Home Issues and Culture “Intimacy” brings sacred depth to inspirational music

“Intimacy” brings sacred depth to inspirational music

It’s an album title that has Biblical imagery but that may catch people off guard if they think of it in more romantic terms.

Pastor Colier McNair called his fifth album Intimacy because, in his words, “I think in terms of intimate relationships with another human being could look like those with God,” adding, “We are supposed to be intimate with God in a spiritual sense.”

So the opening track is “Created for His Pleasure,” which describes not only God’s love for people but the response of worship that grows out of that love. “Summertime Praise” evokes the feel of “being in a convertible with someone you love,” McNair, but the someone is God. The song “I Owe It All To You” catches the idea of owing our lives to our significant others, and in this case, that is God. And “Ready Heart” sounds like a romantic ballad – “Lord, I loved you because you first loved me.”

This album, released at the beginning of October, brings McNair’s work to a whole new level. He collaborated with about a dozen local musicians for the record, made it at Blast House Studios in Madison instead of in his home studio and brings 20 years of recording experience to the project. And he has been composing music since he was 15 – some 33 years.

“I feel like I’m starting over, I’m reborn, I’m ready to get back to work,” McNair said as he looks forward to performing at churches for free in the coming year and releasing another album in 2019.

It’s a been a year filled with creativity for the 48-year old pastor. He published his first book, Winning People, Losing America, last fall. He moved Zion City Church, the congregation where is the lead servant/presiding pastor into a new space. He has built a strong alliance with Blackhawk Church, one of the powerhouses in the local church world.

And he is not alone on this journey, of course. His wife, Myra McNair, opened up Anesis Center for Marriage and Family Therapy and shares in his ministry at church, even as they raise their four children (oldest daughter Tziah has a featured vocal on one song on the album). And McNair’s parents, Charles and Alberta, are still active at the church they founded as Vessels of Praise Apostolic Church in 1996. Colier McNair became the pastor there in 2006.

And music and pastoring have not been his only work in life. He worked with youth in Minneapolis and Madison before going to work in 2005 for Madison’ Department of Civil Rights – a job he left in the past year to devote full time to ministry and creativity.

For all the excitement around his activities in the past year, McNair recognizes there are challenges doing original inspirational/gospel music in Madison.

“How does an inspirational artist make it in Madison?” he asks. It is easier in larger cities. As far as McNair knows, he is the only one composing and recording this genre here at the moment.

“I’m hoping that this project will light the way for other artists and create a platform for my style of music in this city,” he said. And he is thrilled by noticing people talking about Intimacy on social media.

As a composer, he said “I take a lot of joy from being able to take something out of nothing and bring it into reality.”

A few facts

You can listen to Intimacy here.

You can order if from Zion City here on their web site or iTunes, on Spotify, Amazon abnd other digital music plaforms.

Colier McNair is the lead servant and presiding pastor at Zion City Church, 5202 Regent St. Worship is on Sundays from 1 to 2 :30 p.m.