Israel Houghton has been a full-time worship pastor for over two decades. The Texas native- who is currently leading worship at the Lakewood Church in Houston- came from a challenging upbringing and was almost never here to begin with. “My mother is white. My biological father is black. When my mother was 17, she got pregnant,” Israel said. “The suggestion was, ‘Have an abortion. ‘Let’s just chalk this up as a mistake and move on.” God however, had a different plan for Houghton’s mother and revealed it in a rather miraculous way. “This lady came up to her out of the blue and said, ‘I don’t know you, and I don’t want to give you a hard time, but I was driving by and I really felt that I needed to come tell you Jesus loves you. You’re not forgotten. You did the right thing. It’s going to be all right.”
Not only did Israel make it into this world, but he has spent most of his life impacting it. In addition to being a worship minister, Houghton is a recording artist, songwriter, and producer. Over the past decade the 41-year-old has received numerous Grammy Awards, Dove Awards, and lots of critical acclaim. He and his wife Meleasa founded New Breed Ministries, which is comprised of singers and musicians who are minsters at different churches, and they often perform with Houghton as “Israel & New Breed.”
Houghton’s highly anticipated live album Jesus At The Center, is his first record released in five years. His new single,“Your Presence is Heaven to Me,” speaks of finding contentment in Christ alone with lyrics such as, “Nothing in this world can satisfy. Cause, Jesus, You’re the cup that won’t run dry. Jesus, You’re the cup that won’t run dry. Your presence is Heaven to me.” Jesus At The Center will be available in stores and online on August 14, 2012.