Simply put, James Earl Wilson is a walking testimony. Just the fact that he is still in the land of the living is a testament to the enormous favor of God on his life. It’s also a powerful witness to the Father’s amazing grace. James’ many brushes with death are unexplainable if it were not for the fact that God had – and still has – a plan for this Gospel artist’s life. Born on the “wrong side of the tracks” in The City by The Bay, James found music as an escape, a way to cope with the harsh realities of his existence. His remarkable talent for singing and songwriting caught the attention of R&B and Hip Hop Legend Teddy Riley, during the 90s when he was forming what we now know as the GRAMMY Award-Winning Group, Blackstreet. But God’s plan was still in place and the Lord wanted James to use his gift for His glory. Groomed by his former pastor, the legend, the late Andrae’ Crouch and having been blessed with the opportunity to share the stage with Gospel greats Daryl Coley and Fred Hammond, James has been active in music ministry for years now. With a golden voice reminiscent of the late Lou Rawls and songwriting that can stand toe to toe with the best of them, James Wilson’s awe-inspiring talents are on full display in his latest single, “Lord So Amazing”.
Hailing from San Francisco, James was one of ten children. His family life was troubled, and sadly, his father was murdered when James was 13. After his death, James’ mother had a difficult time providing a home for the children. Although the family did attend church weekly, as a teenager, James wasn’t a believer. But even in the worst of times, music gave solace. James, his brother and his sister would sing constantly; many said that they sounded like The Temptations.
But the love of music didn’t stop James’ life from spiraling out of control. In his early twenties, he became addicted to drugs and alcohol. He overdosed and nearly died, but he credits God for saving his life. Hitting rock bottom, he prayed to God to take the taste of the drugs and the drink away, and instantaneously, the addictions were gone. In that moment, God not only took the desire away for drugs and alcohol; the longing for cigarettes left as well. But that wasn’t the end of his trials and his life on the street; it also wasn’t the end of miraculous encounters.
He’s plunged from the top of a three-story building and walked away. He’s been shot at and still can’t explain how the bullet missed. He’s been stabbed in the back and didn’t heed the paramedics’ advice to go to the hospital; he walked around with a life-threatening wound until days later, he finally arrived at a hospital only to be told that if he had gotten there an hour later, he would have been DOA. He’s been in George Floyd’s shoes; a police officer put a knee to his temple which resulted in James having an out-of-body experience. That one soul-shaking experience – and his time behind prison walls – was enough to make him realize that if he didn’t straighten up, he would be separated from the Lord for eternity. It was behind prison walls where he committed his life fully to the Lord.
It’s that commitment that drives him to create God-breathed songs to share with the world. His debut project, There’s No One Like Jesus, was released in 2019, including songs like the inspirational title tune, the track “Marching Into Zion” and the declarative “Jesus Has The Power”. Other songs like “Celebrate Jesus” and “Walk with Jesus” continue to showcase this artist’s love for the Lord. Moving tunes like “Put Your Trust In God” and “God Is In Control” make it clear that James is firm in his faith in God. His new single, "Lord So Amazing" is another gem. A mellow yet inspirational cut, "Lord So Amazing" finds James singing about the unmatched awesomeness of God. An uplifting ballad, "Lord So Amazing" will be featured on an upcoming project by the psalmist and released in September 2022.
When asked about his songwriting and his mention of the Savior in every song, he says that’s intentional. “I always want to include God in my songs,” James says. “Some choose to use ‘He’ and ‘Him’ in their lyrics, but I want people to know – when they hear my songs – that I am talking about Jesus.”
A current resident of Oakland, CA, the ordained minister of St. Paul AME Church in Berkeley, CA, is determined to share the message of Christ with anyone who will listen. He knows that without God, he would have been a lost cause. A husband, father and grandfather, James is relentless in his role as an evangelist and minstrel. “I am not in it for the money; I just want to touch lives,” he says. “I just want them to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.”