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We Believe (Live), the debut album from the Assemblies of God's music imprint, Influence Music, has taken this week's No. 1 position on the Nielsen SoundScan praise and worship chart. (The chart compiles digital and physical sales and then ranks albums based on total U.S. sales.)
The album topped longtime powerhouse artists, including Hillsong United, Passion and Chris Tomlin. Additionally, the album broke into the Billboard Top 200, a feat not often reached by worship albums. (The Billboard Top 200 ranks albums in all secular and Christian genres.)
"This album is going to be a big-time blessing to the kingdom,” says Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. “I love every song. My No. 1 worship chorus right now is ‘To Honor You.’ It's a must-listen album.”
Upon hearing of the album's first-week success, Ryan Williams (a featured artist on the album) said, “Seeing the album reach No. 1 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.”
By focusing on three up-and-coming worship leaders from within the fellowship—Kurtis Parks from National Community Church, Clayton Brooks from The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, Texas, and Williams from River Valley Church in the Minneapolis–St. Paul area—the diverse sound of the movement was captured.
"We have so much talent and heritage inside of our local churches," says Sol Arledge, the AG's chief operating officer. "We wanted to put some of that art on a platform that unites us in worship."
The week of the album’s launch, the three artists led worship for the Influence conference, the General Council opening service and the AG's youth service on Wednesday night.
Heath Adamson, the AG's national youth director, was deeply moved during the band's time on stage.
"After the message and during a time of spontaneous worship, heaven kissed the place we were in,” Adamson says. “Rarely is there a group of musicians who gather together from different backgrounds to not only honor the Lord with their gifts but personally contribute to the overall spiritual atmosphere of a gathering."
The group will reunite on Sept. 3 at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, 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.
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