As preparations continue for the October 1st, 2016 Festival of Praise Tour launch—the tour’s third consecutive year–Grammy, Stellar, Dove, BET and NAACP Image Award-winning Gospel mega-star and tour founder Fred Hammond marks his return to the road with a just announced radio single, “Father Jesus Spirit,” and his new RCA Inspiration album, “Worship Journal Live,” out September 30th and currently available for pre-order at all digital retailers. The much-anticipated live cd, his first in 17 years, was recorded before a packed and enthusiastic Houston crowd earlier in May.
The star-studded national event he founded several years ago kicks off October 1ST, at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre, and will reach over 50 major cities across the country, running through December, 2016. Multiple cities have been added since the tour was first announced last month, including Las Vegas, October 5th.
“FOP 2016 is going to be off the chain!,” Hammond said, adding, “ The thing I love about this tour is that no matter who you are or where you’ve come from, you’re guaranteed to have a great time, something is surely going to inspire you, and you’re going to want to come back again and again! You definitely don’t want to miss this so don’t be late because we’ve got an incredible show planned from beginning to end!”
One of the most revered singer/songwriter/producers in Christian music today, Fred Hammond is the triple threat that has gone on to sell over 10 million albums worldwide. He is considered the architect behind the “Urban Praise & Worship” phenomenon in Gospel music today.
The Detroit native who is now based in Dallas where tour production is currently underway, plans to release a new cd to coincide with the tour; the new cd is expected out in October on RCA Records.
The Festival of Praise Tour 2016 will feature performances by the biggest names in the industry, from Hezekiah Walker, the singer/composer/choir leader/radio host, and visionary founder and Senior Pastor of the Love Fellowship Tabernacle Churches in Brooklyn, and Bensalem, PA., to the electrifying Israel Houghton, bringing the voices and sounds of music with African, Middle Eastern and South American slants, and Karen Clark Sheard, the multi-Grammy® winner and former member of the legendary female group, The Clark Sisters. The lineup also features Casey Janice Hobbs, “Casey J,” best known for her Number 1 hit song, “Fill Me Up,” and Regina Belle, who recorded the Grammy® winning song, “A Whole New World,” for the film, Aladdin. Comedian “Earthquake” will serve as show host.
Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award-winning gospel great Fred Hammond (“Blessed”) is bringing back the Festival of Praise Tour for the 3rd straight year! The Festival of Praise Tour promises to be an evening of soul-stirring music which will feature Fred Hammond, Hezekiah Walker, Israel Houghton, Karen Clark Sheard, Regina Belle, Casey J, and hosted by the comedian Earthquake.
The country’s most inspirational singers are joined by musicians and vocalists in spreading an almighty message of faith and love. “This show is sure to be one music lovers, church lovers and gospel music fans will be talking about for years to come,” says The North Dallas Gazette.
Fred Hammond first gained recognition while playing bass guitar for The Winans. He has been active as both a solo recording artist and a member of the gospel group Commissioned. A multiple Dove and Stellar award winner and nominee as a performer, vocalist, musician, songwriter and producer, he received his first Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album for Free to Worship (2006). Hammond’s most recent album is Love Unstoppable.
A multi-instrumentalist, producer and vocalist for the soulful black gospel group Commissioned during the 1980s and ’90s, Fred Hammond also became one of the most popular praise & worship leaders in the field. Born in Detroit, Hammond began singing with his church choir at the age of twelve. He played bass and sang with the Winans during the early ’80s, then joined Commissioned later in the decade, showcasing his superb arranging, production and songwriting skill as well as his soaring vocals. Hammond’s concurrent solo career began in 1991 with I Am Persuaded, and he released additional albums for Benson, gradually embracing an in-concert feel even on his studio recordings. His fifth studio album, Purpose By Design was released under the Verity label in 2000. In Case You Missed It…And Then Some followed in 2001
Gospel singer, composer, and choir leader Hezekiah Walker was born December 24, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in the Fort Greene housing projects. He formed his first gospel group, the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir, when he was in his twenties and serving as a Pentecostal minister. Walker and the choir released a pair of albums in 1987 and 1990 before Walker turned to a solo career, releasing Focus on Glory in 1992. A year later he released Live in Toronto, which proved to be his breakthrough, and the album hit the top of the gospel charts. Forming another choir, this one called the Love Fellowship Tabernacle Church Choir, Walker continued to release albums recorded live on the church circuit, including Live in Atlanta at Morehouse College in 1994, Hezekiah Walker Presents the LFT Church Choir in 1998, Family Affair in 1999, and Love Is Live! in 2001. Along the way Walker brought a lot of young people to gospel and choir music, and has shown he has no problem using modern vernacular and recording techniques to expand his fan and worship base. Souled Out appeared in 2008, followed by Azusa: The Next Generation in 2013, both from Verity Records.
Bishop Hezekiah Walker is the visionary, founder and Senior Pastor of the Love Fellowship Tabernacle Churches in Brooklyn, New York and Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Pastor Walker shepherds a growing and multi-cultural flock of members varying in age, race and socio-economic backgrounds. Born and raised in Brooklyn in the tumultuous Fort Greene public housing projects, he has risen to build and lead one of the greatest ministries in the Northeast.
Love Fellowship Tabernacle was birthed in November 1993, located at 2425 Pacific Street. The cradle of the Tabernacle’s humble beginnings began with only eight members. The church, located in the East New York section of Brooklyn, focused on the young adolescents in the community. As a result, many young people turned from a life of drugs, crime and sin because of his ability to preach, teach and “rightly divide” the Word of God without fear or reservation.
The need for souls to be saved was always a priority on the heart of Pastor Walker; so on Easter Sunday 1996 Love Fellowship Tabernacle relocated to 464 Liberty Avenue. What had begun with only eight members had quickly blossomed to over 1,000 members.
The vision God gave to Pastor Walker was founded on the three “P’s:” Prayer, Preaching and Praise. As he led the people of God into prayer and praise, he labored diligently in the preaching of the gospel to ensure that people of all ages received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. His ability to motivate, inspire and empower through the Word of God drew people from all walks of life to the Tuesday night prayer and Bible study, now known as the “Prayer Capital of New York City.” Presently, Pastor Walker and the church family are awaiting the construction of their new mega-church facility (The Kingdom Cathedral) to accommodate the overflow of souls.
About Hezekiah Walker Ministries
Hezekiah Walker Ministries is one of the most unique ministries of our generation. HWM began almost 25 years ago with the founding of the Grammy Award Winning – “Love Fellowship Crusade Choir”. HWM continued to grow by sharing a memorable mix of strong biblical preaching and gospel music in thousands of churches and convention centers. After many years of traveling, the need to expand the ministry led to the birth of the Love Fellowship Tabernacle Church. The church has now grown to over 2,000 members with locations in New York and Pennsylvania. Due to the favor of God and the overwhelming success of HWM, many Pastors and churches have now joined and become a part of the latest HWM venture; Covenant Keepers International Fellowship a fellowship of churches throughout the USA and in South Africa under the leadership of Bishop Hezekiah Walker. Through television programs, revival meetings, books, magazines, the web and local church outreaches, HWM is spreading the Gospel of Jesus in a way that is reaching people and changing the lives of many around the world.
In 2007, HWM was blessed to launch the “Hezekiah Walker Show -Afternoon Praise” weekdays on New York’s only 24 hour gospel radio station, 1190 WLIB from 2pm – 7pm. Shortly thereafter a new show was added; Sunday Morning Celebration on 107.5 WBLS. In the very near future both shows will be syndicated in over 40 cities. For more than twenty five years, HWM has had one vision, one goal and one mission – The Advancement of the Kingdom. HWM is committed to using every available strategy to win the lost for Christ. Accessible, humble, compassionate and full of integrity – is Hezekiah Walker Ministries.
“And Because God Is The Greatest Power, We Shall Not Be Defeated”
ISRAEL HOUGHTON & NEW BREED is a movement created for those who believe that worship and justice go hand in hand. We exist to reflect the heart of God and His love for the nations, the poor, the lost, and the forgotten. “We are not defined by the petty price tag mentalities of society. Our inheritance lies far beyond eternity. There are no limits when it comes to our destiny. As the deep goes deeper we find our name. We are New Breed”…. Are you?
ISRAEL HOUGHTON & NEW BREED have achieved a synthesis of music and message that is electrifying and activating audiences inside and outside of traditional church walls. Most of their albums have been recorded before live audiences to capture their infectious energy. Leader, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Israel Houghton has seen his compositions become integral components for progressive now-generation churches. Flanked by voices filled with joy, purpose and conviction singing over galvanizing arrangements of music with African, Middle Eastern and South American slants, Israel and New Breed have swiftly amassed a legion of followers that crosses generational and cultural lines. And as barriers are blasted away, the sprawling cutting-edge unit has been fittingly graced with two Gold-selling albums, seven Dove Awards, two Stellar Awards, a Soul Train Award, seven Grammy® Award nominations, and four Grammy® Awards. The most recent being a 2011 Grammy® for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album (Love God.Love People.)
Building on the theme of his Grammy-winning 2009 offering The Power of One, Houghton returned to the studio, this time London’s famed Abbey Road Studios, to record his new masterwork and another Grammy winner, Love God. Love People., with a little help from his friends. There, holed up in a hallowed space of classic recordings by Rock royalty The Beatles, Houghton and his crack team of co-producers Aaron Lindsey and Tommy Sims, along with guests Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, and Take 6’s Claude V. McKnight, Mark Kibble and Joey Kibble, created a new ode to love in this epic, 12-song cycle. The result, Love God. Love People. (Integrity Music/Columbia), delivers the musical versatility, profound lyrics and galvanizing displays of vocal and instrumental virtuosity fans have come to expect from Israel Houghton.
Summing up Love God. Love People., and the culmination of his first 20 years in music ministry, Houghton states, “For this season of my life, this is what I’m still passionate about. If I wasn’t an artist, I would still be an activist – out trying to make a difference and giving a voice to those who don’t have one. New Breed could have easily found its end at any time overnight. Not because the music wasn’t good, but because we had failed up to that point to discover our real purpose. It was not to build a platform under myself but to build a platform under others. Once we as a team grasped the understanding that ‘Strength is for service not status’ (Romans: 15), we knew our success was not about winning awards, selling platinum CDs or selling out concert halls. It was about taking whatever momentum we could gather and giving it back in service. That’s what has kept me and New Breed relevant, focused and effective. And I am grateful that God has surrounded me with people who have that same heart.”