Assemblies of God's debut album tops praise and worship charts

We Believe Live, the debut worship music album from the Assemblies of God's music imprint, Influence Music, took last week's number one position on the Nielsen / SoundScan Praise & Worship chart.

The album, which released August 6 during the Assembly of God's biennial General Council, topped long-time chart-topping artists including Hillsong United, Passion and Chris Tomlin. Additionally, the album broke into the top 200 albums overall, a feat not often reached by albums in Christian - and especially praise and worship - genres.

By focusing on three up-and-coming worship leaders from within the Assemblies of God - Kurtis Parks from National Community Church in Washington DC (Mark Batterson, lead pastor), Clayton Brooks from The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, Texas (Scott Wilson, senior pastor), and Ryan Williams from River Valley Church in the twin cities area (Rob Ketterling, lead pastor) - the goal was to capture the diverse sound of the movement. "We have so much talent and heritage inside of our local churches," Sol Arledge, Chief Operating Officer for the AG, said. "We wanted to put some of that art on a platform that unites us in worship."

Upon hearing of the album's first week's success, Williams said, "Seeing the album reach number one just reinforced in my mind the beauty of collaboration. Three guys with different styles and opinions, laying those down and embracing the power of 'linking arms' and building a bigger thing than any individual platform - that's an amazing investment that I will make anytime."

Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington DC agreed. "This album is going to be a big-time blessing to the kingdom. I love every song. My No 1 worship chorus right now is 'To Honor You.' It's a must-listen album."

The group will reunite on Sept. 3 at Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in Waxahachie, Texas, where We Believe Live was recorded during the school's annual 7:14 Prayer conference. They will lead the student body in worship during the university's spiritual emphasis week.