Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman has won five Grammy awards and 58 Dove awards; more than any other artist. Steven and his wife Mary Beth run a charity called Show Hope, which supports orphans and those caring for them. As well as having three biological children, Emily, Caleb and Will, the couple adopted three girls from China: Shao-hannah Hope, Stevey Joy and Maria Sue. Tragically, Maria was killed in 2008 after a car their son, Will, was driving accidentally hit her. The couple have spoken publicly about their grief and shared how their faith has helped them through it as a family. Steven recently published a book called Between Heaven and the Real World, which testifies to God’s goodness in the highs and the lows.
How did you become a Christian?
I grew up in the buckle of the Bible Belt in America, with churches on every corner. My mum would take my brother and me to church every Sunday. When I was seven, we had a week-long revival in our church. My mum, somehow, persuaded my dad to go to a few services and had one of the team stay in our home. This man was a very successful doctor, but talked about how he had felt empty until he really began a relationship with God. That spoke to my whole family. There were still real struggles in my home, but now I was seeing my family turn to God and ask for his help. Several months later, the pastor was talking about Jesus’ words: “I stand at the door and knock. If you’ll open the door I’ll come in and basically have a relationship with you.” I responded to the message. That was the starting point in my journey of following Christ and of wanting to honour him with my life.
Where did your love of music come from?
My dad owned a music store and was a blue-grass folk musician, so he had musicians around all the time. Music was always playing in my home, and I went to hear my dad sing with his group on the weekends. When we began our faith journey together as a family, it was natural that music was a big part of that. We would sit around the kitchen table for hours and rehearse. My older brother and I began singing together as a little duo, and got a bit of a following around our town. My dad was a great guitarist. I played guitar and my brother played upright bass. We would take old hymns and work them up into more of a contemporary style. Because my dad was a songwriter, I began to pick that up in my early days. I remember him writing songs and recording those songs with his buddies in our kitchen.