His music captures the attention of both young and old. It is a simple call to worship; an outpouring of praise that embraces you and welcomes you to the dynamic sound of Jonathan Nelson.
An alumnus of the Baltimore School for the Arts and Morgan State University, Jonathan Nelson is a gifted singer, worship leader, pianist and composer whose outstanding talent and ability brought him an opportunity to study, travel and perform under the direction of the renowned Dr. Nathan Carter. Quickly gaining recognition in the metropolitan area as a driving force in gospel music, Jonathan’s talent was soon being commissioned for several other projects. Most notably, he was hand picked to travel abroad to serve as Director for an entourage of professional singers that toured in Europe. There he performed at the Vatican in Rome and many other historical places sharing the message of faith, love and Christ through music. Jonathan Nelson maintains his roots in music ministry, currently serving as the Director of Music and Fine Arts as well as Worship Leader at Empowerment Temple A.M.E. Church in Baltimore, MD under the leadership of Reverend Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant. The church is touted as the “fastest growing A.M.E. Church in the nation.” Prior to this appointment, he served as Minister of Music at the Greater Bethlehem Temple Church also in Baltimore, MD, where his father Bishop James Nelson is pastor.
In the year 2000, the Lord opened another door and expanded his ministry when he was commissioned to work with award winning recording artist, Karen Clark-Sheard. Under his leadership and direction, a special group was formed to sing background for this appearance. It was from this experience, God birthed a new ministry group called “Purpose.”
Composed of 15 outstanding singers, the innovative sound of Jonathan Nelson & Purpose soon became well known for their spirited, cutting-edge interpretation of gospel music. As a group, they have been repeatedly sought out as featured background vocalists for such well known recording artists as Chrystal Rucker, Kim Burrell, Kurt Carr, Brenda Waters, Walter Hawkins, Daryl Coley, Witness, Rance Allen, Ted & Sheri, as well as Donald Lawrence, a great mentor and friend of the group. Their performance resume now includes a variety of stand out concert appearances with CeCe Winans, Israel Houghton and New Breed, Hezekiah Walker, Byron Cage, Natalie Wilson, Stephen Hurd, Tye Tribbett and GA, Ricky Dillard & New G, TBN’s Praise The Lord, MEGAFEST (sponsored by Bishop TD Jakes) and an appearance on Bobby Jones Gospel.
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