Beyond the Song: the Griffith Family sing “He Restores” by Debbie Davis
For this edition of Beyond the Song, Jantina Baksteen had a conversation wih Debbie Davis, songwriter, and Julie Griffith of gospel music artists the Griffith Family. Debbie is the writer of “He Restores,” sung by the Griffith Family.
Jantina Baksteen: I absolutely love this song and wanted everyone to hear it and the story behind the song. Debbie Davis, please introduce yourself to the readers of SGNScoops.
Debbie Davis: I was born and raised in St. Joseph, Miss., by wonderful God-filled parents. I grew up on the old hymns and was introduced to Southern gospel music at a young age. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 34 years and we have 3 children (their spouses), and 7 fabulous grandchildren.
JD: Please tell us about your song writing ministry.
DD: When I was in grade school I began to write little songs and poems. It wasn’t until I was a teen I realized I wanted to be a songwriter. I formed a gospel trio in 1994 (Full Life Trio), and I wrote a lot of the songs that we sang through our 24 years of ministry.
In 2014, I attended my first Write About Jesus Conference, in St. Charles, Miss. That conference changed my songwriting life! I began co-writing with some of the other songwriters I met at that yearly conference, and have made many life-time friends through it. This year will be my sixth year attending.
In November 2017, I signed as a staff songwriter with Crossroads Music out of Arden, N.C. Greg Bentley and the folks at Crossroads are some of the finest people I’ve met in this industry.
JB: What works for you? First the lyric or first the melody?
DD: Each song is different. Sometimes the lyrics come first. Sometimes the lyrics and melody come at the same time. Very rarely does the melody come first.
JB: I got in contact with you through KNMG Radio, owned by Scott Peek where your song, “He Restores,” was released for the first time, sung by the Griffith Family. It got my attention right away. How did this powerful song come together?
DD: In 2015, I took a six-week mentorship course with Belinda Smith. She pushed me to be a better writer (and she still does). During the six-week course, Belinda gave us, her mentees, an assignment. She had met a lady, Mary, who was estranged from her daughter and wasn’t allowed to be a part of her life or her grandchild’s life. The lady was hurting and broken. Belinda challenged us, “If you could write a song specifically for that broken, wounded women….. what would you say to her through song?”
When I read the assignment, I immediately said, “He restores… I would tell her that He restores.” So, over the next few days, I poured into this assignment, and the song “He Restores” was born.
When I decided I wanted to share the song with other groups, I knew I needed a professional demo. At that time, I didn’t have any idea how to go about getting that kind of demo done. I reached out to my facebook friend, John Mathis, Jr., and he put me in touch with Tony Griffith.
To make this very long story a bit shorter, let me just say that the day Tony sent me the demo back, he also called me. He said that him and his wife Julie have a family group, The Griffith Family, and they were going into the studio soon. He said that “He Restores” is their testimony song, and they wanted to record it. The Griffith Family have become dear friends to me since that time.
JB: Are there more artists you know of who have recorded it?
DD: None that I know of, but there are some churches in the U.S. and Canada who use it during their altar services.
JB: What is the meassage in the song?
DD: It doesn’t matter what dark and broken place you find yourself in, God is able to restore it, not to what it was before, but His restoration can make it better than before. Bring your burdens to the Lord, for He restores.
JB: What advice would you give to aspiring songwriters?
DD: I would urge them to go to Sue Smith’s “Write About Jesus” conference. It’s well worth the investment.
JB: How can artists who are looking for songs get in contact with you?
DD: They can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or they can message me on social media:
JB: Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your ministry and the story behind this amazing song with our readers. May God continue to bless your ministry.
The Griffith Family was the artist who recorded “He Restores.” I had to get in contact with them to hear their story behind the song.
JB: Please introduce the Griffith Family to our readers.
Julie Griffith: We are a family ministry, consisting of husband and wife, Tony and Julie, and four of our five children: Caleb, Jadyn, and Peyton. Our two girls sing, and our son plays the drums. We also have a new baby, Allen Todd, who is three months old. I’m sure when he is old enough he will either play or sing. Maybe both.
We are also joined by husband and wife team, Austin and Amber Dash.
JB: I was touched by the song “He Restores,” the minute I heard it. What is your story /testimony and reason for having this song recorded on ‘Give His Love Away” CD?
JG: This is the story and testimony that we give every time that we stand on a stage: We believe that finding this song was a divine appointment from God. Tony and I had just come through the biggest struggle in our marriage that we had ever faced. We almost got divorced. Through the grace of God and much prayer, our marriage was restored. Just a few short months later, Tony was working with a record company, and he was asked to make a demo for “He Restores.” As he was working on the music, he called me into the room to listen to what he had in mind for the song. As I read and tried to sing the lyrics, all I could do was cry. This was our testimony. This was what God had just done in our marriage. I’m tearing up just writing this.
So at that time ,we were looking for songs to put on our record. We had to have this one. We asked Debbie if we could record it, and shared our testimony with her. and she’s so graciously said yes.
JB: Is this song on your concert reportoire every time?
JB: How does the crowd receive this song?
JG: It ministers to so many people, and there aren’t many places, that when this song is shared, that it doesn’t move and bring people to tears. There are so many hurting who share the same struggles that we’ve had in our marriage. And it brings them hope and they come to us for prayer and counseling.
JB: Just recently, you were blessed with a new family member. Is your little son already traveling with you?
JG: He is traveling with us now. Mom and baby took a break from the road to try to get through those first couple of sleepless months. Things are definitely getting back to normal now.
JB: What is ahead for the Griffith Family?
JG: We have a new single out to radio, called, “It Took the Cross.” We pray that God continues to bless and open more doors for us to share this message of what’s he’s done through his son and the power of the cross! We love to minister, travel, play music and sing, so we are going to do it as long as God will allow us to.
JB: What is your favorite Bible verse to refer to?
JG: Ephesians 3:20: “Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
JB: Is there anything else you’d like SGNScoops to know?
JG:Just that we sincerely appreciate everyone who loves and listens to our music. We covet the prayers of other believers in Christ who desire to see God change lives through His gospel!
JB: Where can they find you on the internet?
JG: Our website is
We hope you enjoy the song “He Restores,” written by Debbie Davis and sung by the Griffith Family.
The Griffith Family: The first performance on stage after the song’s release.
Thank you to both Debbie Davis and the Griffith Family for sharing your thoughts on this powerful song. May God bless you as you continue to serve him.
By Jantina Baksteen
Jantina Baksteen is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine and SGNScoops website.