Category Archives: Worship

Worship Wednesday: “Ghost”

Our new series Fear{Less} starts Sunday! All fear is learned – through experience, other’s voices, or our own inner voices – but God calls us to a life of freedom from fear. This is the time to allow Jesus to help you to unlearn some fears and take hold of the freedom your heart cries for. You are born to be fearless! See you at 9/10:30am!

Wider Worship: 70s Gold

Welcome a special monthly edition of Worship Wednesday! Contrary to what Christian radio might make you think, there’s a wide variety of worship music out there, in every genre imaginable. Our worship team and staff have put their music-loving heads together to come up with a series of posts featuring a new genre of worship music every month! See one of your favorite musicians in RIYL (Recommended If You Like)? Recognize a favorite song from Sunday mornings? Check out a new band! We hope something strikes your fancy and injects your everyday music listening with a little more worship.

This month, let’s explore…

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Mahalia Jackson began her recording career began in the 1930s, and she stayed active til her death in 1972. Dubbed “The Queen of Gospel,” her music brought gospel to the mainstream. She was a civil rights activist as well as a performer: she was a friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and performed in support of the Montgomery bus boycott as well as before multiple King speeches (including his 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech). Harry Belafonte even described her as “the single most powerful black woman in the United States.”

Andraé Crouch was an influential and important gospel songwriter, band leader, and  choir director, known as the father of modern gospel music. His singing helped him overcome a childhood stuttering problem, and his natural talent on the piano led to his career taking off in his early 20s. His songs were covered by mainstream performers like Elvis Presley and Paul Simon, and he collaborated with or directed choirs for Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Stevie Wonder.

Keith Green was a key member of the Jesus movement of the early 70s, in which many hippies turned to Jesus. His piano-based songs have been sung in churches around the world, long after his passing in 1982. His biblical convictions led him to practice communal living, helping in addiction-recovery and prison outreach ministries, and giving away his music for free.

Mavis Staples began her career singing with her family band The Staple Singers in the 1950s. That group is most known for their 1971 number one hit “I’ll Take You There.” She released her first solo album in 1969 and has been releasing albums ever since, with songs focusing on all types of love, racial harmony, and other Christian themes. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2017.

Seven-time Dove Award winner and world-class guitarist Phil Keaggy has been releasing albums since the early 70s in a plethora of genres: folk, classical, contemporary pop/rock, Beatle-esque rock, instrumental blues jams & more. After experimenting with drugs in the late 60s and losing his mother in 1970, Keaggy became a Christian and began recording worship music.

The Rance Allen Group recorded for the legendary Stax record label throughout the 1970s. In 1972, along with blues and soul legends like Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, and Albert King, the group performed at the Wattstax benefit concert and can be seen in in the documentary film of the concert under the same name. They were breakthrough artists in Christian music by being the first to incorporate rock and soul into worship music.

A list of 70s legends could never be complete without Aretha Franklin. The “Queen of Soul” began her career with 1956’s “Songs of Faith,” and while she’s internationally acclaimed for her secular career, she never totally veered away from gospel message. In 1972 she released the multi-million selling album “Amazing Grace,” which remains the highest selling live gospel album of all time.

Got a related band or favorite song to recommend? Share in the comments!

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