Then David spoke to the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their relatives the singers, with instruments of music, harps, lyres, loud-sounding cymbals, to raise sounds of joy. (1 Chron 15:16). The worship music included both singers and instruments, and their purpose was “to raise sounds of joy.”
“Raising the sounds of joy,” is critical to the worship experience when Willie Mason & Friends are sharing in music ministry.
In the months of April and May 2008, the Lord dealt strongly with Willie Mason through a dream. After having this recurring dream, Willie Mason moved swiftly as to what was instructed to him and that was to gather the people the Lord had ordained to be a part of this new music ministry endeavor. An e-mail was sent to several people throughout the Triad inviting them to join. After much prayer, many favorable responses were received from both family members and close friends. This God-given assignment to organize a group of talented and gifted vocalist, affectionately known as “WILLIE MASON & FRIENDS,” became a reality on Friday, June 5 at 6:15 p.m., as 11 singers accepted the “gift” to share in music ministry together. It’s the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. Attending the first rehearsal were: Kim Barr, Joi Edwards, Linda Feemster, Justin Glaspie, Andrea Gwyn (now deceased), Paula Imes, Jamina Johnson-Zodi, Cory Jones (musician), Kenya Little, Willie Mason, Tonya McAdoo, Camille Wilson and Derek Wilson. On that night, four songs were rehearsed to share the next day as the group had an invitation to sing prior to being established. On Saturday, June 6 at noon, Willie Mason and Friends made their debut performance at New Bethel Baptist Church for their 119th church anniversary “outdoor” celebration. The group shared the following selections: “We Offer Praise;” “Holy, Holy, Holy,” led by Tonya McAdoo; “My Name Is Victory,” led by Justin Glaspie; and “I Am Souled Out.”
Do not despise small beginnings. Over time the group has continued to grow to include some of the most talented vocalists who are enthusiastic and dedicated ministers of music. Currently there are eight sopranos, seven tenors and nine altos and an anointed group of musicians and ministries of helps.
Since the ministry is not really connected to a specific church and serves as a community-based group, the group has been extended favor which resulted in “opened” doors throughout the city of Winston-Salem to house the group’s weekly choir rehearsals and other celebrations. The group is a loving aggregation of people of love the Lord and each other and this is evident when you are in their presence.
Friends’ mission in this endeavor is to make a difference in music ministry wherever they have an opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ through song. The Lord has great things in store for this new music entity. To experience the music of Willie Mason and Friends is to know that praise and worship is at the core of their purpose in sharing in music ministry.
Making a difference in music ministry!