Paul Wilbur: Celebrating a Life of Worship
In the mid-seventies Paul was a young college student studying to be an opera singer and cantor. In Judaism, a cantor leads liturgical prayer and chanting during the service. While he was pursuing his Master’s degree, Paul recalls when he would ask a girl out for a date they would invite him to go to church. During one of those church dates Paul met a man named Jerry Williams. Jerry’s passion for the Lord as he sang drew Paul back to church week after week. Soon, Paul joined a Bible study in his graduate dorm eager to know more about the God of the Bible. A few weeks later on a fishing trip with Jerry, Paul became a Christian and his life took him in a radically new direction.
He started Harvest, an early Jesus Movement band, and then formed Israel’s Hope, dedicated to bringing the message of the gospel back to the Jewish people. In 1994, Paul finished his fourth year at Midwest Christian Center in Tinley Park, Illinois when the Lord spoke to him very clearly and said, “Ask of me and I will give you the nations.” After much prayer and fasting, Paul and his wife left their local ministry to answer the call of God to the nations. They sold their home, cars, furniture and Baldwin piano. Then they received a call from Don Moen of Integrity Music. Don wanted Paul to record a new project in the land of Israel. The breakout recording, “Shalom Jerusalem” was recorded live in 1995. Then Don asked Paul to do a two week tour with him in the Philippines. That was the beginning of Paul’s international, cross-cultural, multi lingual ministry that continues to this day.
“The heart of worship is communication from our hearts to God. You can’t expect people to reach out to God in a language they can’t understand. Our goal quickly became to carry the music, message and ministry of the Kingdom to the nations in their own language,” shares Paul. Some of his other releases such as 2005’s “The Watchman,” 2008’s “Paul Wilbur Live” and 2010’s acclaimed “Desert Rain,” were often recorded in a variety of languages. Paul uses the universal language of music to proclaim God’s love for His people. He says, “Singing songs in different language can be challenging at times, but when you are passionate about something it makes the work light.” To date, Paul and his team have recorded twenty projects with Integrity in four different languages (English, Spanish, German and Portuguese). He says, “I am humbled that the Lord trusts me with these opportunities.”
Integrity Music recently released Paul’s latest cd, “Ultimate Collection” which consists of some of his most popular worship songs. One of the songs on the cd is called “Adonai.” The song came out originally in 2006 and was nominated as one of the worship songs of the year and continues to be a favorite with his audiences. In Hebrew, “Adonai” means “you own it all.” The song is a declaration that Jesus is Lord of all of you. Paul chose the song for this cd because it was important for the Christian community to make a statement that, “Jesus is Lord.”
Paul first led worship for Rosh Hashanah at CBN in 2008. He says it has been a “great honor” to lead worship for this celebration. Paul appreciates the way Pat affirms this celebration for messianic believers each year with such honor. Year after year, worship has been the focal point of this event. “Pat’s vision for this celebration has impacted millions around the world,” shares Paul.
Once again, Paul and his band will be performing at CBN’s Rosh Hashanah event, Wednesday, Sept 24, 2014. This will be streamed live at 7:00 – 8:30 pm ET on www.cbn.com.