"My Destiny is to help people experience the manifest presence of the Lord, I want to help them find the pieces to the puzzles of their lives... to find answers and healing." - Stephen Hurd
Stephen believes that worship is “tapping into God’s heart and making a commitment to live in that space.” Because this is something that he practices, Stephen has become prolific in the posture of praise. He uses his innate ability to authentically usher in the presence of the Lord through corporate worship.
The Brandywine, Maryland-bred worship leader, songwriter and recording artist returns with a sophomore set appropriately titled, My Destiny. This collection was recorded live at the Temple of Praise in Washington, D.C. and further expounds on the practice of praise and worship Stephen introduced in his Integrity Gospel debut, A Call To Worship.
Stephen showcases his songwriting prowess on My Destiny with songs like “The Glory Chant,” “Todah,” “Jesus You’re Wonderful,” “My Love Song” and “Healed By The Power Of His Word.” On “Great Praise (The War Cry)” and “Destiny,” Stephen collaborates with songwriters Jonathan Nelson and Justin Savage. Nelson and Maurette Brown-Clark also appear on “Destiny (pt. 2).” The Steven Ford-produced set also features songs by Jeffrey LaValley (“Revelations 19:1”), Keith Laws (“Why I Came”), James Trey Howard (“Keep Me In Your Glory”) and Deborah Ford (“The Glory Of The Lord”).
“I felt like I was working with a school of Modern Day Davids,” Stephen says of his collaborators. “Their hearts for God challenged me to keep my ears attentive to the Lord's voice to charge my creativity.”
Stephen’s desire is that listeners will find an intimate encounter with God through the live worship experience captured on My Destiny. “I hope that listeners, both saved and unsaved, get to the place where they know what they are called to do,” he shares. “Jeremiah 29:11 says: ‘I know the plans I have for you, say the Lord. Thoughts of good and not of evil. To give you a hope and an expected end.’ I hope they say finally after all contemplation, ‘I know what I'm here for!’”
It’s that passion for ministry that landed Stephen among a who’s who of praise and worship practitioners on Gospel Today’s August 2005 cover. As one of “gospel’s new breed of worshipers,” Stephen told the magazine that “worship is access; getting permission to be in God’s presence.”
That ability to articulate the nuances of worship both verbally and with the pen is why Prophetess Juanita Bynum used Stephen’s song “Overflow” on her release A Piece of My Passion. His ingenuity is also found on Gospel Today Presents: Praise & Worship Vol. 3 CD on the track “Todah.” Additionally, Stephen is a featured psalmist on “Wind of God” on Lyle and Deborah Dukes & The Harvest Life Changers Church Mass Choir recording In His Presence.
As a workshop clinician and educator in worship ministry, Stephen has served as a facilitator at conferences ranging from Bishop T.D. Jakes’ MegaFest to the Thomas A. Dorsey-founded National Convention of Gospel Choirs. He’s also a board member for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Gospel Heritage Foundation.
Before releasing his major label debut, A Call To Worship, which featured the Dove Award nominated song “Undignified,” Stephen launched his own publishing company called Hurd The Word Music. Through that endeavor, Stephen released two independent albums—Corporate Worship (1999) and In The Overflow (2001).
From 1992 until 1995, Stephen served as music director for the late Rev. Donald Vails and his DC Choral Kaleidoscope and Capital City Mass Youth Choir. He recorded his first song, “Calvary,” with Rev. Vails in 1993, and would go on to record two songs with the Gospel Music Workshop of America Mass Choir—1994’s “Philippians 4:13 (Stand)” and 1996’s “Lord and King.”
Despite his acclaim and an international platform, Stephen takes great joy in serving as Assistant Minister of Music at his home church, First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover, Md. “Pastor John K. Jenkins is my pastor and I think one of the things that makes me effective is my privilege to serve my local church and pastor. Serving Pastor Jenkins has given me a balance between industry and church,” he expresses.
It was at his home church where Stephen was given the vision for My Destiny. “The message of My Destiny came as I reflected on the lives of people around me and the church community. I believe that a lot of people are operating in frustration primarily because they don't know where they are called to serve. My sister Michelle really provoked me to petition the Lord to actually be sure I was flowing in my lane,” says Stephen.
Stephen hopes that My Destiny helps God’s people prepare for the next level of worship. “The Lord told me that the next level of worship is going to be in ‘Warfare’ and the saints of the most high God must prepare a ‘War Cry’ in His name.”