September 1, 2011
by Hasan James
True Worship Conference 2011 with Lance Williams
Root: It seems like the True Worship Retreat 2010 was only a few months ago and now it’s that time again. Are you excited?
Lance Williams: I’m getting there. Last week it was very stressful just preparing and things of that nature but the excitement is getting there.
Root: There will be many notable people like Kim Burrell, bishop Noel Jones, Edwin Hawkins and others. What does it take to put together a conference of this magnitude?
Lance Williams: The most important thing is having a solid team. I have a strong team to help us facilitate the planning process and it helps take some of the pressure off of me. Of course I am involved in everything and I am a bit of a micro-manager but sometimes I give them free reign to do what they have to do.
Root: We see so many conferences throughout the year. Why should people want to attend the True Worship Conference? What are the benefits?
Lance Williams: I think some of our classes are more intimate. We spend a lot of time developing our classes and matching a particular facilitator with the class. It is also very informative and all of our facilitators are approachable. We also have great panels where you can get answers to any questions you may have.
Root: Is this conference just geared toward people who want to be involved in music or is it a plethora of things regarding ministry as a whole?
Lance Williams: Absolutely not. We didn’t want to be identified as just a music conference. We want to balance it with music and the word. It is really for pastors, ministers of music, leaders of the church and the average lay person. The classes are developed and designed for the average church person. It is very well rounded.
Root: This year you are doing a special tribute to the late Walter Hawkins. Tell us about that.
Lance Williams: Yes indeed. Walter Hawkins was apart of the True Worship Conference a total of three times over the last nine years, so he has definitely contributed tremendously to what we have been doing. We wanted to do a tribute to him and honor Edwin Hawkins. In the past we have honored people who have impacted my life and also impacted the community so we just wanted to do something this year to pay homage to Bishop Walter Hawkins.
Root: Last year you did something a little different when you brought the True Worship Conference down south. Do you plan on expanding the conference?
Lance Williams: It is something we are exploring now. Last year we did the southeast conference in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and it was very powerful. We have received many requests to come to different cities to conduct the conference because there are so many places that don’t offer these types of conferences so I definitely think it’s time to expand and move it out of New Jersey finally.
Root: The True Worship Conference starts a week from today. Can people still register for the conference and if so, what is the cost of registration?
Lance Williams: Registration is still open and we are offering the registration at the early registration rate. This year is the lowest the price has ever been at $35. My team fought me tooth and nail about the low price but we are keeping it there. After Friday, September 2nd, the price is $55, which is still very low.