Interview With Prenestine Williams-Porter
DetroitGospel.com: What was the inspiration behind the World Wide God?
Prenestine: I didn’t come up with the name – Brother Render did. He worked with Curtis Turrentine and his partner Ed Armstead and they let him know that they had 4 or 5 songs that they thought he might like and when he heard them he was interested. Although “World Wide God” was not his favorite, “Brand New Blessing” was his favorite, but World Wide God was the one that worked out so well with the other 2 artists singing with me. Brother Curtis Turrentine did a fantastic job putting those parts together. He used that particular song to get my name out amongst the people and he just felt like since it was so well accepted he thought that it should be the title of the CD as well. It is true that God is a world wide God.
DetroitGospel.com: What can listeners expect from World Wide God?
Prenestine: They can truly, truly expect a blessing. They can expect to be inspired. If at any time their spirit doesn’t feel calm, all they have to do is listen to the song “I Know Someone” because it is a spirit calming song. If they want to get a little nostalgic there is “Walk With Me.” I’ve been told more than one time that when I sing that song that I remind them of Mahalia Jackson. So there is something for everybody on the CD. “I’ve Got To Tell It” is a song that young people love because it has such a good move to it. There is something for all your age ranges. If you like quartet style singing that’s where you have “World Wide God” and “Brand New Blessing.”
DetroitGospel.com: What is your favorite song on the CD?
Prenestine: “I Know Someone” is my favorite. I wrote it and it’s one of four that I wrote on the CD. Secondly, because the message it sends out to let people know that there is always someone to hold your hand to help you stand when the pressures of life surround you and you feel all alone. I know someone and his name is Jesus. That’s my favorite, I love “World Wide God” but that’s my favorite.
DetroitGospel.com: What was it like working with Albertina Walker and Evelyn Turrentine-Agee?
Prenestine: My time with Albertina was very short but I enjoyed working with her. She was very humble and gracious. I didn’t do the studio work with her. Ed and Curtis went to Chicago to record her. I did the video work with her and in the little time that I was with her she was very pleasant. I couldn’t stop hugging her because I just love her so much. See, I remember her when I was a child and my mom was buying the Caravan albums. Then I came into contact with her through the Bobby Jones Show and whenever I wanted her to take a picture she never said no, she never frowned, and let us do whatever we wanted her to do. She’s got such a beautiful spirit. I hugged her when I got there and I had to hug her before I left. Now Evelyn, let me tell you about her. She is just precious. When she was getting off the elevator at Mr. Render’s office and saw me she said “well there’s the star.” I felt so humbled because she is a star. You know I felt so humbled. We just worked together so well. She helped me when there was something I needed and I helped her when I could. We just got along very well. She talked to us for a while and I sat and listened to everything she had to say and took it to heart. You can’t get enough of listening to those who have already been there and have the wisdom and can tell you something that may do you some good.
DetroitGospel.com: How difficult was it breaking into the industry trying to get a recording contract?
Prenestine: Quite difficult! It’s truly not easy. A good singer comes a dime a dozen. There are plenty of us who can sing especially in the city of Detroit. It’s difficult for Detroit artists to get local support because there are so many of us out there. God has something for everybody. What God has for you is for you. I never hold anything against anybody cause for everyone who don’t somebody else will and I’m talking about support. It’s not easy. That’s why even on my CD I thank Mr. Render for wanting to invest in me because I am his investment.
DetroitGospel.com: What are your feelings on your music ministry?
Prenestine:This is the gift the Lord has given me and I don’t take it lightly. My head is on straight. I’m a humble person and I’m about doing God’s will. When I sing I don’t sing to entertain. When I sing I do it to be a blessing to someone. Some people call it their job. I’m not an entertainer. I’m a minister.
DetroitGospel.com: How did you know that God was calling you into professional music ministry?
Prenestine: First of all it’s always been my lifelong dream and secondly I’m going to tell you what happened. My children were my life even when I was singing with various groups. I was put out of a group because they felt I was not faithful enough. I tell everybody that my children come before anyone else. I’ve been a single mother for over 20 something years. So I’m the one who had to raise my children by myself with the good Lord’s help and my family. So as bad as I wanted to do it I knew it was not the time. A few years back my daughter was getting ready to get married and my son was going to the Army all within a few months. I was sitting in my house one day back in 2001 and I was started getting the empty nest syndrome. All of a sudden the Holy Spirit said it’s your time. He said they are going to be all right. It’s your time to do what you been wanting to do all these years. Shortly after that I went on a cruise with about 5,000 people or more on it. They pulled names for you to go up and sing. My name was pulled and I stood up there and sang for 5,000 people or more people. That was like a Tuesday night and for the remainder of the cruise people came up to me to say that I blessed them and how tears came to their eyes while I was singing. I was just bombarded by people. People from all over the world were asking me how could they get my music. So when I went home I talked to my Dad who was my pastor at the time and I told him I want to pursue a career in singing.