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Zach Williams. Courtesy photo.

Song on radio changed everything for singer Zach Williams

Christian singer Zach Williams followed a winding path in his journey to faith.

Before his 2017 breakout hit “Chain Breaker”, the Grammy Award-winning artist spent almost 20 years working fairly obscurely in the music industry.  He says his turning point, his “come to Jesus” moment,  came 2012 and it fundamentally changed his life.

He recently shared his story with CBN in advance of the release of his memoir “Rescue Story: Faith, Freedom and Finding My Way Home” later this month.

“It’s a pretty incredible story, what God’s done in my life, throughout my life,” he said. In high school, Williams developed a penchant for drugs, which he carried into his 20s, when he joined a rock band and stepped into a world of decadence and indulgence.

“We started traveling and touring, which just led me down an even darker path,” he said. “I thought, in order to play music, I needed to live a certain lifestyle. If I was gonna be in a rock band, that meant you did drugs and you use alcohol on a daily basis and you live this reckless lifestyle.”

For more than a decade, he was all in, trapped in a downward spiral. “I went pretty hard,” Willaims said. “I didn’t think about the next day; I just lived for the moment. And I carried it into a marriage, I carried it into being a father and a husband.”

In summer 2012 as he was traveling to Europe with his band, Williams said he realized that the way he was living was not sustainable. He was raised in church and knew he was on a path that would cost him everything, including his wife and children.

His parents would constantly pray Jeremiah 29:11 over him and he credits them with making sure he survived his early years. “They would come to these concerts; they would watch me get drunk on stage; they would watch me use drugs,” Williams said in another interview. “But they were always there, sitting there praying that God was going to take all of this mess and turn it into some message.”

Whenever they watched Williams perform, they would end the night praying over him and make sure he got home OK.  Not just him, but his bandmates as well.

“I was 33 years old when I gave my life to the Lord, after growing up in church, with a dad who was a worship leader and a mom who sang at church,” he said. “It took a long time, but they believed and trusted in God. … Being faithful and trusting in God is really all we can do.”

“I was riding in a van one day and the guy driving the bus was scanning radio stations and, out of nowhere, I hear this song called ‘Redeemed ‘ by Big Daddy Weave come across the radio and, man, that song just hit me; it struck a chord,” he said. “I listened to the lyrics when I got to the hotel room and I called my wife and I said, ‘Hey, I’m done. I’m out of here,’ and she couldn’t believe it. But I came home from that tour and quit my band and I cancelled all my shows.”

Within a year, Williams and his family were part of a church community and he had been asked to help launch a new campus for his church and work there as a worship leader. That’s when he got the opportunity to start writing Christian music in Nashville.

Now as a believer and recording artist whose songs testify to how the Lord has redeemed him  Williams said his life “is so much better.”

“There’s conviction in my life that I didn’t have before,” he said. “So for me, I love sharing those stories with the world. I love writing songs from places in my life that I’ve been hurt or I’ve experienced joy. I think, for me, sharing my story is a good thing.”

His concert comes to Missouri in late March and Topeka in May.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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