Pastor David Daniel: The full interview with the Brit gospel stalwart

Wednesday 1st September 2004

The full Tony Cummings nterview with Pastor David Daniel.

Continued from page 2

Tony:  Now it's very interesting that you should, you know have worked with people like Graham Kendrick, done Spring Harvest and things like that because one of the (not saying disappointing) but one of the interesting things which you sometimes encounter with black Christians is that they keep within their own cultural thing.  I suppose that is true with many white Christians, thinking about it.  I know that you mentioned Graham Kendrick, Steve Thompson was a phenomenal guy because he was at ease in any cultural setting and would you say that is something which he helped instill in you?  Have you got a similar attitude of being at ease.

David: I tell you it's quite funny, we have the union we have. When I met Steve some time ago we kind of forged quite a nice kind of relationship together and like I said my own background from my church history was not mainstream, so there was a lot of classical music in it and the churches we used to associate with were not necessarily the mainstream pentecostal churches as well, so thank God, in a way  I have had a bit of a different road to the point to where I am at right now.  But I think it is sad when we cannot mix and we do get stuck in our own styles and our own settings.  One of the things from our album which we have got now is we don't want it just to be a gospel album.  We really wanted to cross over.

Tony: It was really interesting when I was speaking to an executive from your record company last week and the point he emphasized was first and foremost this is tremendous worship.  Whereas before someone could have said this is a gospel project.  It's interesting because in many ways that is the way it's going isn't it?  It's like people buy a Ron Conolli album or an Elvin Slaughter album, something like that, they are not thinking first and foremost is this black, is this white, they are thinking does this help me connect with God.

David: That's right!

Tony:  So maybe we are coming to an age where finally the church can let go of some those cultural barriers because although I can understand it as a shorthand, black gospel means a particular kind of style, CCM means something else.  Beyond a certain point those words and terms are not really helpful are they?  Because when you think about it, the church should be leading the way in terms of cultural integration you know, black and white worshiping the same God in different ways, and surely I would have thought there's something to be learnt from any different culture.

David: Yes, I agree with that 100 %.  You know the difference and the mixture you know, reflects God's Kingdom.  And I know, I think that we have to, as Christians embrace this.  I think one of the greatest things about Christianity is that my relationship with God and our relationship with God is dependent on our relationship with each other.  So if we can actually get on with each other, if we can really genuinely can love each other then we can say we love God.  As the Bible says, if you say you love God and you hate your brother, whom you  can see, you are lying!  And I think that what we genuinely need now in this 21st Century is for us all to come together and to really be united as Christ wants us to be, as in the end that is what Christ wants!  He wants all things under one head.

Tony:  Does that mean then our churches in the next decade are going to become more and more  multi-cultural, multi-racial entities?

David: I think so.  When I was in Bible school my final essay was entitled "Church Planting and the Homogenous Unit", and basically what that means is how can we plant churches and not have these churches just with one particular ethnic group.  So how can we plant churches and have mixtures, mixed congregations, age and culturally, etc etc.  I think there is a lot of difficulties but we will have to stop and realize that the end result, that is where we need to get to.

Tony: For surely that is what Heaven is going to be like!

David: Amen! That's what God's Kingdom is about!

Tony: I can't really imagine we are going to have a black section and a Spanish section, it's not going to be like that is it?

David: I think that for my own peers we have to be able to appreciate the music and the worship from different sections of the Kingdom.  We need to able to go into an Anglican church and really feel the presence of God.  I have been in Anglican churches and you know, tears have been brought to my eyes just by even listening to the readings.

Tony: But it might be a little more easier for you because of your classical music background.  The difficulty when you get to our adult years , if we are not careful we get very fixed in our cultural  tastes and we think, particulrly with something which is more  than culture,  like where the presence of God is, where the annointing is and begin to associate, well God blesses me through these anglican hymns and that is the way God blesses and rather than thinking well God is the God of every type of music.  God can bless you through funk music, God can bless you through a gospel choir.  Maybe we are moving towards a more greater cultural understanding.  Let's hope so!  Let's go back to the time when you were studying for the pastorate.  Did you get a very strong call to be a pastor?

David: Most definitely!

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Reader Comments

Posted by Evangelist Daniele in Luton, ENGLAND @ 10:21 on Nov 19 2008

Gospel music digs deeper than any other music throughout the world today. And those who make it so, and those who have made it so in the past, form an uncompromising band of Christian saints men and women, who have spent decades in contention with all manner of difficult circumstances.

Few performers have had it quite so tough as gospel singers and it shows in the way they commit themselves within a song: The Christian vision of deliverance from spiritual and social shackles has always held out the greatest hope to those with least to lose and the gospel song is essentially a song of deliverance. The real, breathtaking power of gospel singing cannot be understood as anything less than the ecstatic victory shout of a soul set free at last. There is no music quite like that of gospel music, no drama like the drama of Christians rejoicing, the sinners moaning and repenting, the tambourines shaking, and all those voices coming together in unity, crying holy unto, the LORD. I have never seen anything during my Ministerial life as an Evangelist, to equal the fire and excitement that gospel music carries, without warning can fill a church with the awesome power of God's glory.

Nothing that has happened to me since, can equal the majestic power and the glory that I sometimes feel when, in the middle of a worship song, I knew that I was somehow, by some miracle, really carrying, really singing, as they say, the WORD, when the church and I are singing and dancing, in anguish and rejoicing at the foot of the altar. So let your heart exult wordlessly into joyous song by breaking down all barriers in the immeasurable fullness of your countenance by the words of your songs, whether at the harvest table, in the vineyards, or elsewhere. For true, really, true gospel singers, groups or bands they will always worship God in Spirit and in Truth, and recognise that He and He alone gets all the glory, AMEN

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