Over the last decade, Stephen Hurd has distinguished himself as one of the leading voices in urban praise and worship music and his songs “Revelations 19:1,” “Undignified” and “Lead Me To The Rock” are sung at faith gatherings around the globe. His sixth and most recent CD was designed as a tool to inspire men to take on a greater leadership role in conducting worship as the faithful assemble and for that role to make a residual impact on their personal lives and community.
“In the Old Testament it was always men who led the worship,” Hurd offers. “I think wives trust the God in their husband more when they see that their husband really loves God and is not ashamed to worship him. I think sons respect and want to be like their father if they see that he’s a man loving God and regulating things in our house and creating a healthy environment. I think families will be stronger when men understand their place in the worship community and not follow the lead of their wives.”
The Brandywine, MD-bred psalmist has been singing since childhood. His inspirations back then were R&B crooners Jeffrey Osborne and Peabo Bryson. “I love the rich tones of their voices,” he recalls. “I marveled at Larnelle Harris as a technique builder for me. Then, I heard Marvin Winans and was in amazement. I grew up with it all: R&B, gospel and then classical music.” He channeled that love of music as a student at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and continued to perfect it as music major at Howard University. He then taught music at various high schools in the Maryland area. On the weekends, he served as music director for the late Rev. Donald Vails’ DC Choral Kaleidoscope and also The Capital City Mass Youth Choir. He eventually left teaching and became a music minister with various Washington, D.C. area churches before settling in at First Baptist of Glenarden. Along the way, he also self-produced two well-received independent CDs before he came to the attention of Integrity Music.
Hurd wasn’t actively seeking a record deal but his Howard University classmate James Walker, who went on to become an entertainment attorney, passed one of his CDs on to Al Hobbs, who was chairman of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA). Hobbs then passed it to Jackie Patillo. “Several people told me about Stephen,” recalls Patillo who was A&R Director at Integrity Music at the time. “Al Hobbs was the first. Stephen has the heart and soul of a worshiper and it was a privilege to facilitate his music ministry.” She trekked up to Washington, D.C. to watch him lead Sunday morning praise and worship at First Baptist and was sold. Over the next six years, Hurd released the best-selling CDs A Call To Worship, My Destiny and Times of Refreshing.
In spite of his Integrity success, Hurd quietly pondered launching a label for a while as he watched various peers become successful as independent artists. “I was afraid to do it because I had never done it before,” he says. “I’m a creative mind, not a business mind.” However, Hurd’s developed a business mind and pulled all the pieces to this musical mission together and created a timeless project to stand the test of time and to transform a new generation of men into worshippers. “I never had a B plan,” says Hurd. “My A Plan was to do Music ministry or something arts related.” Fortunately, Plan A is working out just fine.
Hurd is excited about his future and is presently writing a book about worship and the life of a worshiper. In fall 2014 Stephen Hurd and HURD THE WORD MUSIC will release a fresh new radio single, with a full CD project to follow
See the Live version of the Stephen Hurd classic.
listen to the audio of "You Are Holy"