WIDU Carolina’s Best Winner: Bishop David Howell’s Live Recording
By A~Z Hubbard SAVED: What churches or church do you pastor? Bishop: I pastor at Greater Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Kinston, NC and oversee Mighty Warriors Deliverance Center in Goldsboro, NC. SAVED: How long have you been a Pastor and a Bishop? Bishop: I’ve been a Pastor going on nine years and a little Bishop going on five years. SAVED: When was the call? Bishop: At birth. SAVED: When did you decide to be obedient and move forward in the call? Bishop: At the age of 20. SAVED: You’re moving into a different realm; well I wouldn’t say a different realm, but an additional style of ministry which is music. Music has always been a part of your ministry but, you’re doing recordings now correct? Bishop: Right. SAVED: Now how long have you been recording? Bishop: I’ve been recording since I was about 17, but it wasn’t gospel music. I was doing secular music. I was a part of this local record label that was doing on performing in clubs and stuff like that. SAVED: That graduation up from God has expanded your territory into recording gospel music including CDs and videos. What was the name of your first project and when was it? Bishop: My first project was the gospel CD entitled “Free.” I released it in February 2016. SAVED: Have you produced another project since that time? Bishop: Yes, I did, it’s entitled “The Psalms of David” which I released in December 2016. That’s the CD that really started opening doors. SAVED: I loved that CD, I think I probably don’t have any more songs on it because I played it so many times. Talking about recordings, now you’re ready to record a new project is that correct? What’s the name of that? Bishop: The name of that project is “You Are, I Am.” SAVED: Who are collaborating with you on this project? Bishop: Wow okay, the great DeMarcus Kelly, Veronica Michelle Hobbs, and Tim Pounds. I’ve got a special guest that I have not told anybody yet so you’re the first person hear about it. SAVED: Oh, so SAVED News gets the scooped. So who is the special guest? Bishop: Canton Jones is going to do collaborate with us. He’s going to do one track. SAVED: Oh wow, that’s a door opener. I can’t wait to hear it because your style is a little contemporary and he’s a little traditional. So how’s that blend going to work? Bishop: Well, he can get contemporary too. SAVED: Is this track going be more contemporary? Bishop: Yes. SAVED: When is the recording? Bishop: The scheduled date is November 25th at 5 pm at the Paramount Theatre downtown Goldsboro. SAVED: So this is a live recording? Bishop: Yes, it’s a live recording. We will also be recording a live DVD at the same time. SAVED: I know Tim Pound does videography, will he be doing the DVD for this project? Bishop: He’s actually rapping. SAVED: This project sounds exciting with Tim Pounds rapping, the anointed Demarcus Kelly singing, songstress Veronica Michelle Hobbs, and the always inspirational Canton Jones. Bishop: Yes, I’m excited; I’m really excited. SAVED: What was the inspiration for this project? How did you come up with the title song and the songs? Bishop: Well, actually a lot of the songs are from when I first switched over to gospel music. I wanted to do this live recording but it was not the time. Some of these songs were written way back then. I guess I wasn’t mature enough or it wasn’t God’s timing yet; so I let it go. But the title came from when I was at the church practicing and it just dropped in my spirit “You Are, I Am.” At first, I was like, what are you saying? “You Are, I Am?” But then God explained it; God is the “I Am” and from God’s perspective, I am the “You Are” because of Him. It’s a worship album; it’s more of a praise and worship album. SAVED: Tell us about the live recording and the details. Bishop: It’s at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Goldsboro on November 25th at 5 pm. Early bird tickets on sale now for $10.00 until November 5th; after then it’s $20.00, and $25.00 at the door. We also have VIP tickets for $35.00 that includes backstage, front row seating, food, and a tee shirt. SAVED: One thing that’s happened in between you planning this project and the new project, is that the Lord has blessed you to win a contest, a major contest, the WIDU Carolina’s Best Contest. So let’s talk about that a little bit. Bishop: I went to Fayetteville while touring for the “Psalms of David” album, and one of the ladies there was a real estate agent. She got a copy of the CD and after she heard the CD she became very supportive and she kept sending me information about this Carolina’s Best thing. She said this would probably be a really good opportunity for me. I said I didn’t want to ever do another competition again, not with singing gospel music. I debated it and fought myself on it. Then the week of the competition, she sent me another message so I said I’m going to just go down here and try anyway. I didn’t think I was going to get through. I was just trying, you know, so she’ll be happy. So when they announced on Facebook and the radio on who had made it through to the finals, I was one of the six contestants that made it through. Then I had to go through with it, I went and did “Deliver” which is one of the songs off of the “Psalms of David” album. There was some great, great talent from North and South Carolina there. I sat down; my team was sure I was going to win; I wasn’t because I don’t wanna be you know selfish. Then they called my name and that was it; I won. SAVED: Excellent, congratulations again. Who were the judges at WIDU Carolina’s Best Contest? Bishop: This year they had Miranda Curtis, Mal Williams, JJ Harrison, and Travis Green. It was a very balanced panel from different genres of gospel music. SAVED: What does it entail being the winner of WIDU Carolina’s Best winner? Bishop: On that Saturday we opened up for Tasha Cobbs, Tasha Bentley, and Kurt Franklin. The Crow Coliseum was slam packed, it was sold out; thousands and thousands of people were there. Which was a huge platform that I had never been on before outside television; well it was awesome, it was awesome. We did get a lot of phone calls and hits. I don’t know if you know the song, “You Deserve It,” the guy who wrote that was there and he got up with me and gave me some kudos and wanted to know what I was going to do with my music. Kurt Franklin really encouraged me to keep going, it was really good. Being the winner means to carry that title; to have the judges from a national and international platform validate you, so that’s really encouraging. God continued to bless because my CD sales went up. SAVED: You have a lot of things on your plate, what’s next after the recording? Are you still on tour? We slowed down from the tour to focus on the live recording. The radio station in Boston, MA picked up my CD too, so it’s now being aired there. As a matter of fact, the day I was in Fayetteville, I was contacted by them. SAVED: Finally, Bishop, tell us a little bit about your family. Bishop: I’ve been married to the lovely and anointed Sylia Hagans Howell for 8 years. She also ministers in song with me. We have 6 beautiful children Aniya is 8; David, Jr is 7; Ariana is 5; Danielle is 3; Precious is 2; and Zariaya is 11 months. We also have another child on the way.