Stellar Award nominated Gospel ensemble Charles Butler & Trinity are warming hearts and feeding families this holiday season with their live album, The Good News, which debuted at No. 1 on iTunes' Christian albums chart.
The D.C. area group is using proceeds from sales and streaming of The Good News to support the food distribution ministry of Butler's home congregation, Impact One Church, located in Capitol Heights, Maryland. It is a much-needed boost for the program that has supplied over 240,000 pounds of food and invested over $200,000 directly into their community this year alone.
Known for combining elements of traditional and contemporary Gospel music with a spirit of worship, the Billboard-charting Charles Butler & Trinity deliver a camp meeting style celebration with The Good News, recorded live at Impact One Church and produced by Brandon Maclin and Jonathan Anderson. The appropriately titled, eight-track album shouts the goodness, grace and mercy of Jesus Christ to a hurting, fearful world.
Q: Charles, thanks for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on the release of your new live album "The Good News." Tell us where and when was this album recorded?
A: You're welcome. I'm grateful for the opportunity. The Good News album was recorded on October 16th at Impact One Church in Capitol Heights, Md.
Q: What were some of the highlights in the making and recording of this project?
A: This project came together in little to no time. I went to my producer, Brandon Maclin, and said "I want to record an album in 2 weeks." You would think his response would be "I think you're crazy!", but he surprisingly said ok. The singers only had 2 rehearsals and we never rehearsed with the band until sound check, which was the day of the recording. Also, we never got a chance to do all the songs all the way through with the lead singers. But I knew God gave me an assignment... I have recorded albums before but this was the first time I had no doubts or worries about what my assignment was.
Q: What is the good news for you?
A: The Good News, for me, is Life! I didn't think I would see 2020. I was over 500lbs just 3 years ago. I've now lost 250lbs in 2 years, naturally. Death should have been the Bad news but God changed the ending of my story. I remember being scared to go to sleep because I didn't think I would wake up. I shouldn't live in fear because God did not give us the spirit of fear but I definitely shouldn't be living in fear in my own body. I'm still on my weight loss journey and The Good News is I'm in it to win it.
Q: I love your rendition of the Christmas classic "Joy to the World." Why did you choose to cover this hymn?
A: Thank you! In the 90s, a church in Washington, DC named Greater Mt. Calvary, would have annual Christmas cantatas. Steve Lawrence was the Minister of Music at that time and he introduced this rendition to the Mass Choir. Karen Clark-Sheard led it. I fell in love with the song and when it was time to record this album, I contacted Min. Lawrence and told him how I was a fan of his rendition of the song. We did a few tweaks to it and the rest is what they call history.
Q: I believe the proceeds of this album go to help feed the hungry. Tell us more about the ministry you are supporting.
A: I serve as the Pastor of Worship and Creative Arts at Impact One Church. Every Saturday we feed the hungry. My pastor, Juan Wilder. is passionate about our weekly efforts. We started Impact One Music and all the proceeds from our label will go directly back into our community. That's why this album is so special to me because of the "Why" behind it.
Q: How will the sales of this album help those in need?
A: The proceeds from this album will literally help fill our pantry which will in turn be a blessing to numerous families in our community.
Q: As 2020 is coming to an end, what are you most grateful for that God has done for you this year?
A: I'm grateful for my Mom still being alive and well. It meant so much to me to be able to hand my Mom one of the first CDs out of the box. She's been so supportive every album and I'm truly grateful for every prayer she prayed for me to get to this point.