Exclusive – Richmond, VA – RCA Inspirations Gospel recording artist, Stellar Award Winner and Senior pastor of The Tabernacle, Greater Bethlehem Temple Church in Baltimore, Maryland, Bishop Jason Nelson is a busy man.
Pastor Nelson, known for his megahit songs, “Nothing Without You” and “Shifting the Atmosphere” has been working the East Coast recently with stops in Washington, D.C., in Richmond, VA as the guest minister for the 22nd Annual ICM Convention on last Thursday night and also included a stop by the Praise 104.7FM studio to talk with Sheilah Belle, The Belle.
While the conversation included everything from being with RCA Inspirations for a little over three years and the state of the Gospel Music Industry, it was clear that Bishop Nelson was definitely called to preach AND sing about the goodness of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Nelson currently has two CD’s out and he is excited about his next offering, entitled, Jesus Revealed, which is set to be released on October 7, 2014. He said he wrote all of the music for the exception of three songs and added, “It’s by far my best work, because it’s a real depiction of the evolution of me as an artist, my understanding of God and the depth of my relationship with God. I think it tells that kind of story.”
Bishop Nelson says it took him about a year and a half to finish the project, from concept to finishing it. “Once I knew what I was supposed to do, the songs came pretty easily. But it was about me discovering what I was supposed to do and that took the longest part, said Bishop Nelson.”
The Belle: So are you a preacher or a singer?
Bishop Nelson: I’m both. I don’t know if one takes preeminence over the other.
The Belle: When did you know you were going to be a preacher?
Bishop Nelson: Well, I got call to preach when I was 17, so it’s been well over 20 years. So, I’m like a fifth generation, kinda of preacher.
The Belle: How do you describe your ministry?
Bishop Nelson: I would say Prophetic overtones with practical application.
The Belle: How to you spiritually balance that?
Bishop Nelson: I think the easiest way to balance that is to let God take the lead on that and to be sensitive. I think most artists now days have had to develop some level of sensitivity to what’s happening organically and in the kingdom and you have to do the same thing as a preacher. So I think it boils down to an inbred level of sensitivity of what God desires in a moment.
The Belle: So how do you stay spiritually prepared to deal with so much spiritual warfare?
Bishop Nelson: I spend a lot of time in prayer and in meditation, a lot of time studying and reading, and not so I can preach messages but so I will know what God is saying and what is relevant for the kingdom and how to live. I think we have a lot of preachers who study to preach but don’t study to live. If you study to live, you always have something to preach.
The Belle: When you look at the Gospel Industry and the Gospel Community what do you see? What do you think?
Bishop Nelson: I think there is a lot of hope in it, but I also think there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to correct the ship. I think we have sort of veered away from what Gospel music is supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be about the Good News, edifying the body of Christ. Yes we are singing the words, but we have some out there, that have no desire whatsoever to be right, but they just found a mechanism that allows them to make money. But then there are others who are sincere about their call and their desire to spread the Gospel and to share what God has given them. And then there are others who kind of vacillate between the two and I think that’s the reason why the industry is where it is right now. You can’t treat the Gospel Music industry, like they do in R & B. This is NOT a gig, but unfortunately, there are many who see it as a gig, so they don’t live any life that is conducive to power outside of the stage. And I know people who sing, speak in tongues, and have altar calls, then go and drink. LIKE I don’t understand how you can do both, but some people are okay with that. I know some people, who do the same thing, then go sleep with a whole bunch of people.
The Belle: Do they not see that, that is dangerous and that they are playing with peoples souls?
Bishop Nelson: No they don’t! They don’t see it as that and if they do, they obviously don’t care! I think they see the reward of it, as beneficial enough to not invest wholly into it, which also explains why the industry is where it is right now. You have a bunch of people who are singing and people who are buying music trying to be impacted positivity and then not receiving what they should be receiving when they listen to the music.
The Belle: Tell us about the conference that you and your brothers do each year, The Full Nelson Conference?
Bishop Nelson: It originated from my dad, who said he wanted to see all of his children work together in ministry. In order to do that, we do the Full Nelson Conference every year and it’s basically a Word and Worship Conference. We focus on two things Worship and preached Word. So we do all of our workshops during the day and it’s centered around those two concepts, teaching people the concept of Worship and Ministry, but it’s all wrapped under the umbrella of Worship and Word and it is very effective.
The Belle: When is the conference normally held?
Bishop Nelson: We normally have it in May of every year. I’m not sure if we are going to have it next year, because we might take a break next year, so we can come back in full force in 2016.
Whatever Bishop Nelson and his family and extended family decide to do, lets keep him lifted up in prayer, as God continues to use him to shift the atmosphere. Bishop Nelson is married to Tonya and they have two children Jaelyn and Jason.
For more information about Bishop Jason Nelson, you can catch him on all of the social media outlets at @Pastorjnelson.