Fred Hammond on the Blessing of Music
Multiple Grammy, Stellar and Dove award winner Fred Hammond has crisscrossed the gospel landscape for three decades with nonstop hits including “No Weapon,” “Running Back to You,” “Celebrate He Lives,” and many more.
After 30 years as a major player in the gospel music industry, his latest CD entitled I Will Trust is another powerful testament that Hammond is not finished declaring God’s word in song. The project is the epitome of real life and the decision to trust God no matter what.
I Will Trust features soul-stirring melodies to strengthen listeners in their faith, inspire deep reflection, and give praise. Recently, the double-platinum artist shared the inspiration from his current single and how his music will bless those who listen.
JET: People may look at you and think your life is perfect, yet I Will Trust was inspired by your health challenges.
Fred Hammond: Life is far from perfect. I think people get it confused that if you stand on a stage and people applause you and want to see you. It’s not about talent, it’s about a calling and the Bible says as “Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourself likewise.” This life has been far from perfect although it’s been armed with some gold and platinum records and plaques. I’ve actually had to live through the songs so I can know who to sing to. When I sing “No Weapon,” I know what it feels like to have weapons formed.
A lot of artists sing from their hits and their talents but they don’t understand how to connect the passion of the pain so they can connect with ministry. But when you say you want to be in ministry, God puts you in a position so you can feel their pain. When you hear me sing “They That Wait” means He’s testing me on patience. The spiritual definition of waiting is the ability to remain the same—now you wait.
I had lost hope and didn’t know how I was going to make it. To be honest when I laid on my bed, I was crying because it didn’t look like I was going to make it out of there. My father had the same surgery on one knee and passed five days later. I lay on the table and said do both the knees, whatever happens happens. I’m still going to trust.
JET: Who do you feel this album speaks to?
FH: I know that it’s been ministering to people with health challenges. I’ve been getting all kinds of texts and calls: “I’m in my seventh round of chemo, my mom is dealing with kidney failure or I’ve been dealing with diabetes, but I’m trusting God. I’m dealing with lupus, but I’m trusting God.”
The tour that Donnie McClurkin and I went on, he had health issues with his throat. They found scar tissue that was cancerous. They caught it, but it left his voice impaired. Here, you had a guy that can’t walk and can’t talk—but God blessed him in 32 cities in six weeks—every show played and not one cancelled. It was an amazing worship experience, not because we sang but because as we walked we were healed.
This album will tell people to continue to look up. The album is not down trodden. There are a lot of victory songs. The enemy was talking to me in the worst time of my life and in my pain. I said, yeah, I hear you, but I still believe that He will heal me and if He don’t I will continue to believe.
JET: Do you feel a call to the ministry of preaching?
FH: I don’t think so. I am a minister but I do it so different. I was ordained when I was much younger. I don’t have that type of style. I will talk with you and share with you from the Word. If God moves in that direction and I want to be effective in whatever I do. Music allows me to do that on stage. I honestly feel like my church and my evangelistic mission is each concert.
About Effie Rolfe
Effie Rolfe is a media consultant, personality and speaker. For years, she was the “voice of inspiration” each Sunday morning and middays on Chicago radio. She also speaks at schools, churches and workshops. Effie writes for several publications and is the author of The K(N)ots Prayer. Visit her Website effierolfe.com; like her on mseffierolfe.com and follow her via @effiedrolfe. You can listen to her at urbanpraiseradio.org.