You haven’t been to a recording until you’ve had the Pastor Jason Nelson experience! He’s a multi-talented triple threat: a singer, songwriter and guitarist – plus he can preach.
I first witnessed his amazing gift and unyielding anointing five years ago at the live recording for his I Shall Live project. Needless to say, it wasn’t simply a recording.
The same was true on April 23rd as Jason Nelson recorded his latest project, Shifting the Atmosphere, at his home church, Greater Bethlehem Temple in Baltimore. After being introduced by his twin brother, super-producer and writer Jonathan Nelson, Pastor Nelson quickly set an expectation for corporate praise and worship saying, “I can’t do recordings. This thing is participatory!”
And with that, the experience began. Upbeat opening numbers “Year of Jubilee” and “Favor” got the entire house on our feet and kept us there, incorporating Jason’s signature progressive sound with lyrics pulled straight from scripture.
But the trademark of Jason Nelson’s ministry is unadulterated worship. For the aptly-titled duet “No Words,” he welcomed fellow guitarist and vocalist Leon Timbo, who Jason said he admires for his ability to “come in and change the atmosphere.” Together, they did just that. Jason and Leon’s voices blended as harmoniously as their instruments, moving us through the first of many “shifts” that night.
During this segment, Jason guided us through several more moments of intimate worship with songs like “Don’t Count Me Out,” “I’m Nothing Without You” and “Shifting the Atmosphere.” This is when the pastor gift in Jason came forth. He delayed moving on to the next songs to minister.
“Whenever we encounter the presence of God we realize how insignificant we are without him,” he said, refusing to rush the flow of the Spirit.
With the final set of songs, the atmosphere naturaly shifted to flat-out praise. “There Is Power in His Name,” brought out the old-fashioned foot-stomping, because like Jason said, “you can’t have a recording without church!”
By the end of “There Is Power…” another shift had taken place and before we knew it Pastor Nelson’s father, Bishop James Nelson, was handed the microphone. Bishop Nelson exhorted us until the fire came down!
For just a few moments, I had to excuse my assignment as writer and photographer for GP so I could join in.
From that point we moved to a place of declaration. “You No Longer Have Dominion over Me” spoke directly to the strongholds we face in life, while the final song, “I Survived,” proclaimed victory over life itself.
I spotted and spoke with a number of special guests including Antoine Spence, Pastor L. Spenser Smith, Amos Saint Jean, Lil’ Mo and Jessica Greene, each of whom have a high regard for Jason Nelson.
Pastor Jason Nelson is one of the most humble and selfless ministers in gospel music. It doesn’t hurt that he can sing pretty much anyone under a pew, and preach. With his latest forthcoming release, Shifting the Atmosphere, he is sure to do a little of both.