William Murphy III

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 that’s how the Lord works. He takes our misery and exchanges it for joy. It was during the darkest time in Murphy’s life that his phenomenal tune Praise Is What I Do was birthed. The worship leader’s (Atlanta’s New Birth Cathedral) song (recorded with Shekinah Glory Ministry) turned gospel music upside-down and did what few independent projects have ever done – sold over 200,000 copies.

William Murphy, IIIBut for Murphy, it’s not about the units sold. It’s about the lives touched. And he’s been touching lives from his youth. It seems like he was destined for music. It’s 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 wasn’t 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 gospel’s brightest new stars, Elder William Murphy, III. 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 grandfather’s 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, “Go sing it!” And that’s 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 I’m a church baby, my father’s a pastor, my granddad’s a pastor, and my mom’s 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, “Son, I’ve called you to music ministry. I’ve called you to make records and travel the world and spread the gospel through worship.” That was around 1994. That was pretty much when I knew I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. This was something that God had already worked out. From that point on, I said, “God, if this is something that you really, really want me to do, you’re going to have to open the doors to make it happen.” And I guess I can say, the rest is history.


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