DANVILLE — Veteran gospel artist Bryan Andrew Wilson will return to his hometown to kick off “The Gathering,” a spiritual revival, Thursday and Friday.
The revival — which is open to everyone, but aimed at young people — will begin at 7 p.m. each night at the David S. Palmer Arena, 100 W. Main St. Admission is free. It’s supported by his Bapolstogic Movement, a 501-c3, ministry.
Wilson, a Danville native who’s based in Washington, D.C., is best known for songs such as “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and “If You’re Talking About Jesus.”
“I’ve been preaching for years and in earnest the last two years,” Wilson said in a press release. “However, this is my first time preaching in my hometown, but I’m not nervous as much as I’m excited about speaking there.
“A couple of years ago I was at a conference in Norfolk, Va., and sang right before Dr. Cindy Trimm spoke,” he said. “She prophesied about someone going home to do work and I strongly felt that word was just for me because that idea was already on my heart.
“Where I come from, a lot of people and businesses have left and a lot of the people who remain are hopeless and stuck in a mental rut in terms of what they can accomplish in life. I’m going back to use the word of God to inspire and ignite them to reach for their destiny. This word will be as much for me as for them. We all need to encourage each other in this walk over and over again.”
Wilson is finishing a new CD for Kerry Douglas’ Worldwide Music label for a spring 2014 release.
Also, he’s promoting “It Will Happen For Me,” an inspirational song (produced in Brooklyn, N.Y., by multi-instrumentalist Christian Medice) exclusively featured on the “Kerry Douglas Presents Gospel Mix VI” CD, which hits stores today.
The name for Wilson’s evangelistic ministry, Bapolstogic, stems from the variety of religions he was exposed to while growing up.
“My grandmother was a seventh day holiness keeper,” Wilson recalled of Clair Bell Davis, who raised her children and their children in Danville. “On Sunday, we went to the Baptist church in the morning, sometimes we went to the Apostolic church and then the Church of God in Christ at night, so I had all of those experiences.
“All of those elements make me who I am, so when I was 12 years old, I started calling myself Bapolstogic. In my ministry I bring all of those teachings and music styles to what I do, so I named the ministry Bapolstogic Inc.”
His childhood music was traditional, old school gospel. His mother Sheila and her family sang in a family gospel group called the Davis Singers. Wilson was about 6 when he first began singing with them.
“My grandfather was the major influence in my life up to that time,” Wilson says. “He told me to keep on singing and to carry on the family tradition. The first time I ever sang a solo was at my grandfather’s funeral. It was kind of ironic that it was he who started me singing, and that my solo happened to be at his funeral.”
He got a break at 12 when a neighbor overheard him singing “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and sent a tape to Jerry Mannery at Malaco Records. He liked it and featured Wilson’s rendition on a Mississippi Children’s Choir project with the same arrangement that his mother had taught him. Wilson’s high notes and vocal gymnastics sealed the song’s fate and essentially sold the CD, “A New Creation.”
Wilson’s success led Malaco Records to offer him his own recording deal. His 1999 “Growing Up” CD was recorded during the period when puberty set in and his voice changed.
After high school, Wilson moved to Orangeburg, S.C., to attend Claflin University. After graduating with a bachelor’s in theology, he spent a year working toward a master’s of divinity degree from Princeton University.
At that point, Wilson began to concentrate on his music again. So, he and his manager co-founded Bryan’s Songs Records/CE Music with distribution through Central South Distribution in Nashville.
They brought in Wilson’s childhood friend, Kris “Doc Sizzle” Bell, to produce “A Second Coming.” He has had appearances on BET and TBN among other TV stations, and has had a radio show.
FYI Learn more at: https://soundcloud.com/bryan-wilson-1/bryan-andrew-wilson-it-will. His website is www.bryanwilson.com. Bryan Wilson's latest CD, "Limited Edition," is available on iTunes, Amazon.com and Rhapsody. Follow him on Facebook: bryanwilsonsinger; Instagram: bryanandrewilson; or Twitter: IAmBryanWilson.