The American church’s quarantine anthem made its way to the States from Nigeria, where songwriter and Pentecostal worship leader Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu, known as Sinach, first popularized “Way Maker.” The hit gospel singer was born in Lagos, Nigeria and has been a leader at the gospel music scene for years leading worship at a huge Pentecostal congregation and taking her music around the world while on tour. She last year, became the first African gospel singer to tour India. Her hit has since topped US charts for both Christian streaming platforms and church worship during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic. As churches joined protests in US cities in recent weeks, the song has also been sung by demonstrators marching for racial justice in the black lives matter campaign, calling out for God as a “way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness.”
The song holds the top spot on the list of top 100 songs ranked by Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI), based on use in churches. In April, the song also claimed two of the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs when Michael W. Smith and the band Leeland both released popular renditions.
“Way Maker” has been sung by Christians protesting in the wake of George Floyd’s death (who was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis), including in Milwaukee; Fredericksburg, Virginia; and Indianapolis, where they sang it during a prayer vigil interrupted by police tear gas. These protests have been rampant and surged a way for the Black Lives Matter campaign that is campaigning for black lives and has streamed into other countries. In the United States, protesters at one time were thrown at tears gas on the streets by the police as they made their way across town campaigning peacefully while singing the gospel hit.