Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 October 2009
Charles “Chuck” Cissel, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame Board of Directors CEO, (on right) presents the 2009 Gospel Induction Award to Dr. Stephen Wiley at Wednesday night's ceremony held in Tulsa. Watch for an upcoming slideshow of photos from the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame ceremony. (Baconian Online photo by Wendy Burton)
TULSA - Adjunct Instructor of Religious Studies Dr. Stephen Wiley was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame (OJHF) Wednesday night.
Wiley's honor at the 21st annual Induction Banquet Gala stems from his achievement as the pioneer of Gospel Rap.
“In 1982, I actually started doing gospel rap music. I didn’t record it until 1985,” said Wiley, a six time Dove Award nominee.
His music was then picked up by Brentwood, a record label out of Nashville, Tenn. and distributed worldwide.
Wiley's first song, "Bible Break" ran eight minutes and went through all the books of the Bible.
According to Charles “Chuck” Cissel, OJHF Board of Directors CEO, Wiley deserves the honor.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Wiley be a part of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame family,” said Cissel during his introduction. “We respect all that he’s done. He is
an innovator and an inspiration.”
Wiley is not only an instructor at
Bacone, he is senior pastor and founder of Praise Center Family Church,
located in Muskogee and Tulsa, and a national youth communicator.
“I go to job
corps, junior high schools, juvenile centers, and do anti-drugs
alcohol, and gang seminars around the country,” he said. “I’ve done
that for 20 years.”
Freshman Christian Ministry major Danny McBee has a great deal of respect for Wiley.
“First off, he is a teacher, but more
importantly he is a very spiritual man,” said McBee. “He is always up
to pray for somebody if they need it.”
McBee also took note of Wiley’s
“When rap was mostly about drugs or negative things like
gangs,” McBee said, “he made a way for rap to be positive.”
Wiley released six albums, and is
creating a greatest hits record that he will produce on his own
The Bacone instructor said he is humbled to be inducted.
“You just do what you do and don’t
really expect a reward,” he said. “But to be acknowledged for what you
enjoy doing is a humbling experience.”
Vice President and Dean of
Faculty Dr. Robert K. Brown said he was excited for Wiley’s accomplishments.
“I knew how good of an instructor he was, but I didn’t know how
talented he was,” said Brown. “He firmly believes in the mission of the
college. He has a genuine concern for our students, and has an
appropriate level of experience.”
The care shown for his students is
inspired by Rev. B.W. Nobles.
According to Wiley, the reverend took
him under his wing at age 13 and guided the honoree in the right
“He’s always inspired me and motivated me to do what was
right,” Wiley said. “Rev. Noble is my number one mentor and encourager
to this day.”
After the impact of Nobles’ influence, Wiley knew what he
wanted to do.
“I couldn’t be or have accomplished what I’ve done
without the help of people around me,” said Wiley, “so I always told
God whenever I have the opportunity to encourage young people, that’s
what I would do.”
In 2007, Bacone approached him to teach World
Religion. When he got the book on Friday afternoon, he read it immediately.
started teaching the course on Monday,” said Wiley.
night’s ceremony, he performed before a packed OJHF crowd.
Wiley livened them up with a hip-hop performance of
“Attitude”, wearing shades and a sideways ball cap much to the delight of the audience.
He then switched gears and did a powerful drum solo before accepting the 2009 Gospel induction.