Messianic worship veteran Paul Wilbur has just released his brand new release "Forever Good" via Integrity Music. 'Forever Good' builds on the success of releases like 'Shalom Jerusalem', 'Jerusalem Arise', 'The Watchman' and others, which have sold over 3 million units worldwide. This powerful recording features songs that merge the Messianic root of our faith with the prophetic and creative style that has made Paul a significant voice in the Messianic movement as well as contemporary worship.
Produced by Dan Needham and featuring songs penned by Paul Wilbur, Michael Farren, Steve Merkel, Michael Neale and others, 'Forever Good' proclaims the never-ending goodness of Adonai, the Lord of All. It is a wonderful combination of worship and scriptural truth that will find its way into both homes and congregations alike.
Q: Paul, congratulations on your new album "Forever Good." Did you approach the making of this new album any differently from your previous efforts?
Yes I did. I co-wrote with some old friends, but mixed in some younger folks as well. Every generation communicates differently, the sounds are different, the poetry is unique, and so is the music, and I wanted to use this opportunity to try and capture the ears of millennials. So the instrumentation is much less orchestral, more rhythm section like a modern church band. The vocals are more forward in the mix, the bass and drums play a more leading role, and I tried to speak ancient truths in a new way. Still grounded and extracted from the Scriptures, of course, but with a younger approach.
Q: What were some of the joys you have experienced in the making of "Forever Good"?
It is always a great joy to commit these songs that the Lord gives to a medium for distribution. I love the studio work as much as the live experience. Why? Because the people I get to create with are some of the best in their field and the Kingdom. Dan Needham produced and drummed again. he is a world class guy who works with some of the biggest names in music... Peter Cetera (Chicago), Michael McDonald, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Phil Keagy, just to name a few. The band, the singers, the crew, all are well known professionals who love the Lord and love what they do. How can it get any better? :)
Q: I notice that your daughters-in-law have also been involved in writing the songs on the record. Tell us more about their involvement.
I changed the name from Paul Wilbur Ministries to simply Wilbur Ministries years ago because we truly are a family ministry. My two sons Nathan and Joel married Jewish believers who are not only beautiful, lovers of Yeshua, they are also very gifted musicians, singers and worship leaders! Sharon Chernoff Wilbur, daughter of Joel and Mindy of LAMB fame, has lead worship at her home Beth Yeshua in Philly for years, and Malki Rodriguez Wilbur was worship leader at Beth Shalom in southern California with my "Israel's Hope" buddy, Rabbi Rene Bloch for many years. So...the utilization of those giftings is a natural for me. When we were on our annual family vacation together last year I dragged out my guitar and the song, "Power Belongs to You" was born after our morning coffee!
Q: You have a deep passion for the Old Testament and you are not afraid of incorporating Hebrew words and sentences into your songs. Why is it important for worshippers to sing in Hebrew?
Hebrew is not only the language of the Bible, it is the language of worship as well. Take for instance the simple word "praise" in English. Did you know there are more than 13 Hebrew words used in the Scriptures that are simply translated 'praise' in your Bible? And they all have a different emphasis as well! I love the Hebrew language; it is originally a picture language that is graphic, deep, rich and full of shades of meaning. The angel appeared to a young Jewish virgin (Miriam) and said, "Call his name Yeshua (salvation) because he will save his people." You simply don't get many of these jewels in English alone, and guess what? Our Messiah is a Rabbi... rabbis love Hebrew, so why not worship Him with a little of the language He loves!
Q: One of my favorite songs on the record is "Blessed is He Who Comes," a track I am going to get our worship team in church to sing. Why did you choose to record this song?
The opening lines of this song are borrowed from an ancient Orthodox Jewish prayer called "Ani ma'amin". Many will recognize the song in it's fast paced dance form that I recorded on my previous CD "Your Great Name." I wrote this one to introduce the listener to the Jewish prayer for the coming of Messiah with the familiar words of David in Psalm 118 that Yeshua quoted in Matthew 23 about His second coming. The relationship of verse one to the chorus, and then my statement of faith in verse two will be obvious to anyone who knows the Scriptures. Originally I had several other songs slated to appear on this record, but then I received so many songs myself that I delayed the others for what I believe I was hearing from the Lord for such a time as this.
Q: You have been making worship music with Integrity Music for almost 25 years, besides the grace of God, what has given that longevity in making music for Jesus?
Leading worship, singing to the King (not each other!) has been the passion and pleasure of my life. I know that this is what I was born to do, and I am so grateful to Adonai that He allowed me, directed me, no...even arrested me for this purpose early in my life. Before I was born again on March 26, 1977 (wasn't that just after the first Model A Ford rolled off the conveyor belt? :) ... I was training to be an opera singer and a cantor. Richard Tucker of Metropolitan Opera fame, my mentor who trained me by 33 1/3 records only, was the life I pursued in college, The Temple (Cleveland, Ohio), Milan, Italy and Indiana University graduate school of music. But it wasn't until I met Yeshua that I felt like I was really singing for the first time in my life, and I will continue as long as He gives me breath and strength. My relationship with Integrity Music is longer than any other artist on the roster because our passion is the same; we both want to create the songs that the world will use to worship the King. I consider it a privilege to walk with men like Michael Coleman (founder of Integrity Music), Don Moen, Steve Merkel, and many others since 1990, and I am continually amazed at the goodness of our God.
Q: Has there been an account in your life where you have been assured again that our God is "forever good"? Can you share with us that incident?
What a great question. Honestly, my entire life has been one continuous testimony of our God's goodness forever. I will be married to the love of my life, Luanne Tindall for 38 years this week. We have two wonderful sons who work in the ministry alongside us, as well as their two (personally hand-picked!) wives. We travel the world and get to see His goodness and faithfulness to thousands and thousands of people from over 70 nations so far, and introduce our Jewish people and non-Jews to their promised Messiah. He has healed us along the way, body, soul and spirit, and He has shown Himself faithful to countless people during these 39 years of walking with Him. He is "forever good" because that is who He is, and His lovingkindness endures to every generation!