Jasper Williams Jr., pastor of the Atlanta-based Salem Bible Church is back on the music scene with his first new musical recordings in 20 years.
Fans may best remember Williams from the 1960s through the 1980s when he recorded two dozen best-selling sermon LPs such as 1986’s “I Fell in Love With a Prostitute” and a handful of memorable gospel music albums. The radio single “Down through the Years” is a throwback to the old-fashioned but never out-of-style Pentecostal church services of the early 20th century. After just being released a few short weeks ago, the song has stormed into the Top 100 most played songs at gospel radio.
“Every time I normally preach, I hit that song, and everywhere I go people cling to it,” Williams said in a news release. “When I sing it, they grab it. I told my producer, ‘Let’s do it the old way with no music.'”
“Down through the Years” is one of 13 songs comprising Williams’ July 20, 2010, CD release “Landmark” (Church Door Records). The album is a celebration of William’s musical heritage. Amid gospel standards such as “Born Again,” “Calvary,” and other classics arranged by Salem’s Minister of Music/Producer Kelvin A. Manson, are new songs with an old-school feel by Dorinda Clark Cole’s tunesmith Derrick Starks, Bishop Means, Malcolm Williams, Morris Mingo, and Oscar Williams.
In the meantime, Williams is pleased with the buzz on the album.
“If I leave this world now,” he said. “I feel that God has given me a fullness of life for which I’m proud and pleased and this would be a great exit for this album to hit and make it.”