on at my church or I’ve got things going on with my children or my wife. Balance has to be intentional.
GC: William, since you get to travel and preach around the world you get a perspective about what’s going on in the Body of Christ, hw would you describe this time we are in currently the Body of Christ?
WM: I really see the Body of Christ coming out of a season of demonic depression. I really see the Body of Christ really going into our finest hour. We’ve had some difficult days man. We’ve had some bad days. I see the Body of Christ emerging in this season. We are coming forward.
How I see this happening is because the focus is moving away from the pulpit and now the focus is moving to the pew. The concept of church is evolving and people are understanding now that it’s not just about me going sitting and listening to someone talk to you but it’s really about a need for me to develop my relationship with God.
The point is, if the pastor quits, the Body of Christ is still moving forward. It’s not just about one person or one personality. Literally, the soldiers are getting into position. I think people are being empowered on a personal level. I see the Body of Christ advancing.
The theme at our church (The Dream Center Church in Atlanta) is “Developing a Better Me.” One of the things that God keeps saying to me is, if we can focus on getting better personally, that the corporate man will automatically be better because we have everybody’s focus on developing themselves. Instead of everyone saying “Let the preacher do it,” we are all working together. Now we understand that the kingdom agenda is all of our assignment, not just pastor's.
GC: That’s why I like asking pastors this question about the season we are living in the Body of Christ. I personally definitely sense that myself as you were talking. Share with me information about your church.
WM: I’ve had the honor of leading the Dream Center Church. I’ve pastured for seven years now. We are in North Atlanta and now recently at South Atlanta. You can find us on the website www.thedreamcenterchurch.org or you can find us on Facebook at thedreamchurchofatlanta or on Twitter at dreamcenteratl.
GC: How can people find out about your
CD project God Chaser?
WM: You can go RCA Inspiration website www rcainspirition. You can find me on Twitter at PastorMurphy and Facebook at WilliamMurphyiii.
Also find it in our online Christian Bookstore
for 17% off at just $9.99.
GC: What do you do in your spare time for fun?
WM: Man, during my wind down time I’m a movie buff. I like to bowl. I enjoy doing regular stuff.
WILLIE MOORE JR.
Interview by Richard Cox, GospelCity.com
Gospelcity talked with Gospel artist, comedian, actor, Radio personality and TV personality Willie Moore Jr. about his music and new TV show Willie Moore Jr. Live Flat Out TV show.
Gospelcity: Willie, I wanted to thank you for this opportunity for this interview today.
Willie Moore Jr.: Indeed, the honor is truly all mines.
GC: I would like to start by asking you to share with us about your church background.
WM: Well I’m a licensed minister. I was licensed back in Saint Louis Missouri at Shalom Church City of Peace. I’ve been doing ministry now since 2007. Wow! How times flies when you’re on the ground for the King of Kings. I’m just a young man who loves God. I’m excited about what He’s doing in this season of my life bridging the gap between the streets and the church. That gap is just communication. I was adopted when I was three years old. My parents are extremely mature. My Dad right now is 82 years old. My Mom has been 35 years old for the last 35 years. So I have no idea how old she is. But I grew up and understood with the wisdom that comes from growing up with mature parents. And by growing up in the neighborhood where I was raised by Hip Hop and I understand that too. So making the Gospel make sense to both worlds is my ultimate mission.
GC: Willie, what was the draw for you to get saved?
WM: I also tell people that it has to be something personal. A lot of times we can get so knowledge based. The Bible says “knowledge puffs us up” but love builds up man. My thing man, I wasn’t trying to become this Christian guy. I was just really thinking to myself man I’m just going to do God a favor and kind of offset all of the bad stuff I was doing at the time. I was living in Los Angeles. I was signed to Warner Bros Records as an artist named Pretty Willie. But if you see my pictures nowadays you’ll know that most of the kids took all of my pretty away from me. I had a new song that was just about to blow up called “Love in the Daytime” with an artist that many of us know now days as Tank. During that time man, I started going to church with Pastor Kenneth Ulmer at the Great Western Forum. I was going to offset all of the bad stuff I was doing but I was sitting under that Word. It started changing me. I always tell people the Word does the work. I still went right back to those clubs. I went right back to my concerts. I wasn’t trying to do this Gospel until my manager pulled me to the side and said”that new music you’re doing is Christian music you know.” I just really dived in head first and heard the Lord say “your way or My way.” I chose His Way and started running for Him.
GC: Do you feel when you went away to college that was your wilderness experience?
WM: Yeah! I would say that man. My parents were not like pushing church on me. We were not going to church every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. They had a lot of wisdom. On Sundays we would go to church. But on Monday we were back to our normal lives. I remember it was something that my family did and they weren’t pushing me with church.
GC: Willie, how did you get your first record deal?
WM: My first deal was with Universal Records. I was fresh out the University of Mississippi. I finished my tenure there. At that time there was a guy named Nellie from St. Louis who was really big at that time. He had the number one song in the world and I had the number one song in St. Louis. Nellie sold about 10 million records and I sold about 10 in total. They got me off of that label man and I started my own label. We came up with songs like “Lay your Body Down” … “Four Walls” and another record call “Good Thang.” They did about 25 millions hits on the site called MySpace. It caught the attention of Warner Brothers and I moved to Los Angeles to start with their label.
GC: When did you do your “The Best of Both Worlds” project?
WM: That’s an album once we have transition to what we coined as Kingdom Music. That was on my label Kingdom Music LLC. We also did the project “Turning Point.” We have a lot of things planned for 2015 as well.
GC: Willie, I like your concept of reaching the hearts and mind of the youth. Tell me how you developed that concept using the combination of humor and music.
WM: Understand the culture number one. Of course, you need to seek the Lord for some cool strategies on how to give the youth the Word in their terms. I know people who give people the Bible and I know people who like to give the Bible to people. I one of those people who like to give people the Bible. I mean I’ll go that extra mile to understand the culture. I’ll go the extra mile to understand what you’re listening to. I’ll go the extra mile to see what places you go to. I’ll go the extra mile to see the way you dress. I’ll figure that out and go in deeply so I can build that Word around what you already know and make sure they come. I make the bridge between the street and the church. It’s been an amazing ride!
GC: How did the deal come about for the Flat Out T.V. show?
WM: We started with YouTube. YouTube to date has about 2.3 million people who have viewed our stuff so far. The Lord placed on my heart to go to television. I believe God was pulling me in that direction. So we brought more computers and more cameras. We had an awesome concept. We put it on paper and we didn’t know exactly where it would go. The NRB Network (DISH) was the first to pick up the show. Then KTV (Direct TV) picked it up. We just licensed 13 episodes to JUCE TV (TBN ).
GC: What has been some of the feedback you’ve received about your FlatOut TV show?
WM: It’s so cool to see Moms, Dads and children to have some healthy shows they can all watch in one room and still have fun. I hear a lot of family testimonies because you know in this age everybody is in the social media and texting and sometime that quality time isn’t spent. I think the thing that tugs my heart the most is to see families sitting down on Saturday night. I want families to say we all watched and we all enjoyed and we all understood the show. Because some shows are a little bit off the chain for the kids to watch so you don’t watch the show with the kids and some shows are a little to kiddie for Moms to watch. But just to be able to be that agent where everyone can watch and everybody can understand the show. They can have fun and everybody can get a good Word from the Lord. That’s like one of my biggest testimonies. Other people get on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with their personal stories and let us know how they like the show. One young lady was like I was on the verge of death. I didn’t even know it. You know sometimes you think you’re doing the right thing but God weighs on your heart. Most people can feel and say there are some things I need to change in my life. I’m excited to see regular people know that the Lord has a plan for their lives.
GC: What do you want viewers to take away from your TV show?
WM: That Christianity is not a body of perfection. We are a body of process and if you want to be a part of the process God does the perfecting. That’s what we show. We don’t try to hide the things we’re going through. We suppose to bring a lot of celebrity guests that are extremely transparent. They help as a change agent. They help so much to shift the projectory of this generation. We you see a Towanda Braxton on the show sharing her faith. You’ve seen her on her Bravo show. Also, Kel Mitchell is on the show from Nickelodeon sharing his faith. It just gives a little more validity to the points we’re already made on our Instragram, Facebook and YouTube channels. You’ll say, “Hey man, I’m not the only one who thinks like this.” You’ll get a chance to see people in a different light where you might not think they know as much as they know. You’ll get a chance to get into their minds and hearts to believe what the Lord is doing in their lives. You’ll see that type of change happening. The first thing we do is change people minds. I know a picture is worth a thousand words and a great TV show is worth 10 thousand.
GC: Do you have any plans on taking your show to different places throughout the country?
WM: That’s so amazing you brought that up. You must be prophetic!! We were in creative meetings this morning with my partner and I. Someone donated a $150,000 RV to us. So we are going to be getting on the road. We are going to be going to some speaking engagements to show what we’re doing on the ground level. We were at Troy State University in Alabama on a Wednesday. There were 1,000 people from ages I would say 8 to 80 years old. They came to meet us. This guy with a tee shirt on with cut off shorts with funny socks and red shoes preach the Word of God. Out of 1,000 people in attendance 140 people gave their lives to the Lord. We’re letting people know you can have fun in the Kingdom… to smile… to laugh. We’re going to show that on the road.
GC: Willie, how can people find out more about your TV show and your music ministry?
WM: My website is www.williemoorejr.org. My Facebook page is wiliemoorejrlive. My Twitter account is @pwillie1. My Instagram is williemoorejrlive. They can also search on YouTube for FlatOut TV show clips and my music.