He’s written two number one contemporary Christian music singles, he’s
been nominated for six 2001 Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association,
and he’s been referred to as “the next superstar of Christian music.”
He’s contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Mark Schultz, and on
Monday, April 2, he will be performing live in concert on the campus of
Raised in the rural farming community of Colby, Kansas, Schultz showed
all the early promise of a musical prodigy when as a youth he joined a high
school jazz group, a college show choir, and eventually was spotlighted as a
solo performer on the choir1s tours. After college, a move to Nashville to
pursue a singing career seemed to be the next practical step. But, as
Schultz recalls, things didn1t quite work out as he had planned. God had
something else he wanted Schultz to do.
“I wanted to do music, but that wasn1t working out,” Schultz recalls.
“The last thing I wanted to be was a youth director, but [during a
happenstance meeting with Nashville First Presbyterian Church Youth Director
Mark DeVries], he told me “you need to work with kids.”
And, since there was no denying God’s voice in the matter, that1s what
Schultz began to do. He soon fell in love with his new mission. Chasing a
musical dream gave way to sparking real change in the lives of the young
people at his new church. He continued writing songs, however, and in fact,
he wrote tunes about the lives of the people he met and worked with in his
new role as a youth leader.
Schultz took those songs, and in a move that took a huge leap of faith,
he organized himself a concert with proceeds to benefit his youth ministry.
The result of his solo performance: a full house of enthusiastic fans, a
sizable donation to the youth ministry, and to Schultz1 surprise, an offer
for a recording contract from Myrrh Records.
Not long after, Schultz released a debut album for Myrrh Records. The
self-titled project took no time to impress contemporary Christian music
radio stations and listeners.
“We are looking at the next superstar of Christian music,” said Bob
Thornton, program director for KXOH radio in Tulsa, Oklahoma, about Schultz’
debut. “Everyone I play “I Am the Way” for, literally drops their jaw and
can1t believe what they hear. I tell each one of them: “Remember this
moment, remember the first time you heard Mark Schultz.”
Two of Schultz’ singles from the freshman album climbed to the top of
the Christian music charts, including “I Am the Way,” a single from the CD
that held the number one spot for four consecutive weeks. This first single,
which hit number one in May of 2000, was the first debut single from a new
artist to hit the top of the contemporary Christian charts that year.
The single “He’s My Son,” a story about a father discovering his son has
leukemia, climbed to number one in September of 2000. Other songs from his
debut CD explore issues such as the incalculable power of faith (“Cloud of
Witnesses”) and the importance of serving (“When You Give”).
“The most apparent strength inside Schultz’ musical toolbox is that he
sounds genuinely ticked about God, life and his fellow man,” said Dave
Urbanski of Contemporary Christian Music Magazine. “That’s an intangible
quality that is sorely lacking in modern music circles and one that will
carry him while he continues to hone his obvious talents.”
The new year brought continued success and recognition for Schultz and
his debut album. In fact, just weeks ago he was nominated for six Dove
Awards, scheduled to be presented by the Gospel Music Association in April.
On tour in support of that self-titled debut album, Schultz will perform
in concert in Harman Chapel at Bluefield College on Monday, April 2 at 7:30
p.m. Admission for the show will be $8 at the door.
Fifty percent of proceeds from the door will go to support student
mission trips at Bluefield College. Area ministers who bring ten or more
youth to the show will be admitted for free. For more information, please
call the BC Office of Public Relations at 540-326-4212 or the BC Office of
Student Activities at 540-326-4256.
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