Biography: Kim Walker-Smith
Kim Walker Smith (born in Albany, Oregon) is an American singer, songwriter, worship leader, and recording artist residing in San Francisco, CA, but lived in Redding, CA previously. Kim is best known as the worship leader for Jesus Culture, and a worship pastor for Bethel Church in Redding. Kim Walker's cover of the John Mark McMillan song, How He Loves Us, has received over three million hits on YouTube.
In 2009 she married Skyler Smith, and has since used "Kim Walker-Smith" (instead of Kim Walker) for her releases.
She produced her first solo album, titled Here Is My Song, which was released in February 2008 through the Jesus Culture record label. The CD was recorded live at Redding's Bethel Church in November 2007.
Walker's style is not easy to define but she incorporates soul, R&B, jazz and freestyle. She has sung internationally at Jesus Culture conferences and events throughout the U.S. and U.K. and her upcoming tour schedule includes Australia and South Korea.
In 2005 her powerful vocals won her $25,000 cash in an "American Idol" type competition called "So You Want to Be a Star," which aired on Chico television station KRVU.
The 26-year-old worship pastor at Bethel Church is considered by many to be a forerunner in a new kind of worship referred to as "prophetic worship." This new style is much more raw and spontaneous in nature than most contemporary Christian music and has grown in popularity over the past few years.
Walker cites her greatest musical influences as Suzy Yaraei of Morning Star Ministries and Misty Edwards of Kansas City's International House of Prayer.
Walker describes herself as "uninhibited" and said "if you've never heard me before — if you've never seen me live, it's probably going to be a little surprising to you."
Walker co-led the worship on two other live albums, "We Cry Out" and "Everything," which were recorded at the 2006 and 2007 Jesus Culture conferences in Redding. She opened for the Celtic-Christian rock band Ceili Rain at the Cascade Theatre this past October.
Walker, an Oregon native, has lived in Redding for eight years. She came to Redding to attend Simpson University and discovered the Bethel School of Ministry. She finished the first- and second- year ministry programs and has been leading worship at Bethel Church for six years. She considers Redding her hometown and calls it "the perfect city."
Walker has many ideas for future projects. "We're talking about doing a studio album because I have some songs that are not necessarily ones that would go over so well live, but would be great in the studio," she said.
She also mentioned the possibility of recording a jazz Christmas album.
She released three more albums as Jesus Culture (Kim Walker, Chris Quilala and Melissa How): Your Love Never Fails(2008), Consumed (2009) and My Passion EP (2010).
"I would love to see my music get me into a secular realm," she said. "I mean, it's all about the people and I just love people. And I've always looked at music as a vehicle to get me to people."
As she tells it: " I am a passionate person and it comes out in my worship. I love justice and I love people. I have a heart to see the arts and creativity restored and a new standard set. Holy Spirit is my friend. I'm married to Skyler and we are on a journey of discovering all that we can accomplish as a team! We spend our free time skating on our long-boards, playing the Wii, and dreaming. He is my best friend and I love him fiercely. I'm currently attending an acting school and still traveling and leading worship. Bethel Church in Redding, CA is our home church."