William McDowell has emerged as a giant in the era of praise and worship music. McDowell‘s CD/DVD release –Withholding Nothing – pulls you in and never lets go until you experience the presence of God. With a burden to minister to the souls of millions in this millennium through new media, Minister McDowell also launched a project called Seven Days Of Withholding Nothing in June, which allowed worshippers around the world to log on to the net, over a seven day period for free and experience the Live recording captured on his most recent album.
In an exclusive sitdown with BlackGospel.com, William McDowell opens up about whether one needs to be a worship leader to record worship music, having a signature song tied to your name and globetrotting to over 30 countries in 12 months.
Christopher Heron: Minister McDowell, could you share a little about the recent project you spearheaded called, Seven Days of Withholding Nothing. Share the concept and explain the inspiration.
William McDowell: The inspiration behind this project was very very simple. We believe that we captured something extremely special. The goal when we set out to do this is to capture what it looks, feels and sounds like when God shows up in a room and people respond to Him, and so that’s exactly what happened.
The goal of Seven Days of Withholding Nothing especially making it free, was so that as many people across this country and around the world could experience it. We wanted to remove all barriers to anyone experiencing that so we could have a worldwide worship experience again and allow people to experience what God did in that moment.
Christopher Heron: Speaking of that moment, could you tell us what the atmosphere was like in the room? Where was the recording and how special was this worship experience?
William McDowell: It’s easy to understand once you see it. It was absolutely incredible. Years ago, I had a dream. In this dream, it was a live recording. In the dream, people could barely get in. They had to come from far away and when they were walking in Black people saw White people and wondered what they were doing here, and White people saw Hispanic people and wondered what they were doing here, and they were all coming to the same worship event. That’s exactly what this was.
This was a multicultural event, Black people, White people, Hispanic people. We ended up turning away almost a thousand people. We were a thousand people over capacity. It was just the most incredible atmosphere for worship that you could imagine.
People came from other countries. People started naming places like California, and New York. That was blowing my mind. Then others said Canada, London and Africa. When people said they had gotten on a plane and came there to see the worship event, that was mind blowing to me. We recorded it here in Orlando, my home, at Faith Assembly Church.
Christopher Heron: You assembled some very talented and anointed composers for the project. How did you decide on song selection?
William McDowell: To add clarity, I do the majority of the writing, so these were artist collaborations. They’re all friends. I don’t believe in assembling talented strangers to accomplish something. You are not going to get anywhere with people who don’t have the same passion. In my experience, you have to draw from people who have the same passion.
So I’ve been blessed in my life to be friends with some, as you said, extremely talented people who also have the same passion. As a result it steps into a seamless moment. One of the things that marked our recording is that we literally captured a service. How you see it, how you hear it, and how it went, it is one seamless experience because the focus is that we are corporately singing to God.