Many churches have segregated their Sunday morning services into two parallel halves of worship that occupies the first half hour, followed by another half hour of teaching. Such an artificial dissemination is not only Biblically uninformed but it pilfers each component of its glorious potential. This is because the best of sermons always drives us to our knees and worship that transforms always presents God in fresh and revealing truths. This is never the case when it comes to Donald Lawrence: when he leads worship, he teaches as well. Thus, on this brand new RCA Inspiration compiled released "The Best of Donald Lawrence & Co.," we are not only led to the presence of the Father in adoration, we are also taught great truths about confession, developing a righteous mind, the Biblical concept of creation or re-creation, healing and miracles, how God's truth affects AIDS victims and so forth. Therefore, this an amalgamation of the very best worship and teaching together all for the price of one disc.
Donald Lawrence is a man who has had worn many hats. He started off as the music director for soul legend Stephanie Mills. After such a stint, he made a splash in Gospel Music by helping reshaped the regional Tri-City singers transforming them into an internationally acclaimed choir. Donning the garb of producer, Lawrence has fine tuned the sounds of artists as diverse as Hip Hop queen Mary J. Blige, jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis and Gospel music's own Hezekiah Clark and the Clark Sisters. Later, Donald Lawrence began stepping out on his own with his solo efforts. His debut solo record "I Speak Life" remains one of the most awarded album in Gospel music garnering 7 Stellar Award nominations and 6 astonishing wins.
Just like what RCA Inspiration has recently done for J Moss, "The Best of Donald Lawrence & Co" is a 15 song retrospective collection of some of Donald Lawrence biggest songs over the last decade or so. While may Gospel songs are very much impromptu caterwauling of phrases aimlessly stringed together at the spur of the moment, Lawrence spends time in crafting melodies that are hook laden and thoughtfully brings out his teachings. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, Lawrence was not afraid to speak about it with pastoral sensitivity and with Biblical authority on the gorgeous crafted ballad "I Speak Life." And what makes the smash hit "Healed" so endearing is the delicate touch of how Lawrence couches the Lord's healing touch within the context of his own life story that is touching. "Back II Eden" on the other hand is Lawrence in his teaching apogee. In a melodiously rich way, Lawrence shares with us the doctrine of re-creation in such a palatable way that every plebeian can comprehend.
Biblical theology is rampantly allowing us to see the connection between the old and new covenants in the richly profound "The Blessing of Abraham." While a tad too pleonastic, the much needed to be heard message of "The Law of Confession" is no less obscured. Detailing the power of repeating God's own promises into our lives, this is a song that blesses our souls. Featuring Dorinda Clark Cole to sing the melody, "YRM (Your Righteous Mind)" is one of the undefeatable anthems of what righteousness can do. In short, Lawrence is tour de force when it comes to worshipping God with both our hearts and minds. With lots of theological truths made simple for our rumination delivered in ways that make us one to stomp our feet and life our hands in worship, this is what great Gospel music is all about.