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Apr 18th

Bass player Ken Reynolds plucks diverse groove to bolster culture, spiritual unity

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ken_reynoldsKen Reynolds is a Grand Rapids, MI-based bass player who grew up on the funk vibes of Earth Wind & Fire and the Gap Band. He’s also a church boy influenced by gospel greats like Walter Hawkins. As a teenager, he played in Christian vocal groups such as the James Family Singers and later formed his own urban inspirational group, His Image.  Throughout his musical life, Reynolds has performed at black church revivals, white church conferences and everything in between.

The divide between white and black and Protestant and Catholic has propelled the charismatic praise and worship minstrel to a new mission. Reynolds, who earned a business degree and worked in corporate America before his calling to become a worship leader at the multi-cultural Madison Square Church in Grand Rapids, MI, feels the musical diversity of the new CD One World/One God is an integral part of his calling.  “During my time at that church,” he says. “God was molding me, sharing that this was my calling. It’s like He said, `What you see at Madison is where I want you to go.’ I feel a call to bridge not only racial, but denominational barriers. I realized that, through my background, God was preparing me all along.”

“There can be so much division in the church,” Reynolds explains. “I wanted to make a statement from Ephesians 4:6 that there is one Lord, one faith and I wanted to put that message out there. I’ve always had a heart to bring the churches together.

God is calling me out to the world... Some of my songs have been recorded in Korean. That lets me know my plan is nothing compared to what God wants to do. God is preparing the way right now. I’m trying to bring people together as a body of Christ because we can do much more together than we can apart.”

With that thought in mind, Reynolds’s new praise and worship CD (recorded live at Resurrection Life church where he’s the current worship pastor) features Pop tunes, blaring hard rock guitars, gritty R&B bass lines and even a Latin-flavored track. “I wanted to reach back to the influences that led me to where I am,” he says. “Integrity allowed me to work with any musician I wanted to. Everybody dreams of those moments. I was like, ` I want to work with the guys I grew up playing with.’ It was like a reunion. It wasn’t just a gig. Everybody owned it. We got together a couple of times over two months. We ate together, hung out and spent time. I knew this was gonna be a special project.”

It has also been special to music critics who have given the CD five- star ratings and rave reviews. A scribe for Charisma magazine online writes: “One World/One God reflects in music the diversity of the body of Christ while encouraging believers to worship God with one heart and mind.” Worship Leader magazine’s review states that the project “ is a celebration and a challenge to churches to reach out and grow in style and form.”

“I want to see people unified,” Reynolds adds as he reflects on the overall album. “And as the doors open, I want to spread that message throughout the world…I just accepted the call, and this project is a culmination of God preparing me all these years. I’m just along for the ride.”

 

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