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NNPA honors Hezekiah Walker with Torch Award

By Elaina Johnson/Howard University News Service
On April 20, 2015
Hezekiah Walker

Hezekiah Walker won the Torch Award at the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s
Black Press Week last month.

(NNPA) – Grammy Award-winning artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker can now add the 2015 Torch Award for religion to his list of accomplishments.

He was was honored by the National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA) at Black Press Week in Washington for his diligence in spreading the gospel through music, radio and ministry.

“I was extremely shocked when I heard that I won this honor,” said Walker. “I quickly changed my plans to make sure I was there to receive it.”

Walker, 52, was born and raised in the Fort Greene housing projects in Brooklyn. He formed the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir when he was in his 20s and has been releasing music with the choir as well as a soloist since then.

Walker is also the senior pastor of Love Fellowship Tabernacle, a mega church in Brooklyn, New York,  that he founded in April of 1994. The church has brought together diverse members of differing races, socio-economic backgrounds and ages.

He also launched the “Afternoon Praise – The Hezekiah Walker Show” radio show on 1190 WLIB in New York City, followed by the “Sunday Morning Celebration” radio show on 107.5 WBLS. He also received Grammy Awards in 1994 and 2001.

“I really feel in my heart that out of all the awards I’ve won, the Torch award is the best award I could have ever received in my life,” said Walker. “Music is the foundation of our people. It’s one thing when others recognize you, but it’s another thing when your own people recognize you.”

There is, however, one honor that meant way more to him than receiving both the Grammys and the Torch Award. That was finding out that his music helped to save the life of a nine-year-old boy.

Willie Myrick was grabbed from the streets last March and forced into a car by an unidentified man while playing with his dog outside his home in Atlanta.

Young Myrick, who was awarded the NNPA’s Junior Newsmaker Award, continuously sang Walker’s hit song “Every Praise.” He sang the song for three hours straight until the kidnapper finally threw him into the street and drove away.

“I have had many great things happen in my life, but just to save that young boy’s life really meant a lot to me,” said Walker. “When you begin to sing and put music out, you never know how many lives you touch across the world.”

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