“Some of you had asked about the story behind the new song we learned on Sunday, “Defender (Call Upon The Name)”. That song has truly been a gift from the Lord and was birthed in the ‘eleventh hour’ of early January this year. I was scheduled to lead worship at a prayer conference at Thomas Road Baptist Church (the church that Liberty was birthed from) and I had pleaded with the Lord for an original song that would encapsulate the theme of prayer for the conference. As much as I tried, I just didn’t feel like I was tapping into the inspiration needed for such a composition.
Then the Haiti earthquake hit and the inspiration flooded my senses as I viewed the horrific images and devastation brought upon this country. I turned to the Word of God and began praying and meditating on Psalm 116 for the people of Haiti. In the text of that passage one line kept resonating in me, “Call Upon the Name of the Lord”, a song was brewing. Just days before the prayer conference the Lord gave me the final piece of this composition, the bridge, which is largely based on Psalm 45. Some of you will know that Martin Luther used this same text for his classic hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our Good”. This psalm is jam-packed with truth that is very pertinent to all, but specifically applicable to those who were suffering in Haiti.
We presented the song at the Prayer Conference at Thomas Road Baptist Church in the presence of Jim Cymbala who is the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York. Their congregation is known worldwide as being a praying church. Their choir, led by Jim’s wife, Carol has won grammy awards. The church fell in love with the song and Jim asked for us to send a recording back to Carol so they too could use the song in their congregation.
The first night after the conference I got a phone call. On the line was my friend Jeff who had played on the team with us at the prayer conference and who knew the story behind this new song. He asked me if I’d be interested in going to Haiti this summer to share in music ministry and evangelize to the people there. I quickly replied with an enthusiastic yes and asked when I needed to pack my bags.
Interestingly enough, the next day my mother called. She was unaware of my invitation to go to Haiti but she had just heard “Defender (Call Upon the Name)” online and was calling me to share a word the Lord had impressed upon her heart. The word she had was this: that “Defender” was to be sung down in Haiti! I of course proceeded to tell her the news of being offered an opportunity to do a mission down there. Looking back, it’s clear to see God was moving and had far bigger plans for me and this song than I had expected!
I leave for Haiti in two weeks and will be there from June 14-22. I want to thank many of you for your financial support enabling me to go. I can’t express how much I appreciate your faithfulness to the cause of Christ. Your investment is not in vain and will be used to spread the Gospel to this wonderful country. I look forward to returning with lots of pictures and stories of how God has been at work.
I am told that “God of the Ages”, another song I’ve written as well as “Defender” have already been translated into Creole and are being used by the church down there. I am excited to prophetically sing these lyrics of truth over this hurting country that they would indeed turn their eyes to Jesus and “Call Upon the Name of the Lord”.”