Dr. Williams is a board‐certified Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat Physician) in Nashville, TN where he opened his surgical practice, Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists of Nashville. In addition to his establishing his private surgical practice on the campus of Southern Hills Medical Center, he is also an adjunct assistant professor at Meharry Medical College and founded the Voice Care Center of Nashville, where he specializes in treating and preventing voice problems in Christian and Gospel music artists. As an independent gospel recording artist himself, Dr. Williams has a keen insight to not only the medical and surgical implications of voice disturbances, but also the many spiritual impacts.
Along with being a physician, a songwriter, lecturer, worship leader and elder at his home church Oasis Worship Center, most significantly, Williams is a husband and father to which there is a divine balance. "I have a wife and three children who love the Lord and understand the call of God on my life.
Who is Mark Williams?
Mark Williams is first and foremost a child and worshiper of God. He is the husband of one wife and the father of three children. I am a believer in people – I always believe that there is a higher potential in each individual and strive to see that manifested. I am also a Otolaryngologist – Head & Neck Surgeon. I specialize in voice care and founded the Voice Care Center of Nashville, where we seek to help people maximize their vocal potential while protecting their voice – God’s Instrument.
“When A Man Worships” is your sophomore CD release. What’s the difference between your debut release and “When A Man Worships?
When A Man Worships is different mainly in the style of the songs. While there were a few similar tunes on my first project, “Everything,” this project is predominantly that style of music. I call it Smooth Praise – basically, smooth jazz with a Gospel message. When A Man Worships is what I call “dude worship.” It’s the kind of worship music that men can really get into without feeling like their machismo is somehow compromised. This is the type of music that moves me the most. Consequently, I feel like I can minister these songs more effectively. I’m incredibly excited to be able to share it with the world because I’m confident that men who listen to it will be drawn into worship and relationship with God – which, as we are all well aware, needs to happen to restore our families. One other interesting feature about this project is that many of the songs are ballads. While they are love songs to the Lord, they also have a R&B feel to it so, I’ve been told that, MARRIED couples can have “special times of ministry” to them as well. I’ll leave it at that and let your readers explore the music for themselves and make their own determination. I am excited that I get to put an actual “love song” on the project. It’s a song I wrote for my wife. It’s entitled My Life, My Love, My Friend. It was perhaps one of the easiest songs I’ve written. As a promotion for Valentine’s Day, I will offer a free download of the song. It is an excellent wedding/anniversary song that I’m glad to finally release to the world. My wife has had many years to cherish the song all to herself. I think it’s time to share. I hope as many married couples as possible will download this song to remind them of the moment they first met or were drawn to each other and reflect on how the love has evolved and, hopefully, grown.
How do you think you’ve grown as an artist between the projects?
This project has been a long time in the making. At one point, it was a bit frustrating to me. But, in hindsight, I’m grateful because it allowed me to “find” my style of singing and to become comfortable in it. My producer was unrelenting in his requirement that I deeply engage in the song. The result is the discovery and development of a vocal sound that I really like. It’s weird for me to say that, because as you may know, many singers are their worst critics. I sometimes take that to a whole different level. If I notice the slightest imperfection, I’ll keep focusing on it every time the song is played. Once I tapped into the sound that fits my voice, recording the lead vocals was fun and easy. My writing style has also grown as a result of this project. This is the first time that I’ve actually collaborated with another individual in the actual writing of songs. This was iron sharpening iron for me.
What is the message you’re trying to convey or better yet what is the mission of “When A Man Worships”?
My hope is that this CD will reach the hearts of men, in particular, and draw them into deeper fellowship with the Lord. I’d like to see men established again as the priests of their households. Too often, women are left being the spiritual head of the family. While they do an outstanding job, I believe there’s a special anointing on a family wherein the father assumes his position as spiritual leader. The songs on this project are specifically selected to induce such a transformation. I also hope to reach a group of people who were once in the church but have strayed away. It’s time for them to come back home!
Why do you think men don’t go to church or have left “vowing” not to return?
I think the way church has been “done” (so to speak) has left a bad taste in the mouth of many – men and women. I believe there’s a harvest of souls that remain to redeemed. My aim is to reach those who were once in the church (e.g. Body of Christ) but because of offense, neglect or abuse they’ve left. I believe like Jesus told Peter, Satan desires to sift them as wheat. But Jesus told Peter, that when he is converted (or returns to his ordained state of being) that he is to go strengthen his brother. I believe this will happen with this group of “forgotten ones.” When they return, they will know how to disciple them without perpetrating the same abuses, neglects or offenses that were committed toward them. This music, to some, may have a more secular sound, but the message is clear. These are love songs to the Lord, but they are also bait to reach people who would not ordinarily listen to traditional Gospel music.
How important do you feel is the music to draw not men but all not just to church but Christ?
Music is very important. I’m not exactly sure what the mechanism is, but music tends to motivate or move people to lasting action. When most of us learned our alphabet, it was set to music to make it easier. Educators have long known that if you set a rhythm and cadence to a lesson, the lesson is more easily retained. If the content is not immediately recalled, the rhythm and melody are and eventually the content becomes inextricably linked to the message. There are songs that you have learned the lyrics to without even attempting to learn them. The music sort of permeated the spirit and allowed a message to be deposited. Before you know it, you’re walking down the street singing the lyrics to a song and you have no idea how it got in your head. That’s because you’ve been meditating on it. This is the reason I’m very careful about the type of music I listen to – it makes deposits into our spirits and we begin to meditate on that message. The bible tells us that we are blessed if we meditate on the word of God day and night. Music, Gospel Music, helps us to do that. This is my strategy for reaching the lost for Christ – create music that is easy to listen to and in the process deposit the message of God’s love.
What was it like working with Darwin Hobbs and San Franklin?
Darwin is a good friend of mine from Cincinnati, OH. We sang on the same worship team at Christ Emmanuel Christian Fellowship. In fact, William McDowell was there at the time as well. Singing with Darwin was like a good reunion. He is an incredible singer and phenomenal worshiper. When you collaborate with someone of like spirit and background, it makes the flow so much easier and enjoyable. As you are aware, he does a duet with me on the title cut, When A Man Worships. If you’ve ever heard his testimony, you’ll know that he fully understands the value and purpose of Man Worship. San Franklin is also a good friend I met after moving to Nashville. She is a powerhouse Gospel singer. She will “take you to church” for sure and she doesn’t compromise on “Higher Ground,” the song she co-leads with me. She’s in her element on this song and we all know it when we hear her. These are two wonderful people and very gifted singers I’ve had the extreme pleasure of collaborating with on this project.
Are there any other artist you would want to work with in the future?
There are so many that I admire and would love to work with. As you can probably tell from the style of my music, Will Downing is a huge inspiration for me. I love his musical flavor and the tenor of his voice. Maybe it’s because I’m also a baritone and there just doesn’t seem to be very many baritone Gospel music artists (or songs). BeBe Winans is one of my favorite song writers and artists. It would be an honor to work with him. I had the pleasure of singing at Pastor Marvin Winan’s church when I was promoting my first CD. That was an true honor to meet him because I think he has one of the smoothest, most creative voices I’ve heard. At some point I’d like to do a duet with Anita Wilson. I think that would be a very special creation. I love traditional Gospel (and all subgenres of Gospel), I just can’t sing them all. These are a few of the artist I think have artfully mastered their craft.
What’s next for Mark Williams?
I will keep doing what I love to do. I hope to continue travelling the country educating the people of God on how to care for their voice (God’s instrument) through seminars and workshops. I don’t think I previously mentioned that this is a key part to what we do at the Voice Care Center of Nashville and is why I created a DVD entitled, “Understanding Your Voice – Your Instrument.” This is a 62 minute instructional DVD that explains what the voice is, how it functions and how to take care of it. It’s the only such DVD like it on themarket. It is informative; yet entertaining and a necessity for anyone who is serious about caring for their voice and for those who desire to use their voice in ministry or their profession for many years, without compromise. I especially like doing these workshops at a church (or a community of churches) on a Saturday and sticking around for Sunday morning worship service, where I can minister in song. This helps me to satisfactorily Merge Music, Medicine and Ministry.
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