There are some people that have delicate and loose relationship with God. When they are also artists – they find it hard to express their relationship with God through their gifting. Then there are others that have a relationship with God that has stood the test of time and seasons – it stands strong. When these people are artists – they can’t help but express their relationship with God through their gifting. It permeates through every crevice of their creativity and one cannot help but be touched by it. The artist I bring to you today is such a person. He is Mark A. Turner – saxophone extraordinaire.
I have known Mark for over 17 years and I can honestly say one thing has remained constant - his desire to please and bring honor to God. Life has always come down to that for him. That is the first thing that stands forward when you meet him. The second thing would be his ability to laugh no matter what is happening. These things attracted me to Mark as a friend in the beginning – and now that I have known him so long – they are the things that make me honored to call him “Brother". I recommend Mark A. Turner and his music to anyone, without reservation.
I talked with Mark about his first CD - The River, now released - and the motivation behind his music. Below I have posted his candid responses. But, this is only a snapshot of who Mark really is. You will want to experience The River for yourself. A masterful blend of Contemporary Christian and cool jazz make The River a refreshing, anointed offering to the Lord.
1. What compels you to write and play Contemporary Christian music?
I really feel the moment and I believe that being a Christian is having a relationship with our Heavenly Father. I can express myself with music - my love for the Father and even the state that I am in at that time personally - with Contemporary Christian Music.
2. What led you to relationship with God?
Like a lot of people, I knew there was more to life than just living and growing up in the church - but never being really sold out. So, at age 19 - I said to God, “It’s me and you.”
3. Who are the people that have inspired you in that relationship and what has shaped your life?
My Mom, my God-parents (Pops and Mom Morrison) and my Pastor - Bishop Elect Steve Houpe of Harvest Church International Outreach - where Mark has attended for 26 years.
4. How did you first know you were called by God to minister music?
At age 11. My Mom would let me take my horn to church and play along with her - she played the keys. The kids would also play during offering and testimony service. That was the beginning.
5. What would you say to other Christian artists trying to be obedient to the call of God to minister to His people?
Well, your gift isn't for show or fame - it is to bring Glory to the Father. Your gift is for a reason and a group of people that only you can reach. You have to be ok with that. Some people will like you and some will not - just know it’s a gift from God for the Glory of the Kingdom. And when it’s your turn or your time - be ready.
6. Your newly released album is called The River. Why?
The River feeds and brings life. Every kind of supply is brought thru a river - you name it. In some form, in some day or time - it has traveled on a river. I believe the Gift or anointing that is on my life with music brings peace and the presence of God - and He is everything you need.
You can find Mark A. Turner’s new CD – The River – on iTunes and YouTube. And be sure to visit his official web site at www.markturnersax.com.