Have you ever had a worship moment so powerful, emotional and mystical that it almost felt as if you had transcended to another space and time? Well, this is the experience Gospel superstar, Deitrick Haddon has recreated with his latest.
Over a musically adventurous journey of 18 tracks, Haddon takes listeners on a voyage in future sound that’s rooted in traditions of the past that, at the same time, addresses issues of the present that bears a core message as timeless as the earth’s origins.
If it sounds out of this world, that is because “Church on the Moon” was created on a whole other plane of thought. Encompassing an extremely vivid imagination and pension for translating visions, Haddon confesses that the concept for his fifth CD on Verity Records, and 11th studio release overall, “Dropped on me out of nowhere.”
“There are moments when God will give you stuff that is out of this world,” he explains. “That’s what ‘Church on the Moon’ means to me.”
The seasoned singer/songwriter says that he felt the need to help people escape. “There’s so much sadness and craziness
going on down here on Earth, I want to take you somewhere else for a while. ‘Church on the Moon’ is Gospel music from another perspective – a record that takes you on a journey. When the last song has played, you will feel far above any problems that were weighing you down.”
Haddon is an award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and pastor who has chosen to be obedient to God’s creative direction, even when the destination was not along a path traveled by other artists before him. It has paid off immensely for Haddon on this project. Since its January 2011 release, “Church on the Moon” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel Charts and has remained in the top 10. He became the first Gospel artist to get a World Premiere of his video on BET’s “10 & Park” for the lead single “Well Done,” which spent more than 33 weeks as one of the top Gospel singles in the country. In addition, Haddon has received a nomination in the Best Gospel category for his release from the 2011 BET Awards.
Haddon has recently added Jonetta Patton, Usher’s mom and former manager, to his management team. “I thought he was phenomenal,” Patton says when she first heard Haddon. The concept to bring her on board was to take him mainstream. “He does have crossover appeal. He’s a triple threat,” she says. “He’s an entertainer, a singer and an actor, and he’s a man of God with a message for the world.”
These things are not lost on Elroy Smith, Radio One’s inspiration format director. “There aren’t too many songs that qualify to be on my iPod,” Smith explains. “However, ‘Well Done’ made it and I found myself playing it more than once.”
So what makes this album so different from any other inspirational CD? The answer becomes apparent less than 30 seconds into the start of the first track. Some have dubbed what you will hear as “Techno-Pop Gospel with mass appeal fueled by purified Hydro-Holy Ghost Power.” Haddon’s brother, David A. Haddon (with his partner Tubbs), collaborated and created the music for the album’s intro, “Showstopper.” This intro is also the interactive infused background sound on Haddon’s official website, www.churchonthemoon.com.
Collaborators on the project include the return of producer Blaze and features many of Gospel’s current heavy-hitters, including Tye Tribbett, J. Moss, Canton Jones and the debut of Haddon’s cousin, rapper/singer T-Haddy.
“These are all respected artists who came together to represent the Kingdom of God, not our individual selves. Each of us ‘reps’ the Kingdom in our own way. This is the start of a movement… a song that will inspire young people around the globe to gravitate toward the Kingdom of God,” Deitrick proudly asserts of his ‘Church on the Moon’ guests.
Although the moon has no gravity, staying grounded is an arena Haddon has mastered. When it comes to his art as a musician, Haddon confides, “I’ve had opportunities to leave Gospel several times with major deals. I never did it because I believe I’m called to do a specific job and I truly want to hear God say, ‘Well Done.’ It’s a goal I’m trying to reach. I believe God is creating the perfect song out of all our lives. He’s orchestrating the highs and the lows, the diminuendos and the crescendos. The lyric to our song is our testimony. And at the end of all of our songs, we should all have the same lyric. God should end our song by saying, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You can come on in’.”
That’s the line of thought process that encouraged Haddon to take a step beyond ministering just musically and toward ministering from the pulpit.
In February of 2009, Haddon transcended his role as a musical missionary when he was appointed pastor of the High Praise Church in his hometown of Detroit, taking over the post long held by his father, who now pastors in nearby Inkster, MI. Since that time, the church has exploded from a membership of 400 to almost 2,000. On New Year’s Day, 2010, that church was officially christened with a new name – Kingdom Culture Church – reflecting the younger Pastor Haddon’s mission to empower young leaders to sprout from his community and fan out into the world to spread a Kingdom message far and wide.
“I believe in raising young leaders that are bold in their faith to take authority in the culture and be influential,” Haddon declares. “We teach them to start their respective businesses with integrity, faith and morality.”
Continuing to boldly step out where no Gospel artist has been before, Haddon has also been a pioneer in bringing God’s message to the big screen. His first movie was “Blessed And Cursed” and he has a few other projects in the works, including spearheading a film project with his wife Damita, tentatively titled “Woodward” (named after a notorious street in Detroit plagued by prostitution, drugs and all manners of vice).
“Producing our own films is a dream come true,” Haddon explains. “I’m excited to be among the first to bring independent film to Gospel and to give
our artists a powerful platform to share our awesome stories.”
For those who can’t get enough of Haddon’s special way of telling tales and conveying truths, there is great news – he is planning a “Church on the Moon” tour this summer that kicks off July 31st. With a long roster of beloved hits, Haddon has promised fans past favorites, such as “Love Him Like I Do,” “He’s Able” and “Sinner’s Prayer,” as well as new songs, including “Well Done.”
On a very personal note for Haddon, heading to “Church on the Moon” means he is not leaving without ramen noodles, his mama’s baked beans, President Obama (to negotiate with any aliens encountered), Bishop T.D. Jakes, his wife Damita Haddon, his iPad, Uno, some ultra-swagged space gear, and, of course, his own Ministry Kingdom Culture Church. Now that you know exactly where the journey will take you, Haddon has only one question he needs to know before you begin… what are you taking with you to the moon? Answer now at