By Gerard Flanagan, news writer and photographer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Christian music artist Rhett Walker will perform in concert at Campbellsville University’s Ransdell Chapel, 401 N. Hoskins Ave., Campbellsville, Ky., at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16.
The concert is part of festivities surrounding the inauguration of Dr. Joseph Hopkins, 12th president of Campbellsville University, earlier that day.
Admission is free to the concert.
Walker, the front man for a Southern rock and Christian rock band of the same name, has become a well-known Christian music artist, charting five songs in the top 50 of Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs.
However, his path to becoming a Christian was anything but typical.
The son of a preacher, Walker and his family moved away from his hometown when he was 16.
In his biography, Walker said, following the move, “I mixed with the rough crowd, got into fights and drugs. It wasn’t long before I was expelled from school—just always in trouble.”
He was sent to a Christian school, and there he met his future wife, April. Not long after, they discovered April was pregnant. Faced with being a father at 17, Walker decided the time had come to turn his life around. He and April married, and Walker rededicated his life to Christ.
From there, according to his biography, “the Lord began opening doors for Rhett to lead worship and pursue music.”
“I always knew I wanted to do music, but I couldn’t sing as a kid,” Walker said in his biography. “I was just terrible at it.”
Then one day in church, he was asked to sing “Grace Like Rain” by Todd Agnew.
He’s never looked back.
Walker’s first single with record label Essential Records was “When Mercy Found Me” from the album “Come to the River.” The song would rise to No. 15 on the Hot Christian Songs chart.
His biography describes the album as “refreshingly raw and honest” and said the album speaks of Walker’s personal journey. A consistent theme throughout the album is grace.
“There’s just nothing we can do without grace,” Walker said. “We’re all dirty, messed up people, but Christ still loves us.”
The song “Come to the River,” from the album of the same name, ended up at No. 20 on the Hot Christian Songs chart. The song was a result of a season where Walker was struggling with the burdens of life. Walker ended up on the banks of a river when he said he heard God speak to him.
“I felt like God was telling me, ‘Just come to the river. You’ve got to wash yourself clean of this,’” Walker said. “And you’ve got to let me be in control.’ There are moments in everyone’s life when they come to that point. Mine just happened to be in front of a river.”
Other singles by Walker include “All Joy No Stress,” which topped out at No. 30 on the Hot Christian Songs chart in June of this year, and “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” which rose to No. 46 on the Hot Christian Songs chart in 2013.
Walker’s single “Gospel Song” topped out at No. 8 on the Hot Christian Songs chart in August of last year—the highest spot for a Walker song on the chart.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with an enrollment of nearly 12,000 students. The university offers over 100 programs of study including doctoral, masters, bachelors, associate and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.