I met James Payne the week I moved to Nashville, Tennessee from Boise, Idaho. Driving into the community, I passed by a church, which caught my attention. I said to nobody in particular: “That’s where my family and I will be attending church.” Two days later we slipped through the doors of that church just as James Payne stepped behind the pulpit. What I heard in the next few minutes impacted my life to this day. At age 27, James Payne preached with a power, a passion and an anointing rarely heard. The man could preach! After church, we had lunch together. That was the beginning of a lifetime friendship.
Through the years James and I have shared good times and bad times. I stood alone beside his hospital bed when he was given no chance of recovery and I saw God raise him up. I sat beside him in the listening room of a major Christian recording company in Nashville when he was told: “You have two choices; you can sign a contract now, or go home and pray about it, and come back and sign the contract tomorrow.” We’ve sat for hours in solitude with pens in hand, laboring over songs we were writing together. We’ve shared the stage in Gospel concerts. And we’ve been together on worldwide television broadcasts, as his message was beamed into 170 countries of the world.
That being said, I’d like to assure you of two things:
- James Payne is the Real Deal!
- He is a man driven by the pursuit of excellence.
It is a privilege to share with you today the life and ministry of James Payne as I know him.
James Payne is one of the finest Christian Country artists of our day. His voice moves the heart. His writing is powerful. His album production is incredible. He is a mighty force whose influence has helped shaped Country Gospel music today.
James was not raised in a Christian home. His family never attended church. He had no religious background whatsoever. James was a drug addict and an alcoholic when Jesus found him. He was lying in a hospital bed from an overdose of drugs, given up by his doctors, and pronounced dead. But Jesus appeared to him in that hospital room. James relates the story as follows: “I had an out-of-body experience. I was suspended in the room looking down at myself lying in the bed. I was physically dead at that point. All the monitors on my body flat-lined. I did not see the face of Jesus, but I did see His robe, His sandals and the nail prints in His hands. He touched me on my right foot and told me He was going to raise me up, and that I would preach the Gospel around the world. No one in my family had ever been a Christian before that time. As I look back, it’s hard to believe that Jesus loved me enough that He would come to my room and change my life by saving me and delivering me from alcohol and drug addiction.”
James grew up in pool halls and honky-tonks, not in church. The music he listened to was on the jukebox. It included George Jones, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Waylon Jennings. Those were his honky-tonk heroes.
James was saved in a hospital room. Shortly after his release from the hospital, he began attending church. He felt the desire to do just what Jesus told him he would do: carry the Gospel around the world. He borrowed a Bible from his pastor and began reading it. He read the New Testament through 25 times the first year he was saved. The church needed a guitar player in their band, so James saved up $39.00 and bought his first guitar. He learned the chords and began playing in the band.
God rewards faithfulness. A few years after James was saved, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue his desire to preach and sing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He began pastoring a church there. God sent many musicians and singers from the country and gospel music industry into his church. They became great friends and mentors in the area of songwriting. Among those were Gospel artists like Kenny Hinson, Ronny Hinson and Rusty Goodman.
The first song James wrote was a song called “The Cloud He’s Coming Back On.” That song was recorded by the Happy Goodman Family and reached number two in the gospel charts. The song was recorded by a number of artists, and was later printed in the Church Of God hymnal. James comments: “That made me feel I had reached immortality. I was in the hymnbooks.”
Throughout his 31 years of ministry, James has experienced some great successes and some devastating failures. He has written over 2200 songs, and has had over 700 different artists, choirs, and singers record the songs he has written. They include; Lee Greenwood, Terri Gibb, Tanya Goodman, White River, Ricky Van Shelton, Jimmy Swaggart, Del Way, the Florida Boys, Dixie Echoes, Betty Jean Robinson, Vern Jackson, Mike Purkey and hundreds of others.
When James began recording Christian Country music, very few others were doing it. It was all Southern Gospel. Very few Gospel soloists were heard on the radio. Quartets and trios were the order of the day. Southern Gospel artists have recorded many of the songs written by James, but when James sang them, they came out Country Gospel. He was country before country was cool.
James has won numerous awards. Songs that he recorded have reached number one in the music charts. His awards include: Male Vocalist of The Year; Songwriter of The Year; Song of the Year; Album of The Year; Living Legend Award, and Evangelist of The Year. He was inducted into the International Country Gospel Music Association’s Hall Of Fame and was recently was honored by the I.C.G.M.A. for achieving 50 number-one songs which he has written or recorded.
James was on a flight to Florida when he wrote what would become his signature song, “The Night Jack Daniels Met John 3:16“. He recalls: “I was reading my Bible. The man in the next seat ordered two small bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey. I looked down at my Bible. It was opened to John 3:16. It took only about ten minutes to complete the song. It almost wrote itself.”
At first, Christian radio refused to play the song. It was unheard of for the word “whiskey” to be written into a gospel song. Had it not been for Jan Crouch and TBN, the song would have died in obscurity. But they produced a television video of the song and began playing it on TBN. Nearly every time it played, people would call in and get saved. Whatever the song has accomplished, it is because Paul and Jan Crouch believed in it and played it almost every day for nearly a year. Because of its popularity, Christian radio decided to play it. This was a song God wanted the world to hear. He made a way and the song went to number one.
Looking back over the years of his music ministry, James feels the one thing that kept him going was his songwriting. There is a sticker on the back of his truck, which says: “It all begins with a song.” A great song can make an average singer successful. An average song can make a great singer average. James believes every song should speak to the listener and it should be so graphic that it will move the heart of the singer.
James is quick to credit those good people who have helped him along the way. Ronny Hinson took time to help with his writing. His brother Kenny helped James with his singing and recording arrangements, as well as overall performing. Jimmy Gateley taught him to deal with criticism, and be true to himself.
James concludes with these comments: “I know that soon I will be too old to have my picture on the cover of my CD’s,” he laughs. “At that time I would like to see some young gun writing and recording music that has my fingerprints on it. I know there is a generation in the wings that can take this music to a larger market. With that in mind, I can sleep well at night.”
By Dan Duncan
First published by SGN Scoops July 2014
For current issues of SGN Scoops visit http://www.sgnscoops.com/
Tags: christian country, Dan Duncan, James Gateley, James Payne, ronny hinson, tbn
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Tags: gold city, Greater Vision, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Karen Peck & New River, Legacy 5, Pathway Press, Southern Gospel Music, Southern Gospel News, Stamps Baxter Music, Stan Whitmire, tbn, The Bowling Family, the nelons, Whisnants
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Tags: Airtime, CTN, Devin McGlamery, DIRECTV, DISH TV, Doug Anderson, Ernie Haase, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Family Net, ffe, RFD, RURAL TV, Southern Gospel News, tbn, TCT, The Walk TV (formerly Legacy), TNN
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ORLANDO, Jan. 13, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Holy Land Experience family vacation destination in Orlando, Florida will host Southern Gospel Music favorite Guy Penrod in a free praise and worship concert at the park’s 2,000-seat Church of All Nations, Saturday, January 18th, at 6:30 p.m. Admission is on a first come, first served basis.
One of the most popular artists in today’s Southern- and Country Gospel venues, Guy Penrod exploded onto the inspirational music scene in 1994 as one of the featured vocalists with the award-winning Gaither Vocal Band, appearing on several Gaither Homecoming videos. In 2009 Mr. Penrod launched his successful solo career, and since then has been one of Gospel music’s most in-demand vocalists, known for his sensitive artistry, along with a warmth that gives him a unique ability to connect with audiences all over the world.
Joining Guy Penrod for this very special praise and worship experience at Orlando’s Holy Land Experience will be Pastor Jonathan Miller, along with the exciting and talented Holy Land Experience Singers and Dancers.
Admission to the January 18th concert with Guy Penrod at Holy Land Experience is free to the public, with 2,000 seats available. Doors open at 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) and the program begins at 6:30 p.m. (Scheduled guests subject to change without notice.)
Located in the heart of America’s most popular vacation spot, Orlando, Florida’s Holy Land Experience is an unforgettable vacation destination that transports guests back thousands of years to experience the sights, sounds, historical time frames – and impacting truths – of the Bible. With its colorful and realistic recreations of ancient Israel, exciting depictions of favorite Bible stories, and awe-inspiring dramatic and musical productions, TBN’s Holy Land Experience has become a must-see attraction for individuals, families, and groups from all over the world. Visit us online at www.holylandexperience.com.
Tags: Christian Country News, Gaither Vocal Band, guy penrod, Holy Land Experience, Jonathan Miller, Orlando, Southern Gospel News, tbn
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Dr. Paul Crouch, founder and President of the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), the world’s largest Christian television network, died November 30th at the age 79. His passing followed a decade-long battle with degenerative heart disease.
Dr. Crouch’s passion throughout life was to spread the gospel, a passion that in 1973 led him and his wife Jan to found TBN with one small low-power station in Southern California. Under Dr. Crouch’s leadership of over forty years, TBN has grown into 26 distinct global networks and affiliates, reaching every inhabited continent with life-changing Christian programming.
During that time Dr. Crouch also empowered scores of ministries to expand their reach and influence through television, and through those partnerships Dr. Crouch and TBN took an active role in helping to lead tens of millions of individuals to faith in Christ. Throughout his life Dr. Crouch pointed to that eternal harvest as his most important legacy.
While acknowledged throughout the broadcast industry as the foremost leader in Christian television, Dr. Crouch maintained a characteristic modesty concerning his role, preferring to emphasize the countless friends and partners who stepped alongside him and Mrs. Crouch to make TBN a successful outreach. Above all, in reflecting on his crucial role in TBN’s continued impact, Dr. Crouch inevitably pointed to the importance of an undying faith in God, which he characterized as “walking to the edge of all the light you have … and taking one more step.”
While we mourn Dr. Crouch’s passing, we are comforted with the knowledge that his influence and legacy will be felt for many decades to come as the Trinity Broadcasting Network continues to broadcast the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the world.
For more information, please visit www.tbn.org.
Tags: Christian News, Christian television network, Dr. Paul Crouch, Faith, tbn, Trinity Broadcasting Network
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Legendary Daywind Songwriters Dianne Wilkinson And Ronny Hinson Honored At 2013 Harmony Honors CeremonyWritten by SGN Scoops on January 31, 2013 – 11:29 am -
For more information regarding this press release, please contact:
Tags: daywind, Greater Vision, Jason Crabb, Mosie Lister, nelons, palmetto state, phil cross, Southern Gospel Music, Squire Parsons, tbn, Wynonna Judd
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The Trinity Broadcasting Network has announced it will feature The Collingsworth Family’s new StowTown Records Video Release FEELS LIKE CHRISTMAS as a Television Special next week at 3 different times. Broadcast schedule is as follows :
TUES 12/18 : 12:30 PM Eastern / 9:30 AM Pacific
THUR 12/20 : 3:30 AM Eastern / 12:30 AM Pacific
SAT 12/22 : 12:30 AM Eastern / which translates as FRI 12/21 : 9:30 PM Pacific
Tags: christmas music, FEELS LIKE CHRISTMAS, Southern Gospel News, StowTown Records, tbn, The Collingsworth Family, Video Release
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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 2, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — On November 7 Praise the Lord, Trinity Broadcasting Network’s signature music, talk, and ministry program, will host a very special two-hour tribute in honor of Dr. Billy Graham as he celebrates his 94th birthday.
“Perhaps no other individual alive today has done more to deliver the simple, powerful message of the gospel around the world than Billy Graham,” said TBN’s founder and president Dr. Paul Crouch. “For all of us here at TBN, Dr. Graham has been a constant source of encouragement and a solid example of godly character. We are looking forward to highlighting his many decades of selfless service to God’s kingdom and the body of Christ.”
TBN’s special tribute will include historic and moving video clips from many of Dr. Graham’s crusades around the world, along with personal recollections and birthday greetings from dozens of Christian leaders, celebrities, and public figures.
In addition, TBN is inviting viewers to post their own brief birthday greetings and encouraging recollections about Dr. Graham and his impact on their lives via TBN’s Facebook page (Click Here).
“For 40 years TBN has been committed to broadcasting the message of the gospel through the medium of television,” said Dr. Crouch. “And throughout our entire history no one has been a greater example and encouragement to us than our dear friend Billy Graham. Please join us on his birthday in thanking this great man of God for his service and sacrifice.”
TBN’s special tribute to Dr. Billy Graham airs November 7 at 7 p.m. (Pacific Time). For those who miss it, the program will be rebroadcast November 8 at 2 p.m. (Pacific Time).
Tags: Billy Graham., Christian television, tbn
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