Interview: Tommy Walker on the Revival of Hymns for All Generations

tommy walker

Tommy Walker is a worship leader, singer/songwriter, educator and founder of Break Through Christian Academy in Manila, Philippines.   He has served as a worship leader for 25 years. Tommy has written over 200 songs that are currently tracked by C.C.L.I. and are sung in churches around the world. His most popular songs include, He Knows My Name, That's Why We Praise Him, Only A God Like You, Mourning Into Dancing, I Have A Hope and We Will Remember. Tommy has recorded worship music albums and singles for, Maranatha! Music, Integrity Music. Brentwood and is a writer  with LifeWay Songs.

On about any given Sunday around the world you are likely to hear the choir and congregation singing one of Tommy's songs. Tommy Walker songs have been recorded by such artists as - Israel Houghton, Paul Baloche, Ron Kenolly, Don Moen, Chrystal Lewis and Alvin Slaughter.

Hallels:  Tommy thanks for your time.  Why did you choose to record a hymns album?

I had the rare gift of growing up in a home where our family would worship together. From grandparents to grandkids, even great-grandkids, we would all be blessed by the presence of God together. I have a passion for the church to experience this same blessing. 

Hallels:  But it's not just a hymns album.  What approch did you take in recording these hymns? 

On this 2nd Generations Hymns record I attempted to embrace the generations to an even greater degree. I co-lead the live recording with Sean Beck, a great friend and gifted worship leader in his 20s. Hopefully we were able to show the joy we had in leading together and learning from each other. The other piece was, I embraced worship styles that represent, not only Sean's generation, my generation but my dads generation. Not long ago we celebrated my dads 89th birthday and there we were with his kids, grandkids and great grandkids all being blessed singing "When We All Get To Heaven", I thought, I want to make sure I represent my dad and his generation as well! 

Hallels:  This is lso your first album with DREAM WORSHIP RECORDS, how did you get to work with them? 

I met them through a worship leader/ pastor friend named Marc Wymore. God always does his best work through friendships and relationships. After being introduced to Dave and Gina Hanley we realized we had many mutual friends and similar upbringings so working together became a very natural fit and blessing. 

Hallels: On this record you have a few special guests singing with you.  Can you tell us who they are?

I already mentioned Sean Beck. He is the main worship leader at Azusa Pacific University and also attends our church Christian Assembly. Also featured is Kesha Shantrel, She also leads at A.P.U and attends our church. She's a great friend, worshiper and crazy good singer. Other soloists are Leon and Linda McCrary and Christopher Jones. I also want to mention my dear friend Ray Jones who opened up his church - Community Bible Church in San Antonio and led his incredible, multi-generational choir for the project. There are other incredible people that made this project what it is but I know just can't mention everyone.   

Hallels:  Is it difficult to narrow down your choice of hymns?  What were your criterion in choosing these hymns?

It's really kind of a long ongoing process of teaching them to my church. How they respond always is a big determining factor. Sean also brought his thoughts to this process and helped us end up with, what I think turned out to be a great and reverse list. 

Hallels:  Over the years you have written and record so many songs.  Do you still sing some of your older songs when you lead worship?

I guess it depends on what you consider old. In fact, if you think about it, a ten year old worship songs seems some what ancient these days. Anyways, there are a few of my very old songs that continue to stick around and I often try to figure out what it is about them that have staying power. The truth is, I don't completely know.   

Hallels: Out of all the songs you have had recorded, do you have a favorite or two?

I guess I would have to say "He Knows My Name" just because I have gotten to hear so many stories of how God continues to use it. This said, I have to admit, I was driving the other day and decided to try out my new Apple Music subscription and said to Siri "play "The Fear Of The Lord" and I got blessed. I say this because listening to myself is something I very rarely do but every once in a while God will bless us through our gifts in a way where it feels like you had nothing to do with it. A very humbling experience indeed!

Hallels:  For our readers who would like to know more aboutyou or your music, where can they go?

Here you go:website - tommywalker.netyoutube channel - TommyWalkerDotNet Facebook -



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