Scripture speaks of taking the Gospel to one’s neighborhood, surrounding area, nation and entire world. The thousands of ethnicities and people groups that populate these regions employ many languages and are known for numerous cultural traits that offer scores of unique mediums for presenting the Gospel.
The medium Marcus T. Williams-Gray, a.k.a. FLAME, uses is Gospel rap.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Marcus converted to Christianity at age 16. Known previously as a rowdy student, Marcus’s behavior changed radically as he entered his senior year of high school in 1998. He became actively involved in church and went from performing “gangsta rap,” or “street rap,” to writing personal devotional Gospel raps.
Marcus soon discovered the music of Cross Movement, a Christian rap group, which he said impacted him profoundly.
“When I heard their music, they would talk about different elements of the Gospel that I had never heard before,” he said. “That piqued my interest, and I always looked forward to their new albums. Every new album was like taking a course related to the Gospel.”
In 2002 Marcus signed on with Cross Movement Records and released his self-titled debud CD "Flame" in 2004.
A year later, he released “Rewind,” which features the Dove Award nominated song “Gotta Notice.
“The concept behind that project was taking a look into church history and examining what things we should bring along and what we should leave behind,” said Williams-Gray. “I had songs about the Trinity, false doctrine and hermeneutics. ‘Gotta Notice’ was about checking your motives and examining yourself and seeing if you are of the Christian faith.”
Marcus followed up "Rewind" with a two-project CD series that walks through Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden and its implications for all humanity, and God’s redemptive work on the cross through Christ. Williams-Gray said a conversation he had on the streets of St. Louis inspired the project.
The first album, “Our World Fallen,” came out in 2007 and focused on mankind’s spiritual poverty and the grave consequences of a sinful lifestyle. The album rose to No. 7 on the Billboard Charts and featured the singles “MySpace,” “Goodness to Repentance” and “Call Him.”
The sequel, “Our World Redeemed,” came out in March of 2008. This project celebrates the work of Christ on the work, its redemptive implications in a fallen world and the need to personally believe in Christ.
“In my music I am always thinking ‘how can I present a Christian worldview on every issue?’” he said. “I want to bring a theological perspective to practical issues. Biblical counseling filters every issue through a Christian worldview. It (biblical counseling) is helping me become skillful in walking through life’s issues with people. Once I put the microphone down, I want to transition into a biblical counseling position in a local church or start a local counseling practice with my wife.”
Involved in ministry for more than 10 years, the Dove Award nominee is currently completing his degree in Biblical Studies in Louisville at Boyce College. Preaching nationally at churches, events and conferences.