Epic is the one word to describe Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir Reunion Live Recording. With 300 voices, 30 years, and 13 albums, they have earned the title.
When they hit the historic stage at The Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, NY, there were 4 hours of nonstop singing to a star-studded crowd that would not or could not be seated. I regretted leaving my flat shoes in the car because we were literally on our feet the entire show. I’ve never been to a concert where the crowd stood the whole time. I couldn’t help but think, “What it must feel like to be Hezekiah Walker right now?” But with songs like I’ll Fly Away, Sweeter Than the Day Goes By, Jesus is The Light, Let The Redeemed, How Much We Can Bear, Make It To That City, Christ Did It All, I Will Go In Jesus name, I’ll make it and Clean Inside, how can you sit? I was literally transported back to a time when Brooklyn was jumping with gospel music. Every song took me back to fond memories, good times, and rushing home to dig out my old CDs’.
The show started with the 1999 Let’s Dance video, featuring BB Jay and Dave Hollister and then a surreal tribute to those choir members deceased, including the late great composer Melvin Crispell.
The hits just kept coming with featured gospel artist performances like Isaac Carree with Restore Me, Jonathan McRenoyald’s acoustic rendition of Anyway You Bless Me, and Brooklyn’s own Timoney Figueroa with her 1985 hit Calling My Name, which definitely put a shift in the atmosphere. “Thank you, Hezekiah Walker, for what you’ve done for gospel music,” Figueroa said.
And that’s when the tears began to fall; very emotional, Hezekiah Walker acknowledged that he was truly a Survivor because of God. He thanked the many friends that came to support him including, Israel Houghton and Adrienne Bailon. “Israel’s about to get married y’all…everybody needs somebody,” said Hezekiah. Israel surprised Adrienne and the crowd by showing her a young girl singing Second Chance as Monique Walker stepped to the microphone. The incredible Marvin Sapp and Tasha Page left us in awe. But of course, my favorite Dorinda Clark Cole gospel scatters, shut it all the way down with Lift Him.
The choir first began performing in local arenas and halls and churches, hospitals, prisons, and even the streets. “We began as a concert choir but changed to a ministry choir,” says Walker. “I had no idea when we started [the choir] that it was ever going to reach the international notoriety that it has.”
In 1986 Love Fellowship Choir recorded their first live album, entitled I’ll Make It, which became a smashing hit in gospel music. In 1989 the choir recorded their 2nd live recording entitled Oh Lord We Praise You, which put the choir with major gospel artists. In 1990 the choir received major secular attention, which brought them to arenas to perform with Celine Dion, Patti Labelle, Brian McKnight, Enrique Iglesias, Kenneth “ BabyFace” Edmonds, and numerous other stars; the choir has also recorded with Teddy Riley, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Brandy, Kelly Price, Faith Evans, Ray Charles, and Justin Timberlake to name a few.
The choir credits are 2 Grammy Awards, 12 Grammy nominations, countless other Dove, Stellar, NAACP, and privately recognized awards and nominations.
Follow HARVEST on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more pictures and videos.