Lead pastor of Victory Fellowship Church in Thomasville, GA, Jamie Nunnally has released his brand new worship album "God is with Us." Nunnally is one of the few senior pastors who also writes and performs worship music. Nunnally's latest release, "God is With Us," is a modern rock-based worship album, a follow-up to his debut "Hope Remains" which was released in 2012. "Hope Remains" featured guitarist Jason Hoard (Third Day) and drummer Brian Scoggins (Casting Crowns). The song "Hope Remains" was played on dozens of Christian radio stations worldwide.
We are so honored to be able to catch up with Jamie for this Hallels' exclusive review.
Hallels: Thank you Jamie for doing this interview with us. You are the lead pastor of Victory Fellowship Church and you are also releasing your brand new album "God is with Us." This is quite unusual for a senior pastor to be releasing a worship album. So, do you lead worship as well as preach in you church?
No, I don't. Most of the worship leading I do is at conferences or events outside of my local church. I do occasionally lead worship for some of our music-only nights of praise but not for Sunday mornings. Our church has been blessed with an excellent worship leader and an incredible team of musicians and singers. Honestly, I wouldn't want to get in their way. I learned a long time ago that as long as I cling to a certain ministry position, it hinders others from moving in their calling. I'd much rather train up replacements. We see that Jesus did this as well during his earthly ministry. He trained his disciples for three years then said, "Alright guys, your turn!"
Hallels: How do you balance your time between writing sermons and writing worship songs?
It takes planning, that's for sure! I take Monday's off each week to rest from the busy weekends so that's a common time for me to write music. Music has always been a restorative process for me, not a drain, so writing on my days off from church activities actually helps me in my recuperation process. Unfortunately, by brain doesn't always cooperate with this schedule so when I get ideas for songs during incredibly random times I'll use a voice recorder app on my Smartphone to capture it so I can come back to it later.
Hallels: Does one feed into one another? Such as does preaching help with your songwriting and vice versa?
Absolutely! I'll be studying for the weekend's sermon and as I'm pouring over scripture, many times a song will begin to be birthed. As a matter of fact, the song on this album "We Pray" was written in response to a sermon on prayer. It's one thing to teach a congregation intellectual truth by saying "you should pray" and back that statement up with scripture. But it will become even more of a reality in our lives when we carry out that truth practically. So I thought, what better way to drive the point home than to sing it together in unity?
Hallels: What take home messages do you want your listeners to grasp after hearing "God is with Us"?
I pray that listeners are filled with overwhelming joy and peace as they take in the mind-blowing reality that the God who made everything and knows everything wants to accompany us during this life. I firmly believe God doesn't just want us to live for him but with him. Even at the end of the Great Commission he said, "And lo, I am with you always." Jesus may have ascended but God is still with us. He said he wouldn't leave us as orphans but would give us his Holy Spirit. He'll never leave us or forsake us and that's about the best news we could ever hear.
Hallels: Did this album take a long time to write and record? What was the most enjoyable part of making this album?
I had most of the songs written before I began to actually record so it went fairly quickly - only a few months. The best part of making the album was the back-and-forth with my producer, Sean Hill with Uphill Studios. The Bible says "Where there is no counsel, the people fall." It never ceases to amaze me how important it is to get good advice from wise, experienced people. I had written and re-written these songs and then submitted them to Sean for his input. Part of me thought "Ok, these songs are finished so let's just lay down the tracks" but Sean did an amazing job of tweaking, revisiting and making sure each song was the absolute best version of itself. It's really a picture of the Holy Spirit's work in our lives - He loves us so much he keeps adjusting us and pointing out areas where we can change for the better. I love that process and I'm grateful for it, whether it's my producer's help with my songs or the Holy Spirit's moving in my life!
Hallels: For our readers who may not have heard the new CD yet, how would describe your style of worship music?
I am a big fan of rock music so it's definitely rock-based contemporary worship. I hear regular comparisons to Chris Tomlin, Jeremy Camp and Paul Baloche. And obviously, I consider those to be huge compliments!
Hallels: If our readers would like to purchase your album or/and find out more about you, where can they go?
To find out more, just go to my website www.jamienunnally.com where there you can find news, chord charts, and videos as well as listen to and buy music. The album can be downloaded from iTunes and other digital retailers online. To buy a physical copy, they can hop over to CDbaby.com. I would also love to connect on my FaceBook music page (www.facebook.com/jamienunnally) and on Twitter (@jamienunnally).