International evangelist, Gary Sprewell, has just released his debut album, Gary Sprewell Church’n With Friends. Sprewell, who has ministered in fifteen countries around the world, is widely known for his charismatic preaching style with a great voice to accompany. Now, he’s taken that gift and invited several of gospel music’s biggest names to create a live-recorded worship experience for the world to enjoy. Special guests include Karen Clark Sheard, Marvin Sapp, Kierra Sheard, Chrystal Rucker, Dr. Myron Williams, and Johnteris Tate (of the Soul Seekers). In this TCB Exclusive, Gary talks about the vision for this record, what he hopes listeners take away from the collection and what he is expectant for in this new year.
Congratulations on the recent release of Gary Sprewell Church’n With Friends! When did you first have the vision for this project and how did it evolve up until the release?
Thank you so much! I had the vision for this project sitting in my home talking to people struggling in their faith because of this pandemic. The pandemic was hard for a lot of people, so I wanted to offer them what helped me when I was going through some of the most traumatic moments of my life as a child, songs of old. So this project was really birthed from hearing people who needed to feel close to God in a season when it felt like he was silent.
Initially, I was going to record it live from my home and I was going to title it “praising through a pandemic” but I didn’t want to date the project so we chose to self title it but my hope is that it still helps people get through their crisis even after this pandemic.
Why is the overall theme/message of this project so important to you personally?
The overall message of this project is important to me because I realize that corporate worship or “church’n with friends” is one of the things the pandemic has kind of stolen from us. Connecting with God is vital but community is important as well. So I pray that this project helps people reconnect whether in person or virtually.
Which lyric do you think the world most needs to hear now in its current state?
The incredible thing about this project is that the music is powerful but the message is life-changing. Every song has lyrical content that will find you where you are and/or take you where you need to be so it’s hard to pick a single lyric. The world needs to hear it all! [Laughs.]
Is there a recurring theme you have noted from the listener responses you’ve received?
The recurring theme that I’ve noticed from listeners is that “the sound” resonates with them. The sound of the classical pentecostal church is a sound that brings church kids back to their upbringing and one that captivates the new convert. The sound of the church is still very much powerful.
How are you looking to define success for this debut project?
I would define success by how many lives are touched and how many people are encouraged. I would love the awards and the chart-breaking accomplishments but I measure success by the souls that were touched and lives changed.
Who, or what, is currently providing inspiration for you, either musically or spiritually?
I’m super inspired by everyone involved in this project. Kierra is killing the game not just as an artist but as an entrepreneur and new wife. Seeing her maximize every area of her life is incredible. Lady Karen is a legend. To see the Clark sisters having their second or third wind with their Lifetime movie and expanding their audience is epic. She is killing it on the big screen and everywhere in between. Marvin starting over in Texas and starting a label, Myron making history in COGIC as the first male Music president, Tate thriving in LA, Chrystal being comfortable in her skin and getting better every day… They all inspire me and I’m so grateful to be connected to them all.
What are you most expectant for in 2022?
In 2022 I’m expecting to see the promises of God fulfilled in my life and in the lives of those connected to me. I know that God doesn’t lie nor does he forget. Everything he’s ever spoken is going to come to pass and it’s about to happen quickly! 2022 is going to be the best we’ve seen yet!