Bishop Samuel R. Blakes is a visionary, spiritual leader, teacher, and all around gospel force appointed to carry on the mission of a lineage of spiritual warriors. The youngest son of the highly revered Prophet Robert C. Blakes, Sr. and Minister Lois R. Blakes, Bishop Samuel R. Blakes currently resides as the Senior Pastor of New Home Ministries' multi-location congregation serving seven sites including New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Hallels: Thank you Bishop Blakes for this opportunity. Coming from such a Godly home where your parents were both pastors, how does that affect your upbringing and your ministry?
By having a father who was a strong, prominent, and dominant spiritual leader, I was raised with a worldview that lends itself to faith and godliness. Gospel music and preaching is not something I do, it is who I am at my very core.
Hallels: Being a senior pastor as well as being a worship leader, do you lead worship as well as preach in your church?
I do lead worship in our church. I believe that the pastor is the primary worship leader. The truth that is most misunderstood about worship is that worship does not necessarily involve singing. A leader of worship may not have any gifting in music or singing. The worship leader is the one that has gone into the presence of God and simply directs others down the right path.
As for me, I am blessed to have the spiritual understanding of how to get into God's presence and the gifting to sing as one of the vehicles to lead people into an encounter with God.
Hallels: Tell us about your single "God Wants to Hear From You." For our readers who may not heard it yet, what's the song about?
"God Wants To Hear From You" is an anthem for every person that's faced a crisis and felt overwhelmed. It is a message to the individual who is on the verge of breakdown and the message is that you can praise your way out of anything that life has thrown at you.
At the time I wrote this song my father's health was obviously beginning to decline. The love I had for my father made it indescribably difficult to watch him change. Rather than drown myself in depression I chose to praise my way through. God proved to be faithful.
Hallels: I believe you have a brand new album "I Survived" coming. When will it be released? What are you most excited about this record?
I am excited about the spirit of the album. It is a work of hope and encouragement for people who are in dark places. It's an album that lifts people and energizes faith.
I'm excited to have worked with one of Gospel Music's greatest producers Pharis Evans. He steered me in the right direction from start to finish.
Above all else I am excited that I finally completed a desire my late father Bishop Robert Blakes,Sr. Prophesied for decades. He always said that my music career would take off once I got started. It has happened just as he said. I know that he is in Heaven smiling down on me.
Hallels: You do have some special guests who have worked with you on this record, can you tell us who they are?
I am blessed to have some legends that collaborated with me on this album. Bishop Paul Morton who is affectionately known as uncle Paul in the BLAKES FAMILY did a duet with me on a song called SCARS. I also had the incomparable Dave Hollister to do a piece with me. Dave is brilliant and a household name in R and B as well as the Gospel music community.
Hallels: Why did you entitle the record "I Survived"? What do you want your listeners to grasp after hearing your new album?
This album was my personal therapy in dealing with the death of my father. That was the one time in my life that I wondered if I could go on. Grief had a terrible grip on me; but, I watched God give me the strength every day to get up and to trust Him.
I am convinced that the only reason I am still here is God. So, when I wake up every day and look into the mirror my soul rejoices because I survived. If God did it for me and my family, I want everyone to know that He will do the same thing for you.
As people listen to my music I want them to realize that there's a real reason to wake up tomorrow. No matter what you're going through, it doesn't compare to what you're going to.
Hallels: For our readers who would want to purchase your new album or/and find out more about you, where can they go?
To purchase I SURVIVED one may go to wherever music is sold or you may simply go to iTunes and download it. Also, they can visit me on my social media handles:
@srblakes - Twitter
@srblakes - Instagram
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