William Murphy III
By Rene Williams
Elder William Murphy, III had no clue when he was going through the darkest period of his life that his change and his struggle would change gospel music history. He had no idea that from his pain would come joy and peace, deliverance, and healing. But thatís how the Lord works. He takes our misery and exchanges it for joy. It was during the darkest time in Murphyís life that his phenomenal tune Praise Is What I Do was birthed. The worship leaderís (Atlantaís New Birth Cathedral) song (recorded with Shekinah Glory Ministry) turned gospel music upside-down and did what few independent projects have ever done Ė sold over 200,000 copies.
But for Murphy, itís not about the units sold. Itís about the lives touched. And heís been touching lives from his youth. It seems like he was destined for music. Itís always been a part of his life. Growing up in the church with a father and a grandfather as pastors, church was in his blood. But it wasnít until an experience at a Kirk Franklin concert that his musical destiny was assured.
Take a moment to listen to a candid conversation with one of gospelís brightest new stars, Elder William Murphy, III.
Gospelcity.com: When did you start singing in church?
William Murphy, III: The first time I sang it was a Sunday night. I was about 13 years old and my father, the pastor, was at my grandfatherís church. We were getting ready to sing a song by Thomas Whitfield. My dad normally sang the song; he looked at me and threw me out there. He put the mic in my hand and said, ďGo sing it!Ē And thatís how everything got started.
GC: When did it become a ministry to you?
WM: For me singing in church was always a ministry. Even though Iím a church baby, my fatherís a pastor, my granddadís a pastor, and my momís an ordained preacher. I sang in school before I sang in church. I pretty much decided that I was going to preach and work. I was at a Kirk Franklin concert in Detroit. I decided I was going to preach and get a job. On the night of the concert, while we were in worship, the Holy Spirit arrested me and said, ďSon, Iíve called you to music ministry. Iíve called you to make records and travel the world and spread the gospel through worship.Ē That was around 1994. That was pretty much when I knew I didnít really have a choice in the matter. This was something that God had already worked out. From that point on, I said, ďGod, if this is something that you really, really want me to do, youíre going to have to open the doors to make it happen.Ē And I guess I can say, the rest is history.
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