The Temple of Deliverance Women's Choir is a 200+ voice choir coming from the historic Memphis church founded by the late Bishop G.E. Patterson as Bountiful Blessings Church in 1975. Aside from being a superior preacher, Bishop Patterson was also known for his spirited traditional gospel recordings of standards such as "My Record Will Be There" and "Inside the Gate." Currently led by pastor, Superintendent Milton R. Hawkins, they have just released their new album "In the Sanctuary." Recorded live, these 12 songs are produced by noted musician/ composer Derrick Starks and features the choir performing with soloists such as Grammy Award winner Karen Clark Sheard (tagging the end of "Breakthrough"), Tamela Mann (performing "Have Thine Own Way") and veteran vocalist Lisa Page Brooks (performing "Keep Me All the Way").
We are so honored to be able to catch up with Catherine Hawkins, the choir's president, for this exclusive Hallels' interview:
Hallels: For our readers who may not be familiar with Temple of Deliverance Women's Choir, can you briefly introduce who you are?
The Temple of Deliverance Women's Choir consists of over 225 women aged 18 through 85 who are members of Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ. Our church was founded in 1975 by the Late Bishop G.E. Patterson who was a prolific preacher and singer. Prior to 2012, the women's choir only performed once a year for our annual Women's Day. The President of the Women's Department reorganized the choir in 2012 to record and sing around the globe throughout the year to inspire and assist others through financial benevolent acts.
Hallels: I really love your album "In the Sanctuary," is there a theme or themes that you want to convey through this record?
We want others to be uplifted by the music and lyrics and inspired to Praise God as they listen to the godly women praise God while "In the Sanctuary." The word sanctuary refers to a sacred place; the word sacred means connected to God. The women dedicated themselves to God through fasting and praying to render sacred praise. We desire for others to feel God's presence and take them into the SANCTUARY to a sacred place for TRUE WORSHIP.
Hallels: With over 200 women in the choir, how do you get everyone to sing together?
These women love God and singing. They enjoy coming together. The job is very easy.
Hallels: Currently the song "Breakthrough" is being played across many Gospel radio stations, for our readers who may not heard it yet, what is the song about?
The song is about receiving deliverance. It's about breaking through barriers, hurts and pains. It's about coming through trials and tribulations. It's about healing, deliverance and freedom. It is a song about breaking through the chains that are holding one back.
Hallels: What's it like working with Tamela Mann and Karen Clark on this album?
All of the guest artists, Tamela Mann, Karen Clark Sheard, and Lisa Page Brooks were amazing. Their gifts and talents are outstanding and they are true servants of God. They are kind, generous ladies and it was a blessing to be in their presence. It was very difficult to sing after hearing them minister. They are awesome and it was a joy to have them on the project.
Hallels: Are you already planning your next album now? Who will you be working with this time around?
We are planning to start working on our next project in the next year. We are not certain of the featured guests yet.
Hallels: For our readers who would like the purchase the album or find out more about the choir, where can they go?
The product may be purchased at Wal-Mart and most Christian bookstore such as Lifeway as well as our church Bookstore. The product may also be purchased through iTunes, Amazon and other online music venues.
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