I thank God I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home, the son of a preacher married to a church pianist. Our house was filled with music when I was growing up and a big chunk of the music was soul gospel, southern gospel, and Christian contemporary music. I’ve had critics of Christianity tell me that I’m only Christian because that was the environment I was born into, therefore, I shouldn’t be so quick to believe other religions are bad since they were born into it. But being a Christian is a personal choice. I had to decide for myself if I would follow Christ. Many who grew up in such homes have chosen not to follow him.
There have been periods where I’ve strayed, but the foundation laid by God’s word in my heart through my faith in Christ and the songs of the faith I grew up on always helped steer me back in those off-track times. Here are a few of the artists & their songs of faith from my childhood:
Andrae Crouch–My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)
Amy Grant–Sing Your Praise to the Lord
The Archers–Fresh Surrender
Commissioned–Running Back to You (At first I didn’t like this group because they seemed to be a knockoff of the Winans, but songs like this changed my mind about them.)
Dallas Holm–I’ve Never the Seen the Righteous Forsaken
First Call–Sweet Love (I was in college when this came out, but I had to include it because of it’s catchy message and rhythm)
The Hawkins Family–Be Grateful (Whether it was Lynette Hawkins-Stephens, Edwin Hawkins, Walter Hawkins, or Tramaine, I loved all of their music & vocals.)
The Imperials–Trumpet of Jesus (There were two groups with this name–one southern gospel, one Christian contemporary. I favored the CCM group because of the vocals of Russ Taff.)
Larnelle Harris–How Excellent is Thy Name
Leon Patillo–Star of the Morning
Michael W. Smith–I Am Sure
These songs continue to be a blessing to me even today.
Harry A. Gaylord