A dozen years in, the Chicago-based ensemble known as Shekinah Glory Ministry (SGM) continues to dominate and set the standard for urban praise and worship music. They’ve made chants such as “Praise is What I Do” and “Jesus” universally known tunes that choirs around the globe sing every Sunday morning. With five RIAA gold and platinum record and video certifications behind them, this coterie of psalmists, minstrels and banner-wavers are poised to strike gold again with their fourth original CD, Surrender (Kingdom Records,) scheduled for a September 25, 2012 release.
Recorded this past April at its home church, Valley Kingdom Ministry International near Chicago, SGM delivered another set of soul-stirring original songs that kept the capacity audience on its feet most of the night with hands lifted towards the heavens in praise. The closing tune, “Surrender”, summed up the evening’s theme. SGM’s leader, Phil Tarver, with a heartfelt plea, prayed openly for God to break his spirit and give him a contrite heart prior to launching into the majestic declaration. “Lord, break me again until the tears pour out”, he whispered into his microphone. “Tonight the Lord says don’t throw in the white towel but wave the white flag,” he challenged the congregation as he implored it to look up and, “tell Him [God] I surrender to your purpose, to your plan, to your way.”
The thirteen-tracks all deal with some variation of concession to God’s will whether by turning one’s trials and tribulations over to Him on the up-tempo, Afro-Cuban seasoned “By Faith” or yielding to a call to worship on the dance-flavored, “Come On”. Aside from Tarver who leads three songs, there are several new SGM voices such as Brandon Alsberry, Joan Olander, Monique Miller, Jason Robinson and Danielle Nightingale Cargo who leads the new radio single, “Champion”. There is a guest appearance by veteran vocalist, Kim Stratton, on the riveting “Broken” and the late Pepe Epting’s tenor soars on, “Peace for My World”.
Kingdom Records is a leader in African-American praise and worship music with hits such as Shekinah Glory Ministry’s 2001 breakthrough smash, “Praise is What I Do”. The million-selling SGM is not a choir. Instead, it’s a dynamic ensemble of psalmists, minstrels, and banner bearers who perform “under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. “ Their Hebrew name means “the glorified presence of God.” Their CDs Praise Is What I Do (#5 peak Top Gospel Albums) and Shekinah Glory Ministry Live (#3 peak Top Gospel Albums – 103 weeks on the chart) were both certified gold in 2005 and 2008 respectively. They also have three gold or platinum DVDs to their credit and their 2010 CD, Refreshed By Fire, debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart. Visit www.kingdomrecordsinc.com for further information on SGM and Kingdom Records.
Shekinah Glory Ministry Performing “Champion”