Nets honor East New York gospel preacher

Hezekiah Walker
Gospel singer Hezekiah Walker (second from left) receives awards at Barclay’s Center on Jan. 20.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

High praise for Brooklyn’s own Grammy-Award-winning gospel star Hezekiah Walker, who received three awards for his spirit-elevating songs at the Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday. 

“I just feel overwhelmed to receive those awards on MLK Day,” Walker said. “And surrounded by people right in my backyard from where I grew up. When your home people recognize your success and who you are that makes big statement.”

Reps for the Atlantic Avenue sports team presented Walker with two awards for his hit “Every Praise,” one from Billboard which named it the gospel song of the decade and gold certifications from the Record Industry Association of America for more than 500,000 for the song as well as his tune “Grateful.”

He also performed “Every Praise” in front of the stadium crowd together with his Love Fellowship Choir, which also sang the national anthem.

“It was amazing to see everybody up and clapping to my song,” he said.

Walker, 56, grew up in the Fort Greene housing projects and found his love for the spiritual sounds from his mother, and said the music set him on a good path.

“It changed my way of thinking growing up, it kept me on that straight path,” he said. “It kept me thinking positive and understanding that there’s some greater power than myself.”

The singer is also a pastor of the East New York church the Love Fellowship Tabernacle, and he’s currently partnering with the city on an $80 million project to build 248 units of below-market-rate housing called Kingdom Housing Development above a new church facility on Liberty Avenue, the New York Daily News reports.