Amy Grant probably has sold more records. Michael W. Smith is probably better known. But if you had to look to one person as the face of the Contemporary Christian musical genre, it would have to be Steven Curtis Chapman.
I was surprised to read that he’s 47 years old. He looks about 30. That would be pretty difficult, however, since he’s been releasing albums since 1987. His recording totals would be impressive in any musical field – more than 50 Dove Awards, 5 Grammys, 10 gold and 2 platinum albums, and 45 number one radio hits.
As impressive as that is, what separates Steven Curtis Chapman is his dedication to service. He has been a longtime advocate of adoption, having adopted three of his own children. He and his wife formed an organization called Show Hope that mobilizes individuals and communities to care for orphans, and provides grants for international adoptions. Show Hope just completed Maria’s Big House of Hope, a center that provides medical care to special needs children in China. In addition, he’s lent his efforts to thwart violence in schools, worked with World Vision on Project Restore to help rebuild the Louisiana coast following Katrina, and brought attention to the problems of refugee children in Uganda.
Chapman’s five-year-old daughter Maria was tragically killed in an accident in 2008, when one of her older brothers hit her while pulling a car into the family driveway. The entire Chapman family has struggled through its grief, and Steven recorded an album (Beauty Will Rise) in 2009 that he has called his “personal psalms.”
When someone has been named “Entertainer of the Year” seven times in the Dove Awards, more than any other artist, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them “go Hollywood.” That’s why Steven Curtis Chapman is so refreshing. Here’s a man who walks the true walk of the faith he believes. Enjoy this song, but have a tissue handy…