When David Crowder walks into a room, it is clear there is something different about him apart from his above-average height and manicured beard. It is the focus that he brings to everything he does, including his latest album, “I Know a Ghost.”
Baptist Press file photo by Bob Carey
Christian artist David Crowder sings “I’ll Fly Away” during Crossover Harvest America June 10, 2018, at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas. He also performed “All My Hope” and “I Saw the Light” to a crowd of 35,000.
Crowder, an award-winning Christian music artist, grew up in Texarkana, Texas.
He attended a Southern Baptist church on Sunday mornings and worshipped at a Pentecostal church with his parents on Sunday evenings, where he heard the term Holy Ghost quite often, he told the Biblical Recorder in an interview. For him, it was a unique experience. He looks back on those days with great fondness, recognizing how it shaped him as a praise and worship leader. Even after years of winning awards and accolades, he is comfortable leading praise and worship in a local church setting.
Remembering his upbringing with fondness, Crowder wanted his new album to reflect the heartbeat of Christians worshiping God freely, while at the same time helping them understand what they were claiming.
It wasn’t until the album was finished that he realized what the project’s title should communicate – that he had seen a ghost. He credited the name to his daily Bible reading. He noted how often the term Holy Ghost occurs in scripture.
One story that stood out to him was the story of the “prodigal son” in Luke 15:11-31, which is also one of the major themes in the album.
“I wanted people to walk away from the album being able to worship God freely,” he told the Recorder.
At the end of the day, Crowder is clear that he is not a performer, but a worship leader. It is what he feels created to do.
“I know that God has given me this gift,” said Crowder.
He views worship through the lens of the local church, which is why he believes God gives him the songs that he writes. He is clear that his music comes from God, and that it is intended for the local church, which he speaks about with affection.
Although Crowder has been leading worship for over two decades, it is still new for him to write and to perform worship music as a solo artist. After leading worship for many years with a group, Crowder was concerned he would not do well on his own.
“I didn’t know I was nervous about going solo until I had wrapped the album up,” he said. “I was terrified to be honest with you, but I think it’s good to feel uncomfortable at times.”
Although Crowder is currently touring, he remains passionate about his local church, Passion City Church in Atlanta, Ga. He believes being a part of a local church makes him a better worship leader. It is also where Crowder tries out new songs.
In a recent song release, “Red Letter,” Crowder wanted the music to reflect the word of God. Although he wants to serve listeners, he pays little attention to best-seller charts. According to Crowder, he has a deeper commitment to remain true to what God calls him to do. He wants to be known as one who loves Jesus and Jesus’ bride, the local church.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Maina Mwaura is a freelance journalist who lives in Atlanta, Ga., with his wife and daughter. They attend Johnson Ferry Baptist Church.)