James Lambert
Christian music legend Andrae Crouch will be missed
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By James Lambert
January 12, 2015

A giant in the Christian music world left us last week. Andrae Crouch, a seven time Grammy Award song writer, arranger and singer was 72 when he passed away in a Northridge, CA hospital.

During the late 1960s and 1970s Andrae wrote a number of memorable songs. His Christian music compositions inspired many young believers, including myself.

When I became a Christian in 1971, I felt compelled to get rid of most of my rock and roll albums. I wanted music with a Christian perspective that would inspire and influence me in my new found faith. While attending an Assembly of God church in McMinnvile, Oregon, I heard that a young gospel group who called themselves Andrae Crouch & the Disciples had played at this church in the early 1960s. I bought their upbeat albums and followed their music on Christian radio.

On Friday nights I drove fellow college students to Maranatha Church in Portland to hear gospel music directed by Richard Probasco. The church was pastored by the late Wendell Wallace. Many of the songs they played were inspired by Andrae or were his own compositions. While in my senior year in college my A. of G. church sponsored the wonderful concert by the group the Danniebelles (Years later Andrae asked Danniebelle Hall, the leader of that music group to join his band).

After graduating from Linfield in 1972, I attended Christ for the Nations Institute. I made the short drive to Fort Worth to see Andrae & his group live in concert. It proved to be a memorable evening full of encouragement.

Many years later I was writing for a Christian publication and had the good fortune of interviewing Andrae and his sister over the phone. Andrae relayed a most compelling story regarding Michael Jackson, (who was still a big name in music at the time). He was working with Michael on some music compositions in the recording studio and began to share Christ and the gospel message with Jackson. As he talked he began to feel an especially intense presence of God. Unfortunately, at that time Michael wasn't very receptive to the message of salvation. Andrae recalled how this had saddened him.

However, I am thankful for one thing. Andrae is now in a magnificent place. It's there in Heaven that he'll be reunited with his old friend, Danniebelle, who went to be with the Lord in the year 2000. But most of all, I am thankful that God blessed us with this talented singer, pastor and composer for so many years.

© James Lambert

 

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James Lambert

James Lambert has a broad business background. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon), Lambert pursued a career in banking by working in various management capacities for Crocker Bank, San Diego Trust & Savings Bank and First Interstate Bank (between 1973 and 1995). By 1990 Lambert received his Master in Business Administration from National University (San Diego). For 3 years, Lambert also taught Finance at Mira Costa Community College... (more)

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