University president dubs renowned artist a Crusader

Christian music sensation Phil Wickham rocked the steps of Luther Memorial with a concert and a worship service Aug. 22 and 23. As the sun sank beneath the horizon, the night sky illuminated a stage for worship.

“My music is an ultimate goal to create a response, and to respond with and encounter God and to go deeper with him ––to create a moment with God,” Wickham said.

The musician encourages the younger generation to be convicted by their beliefs.

“It is a massive struggle with my generation and a problem that goes way beyond the generation,” Wickham said. “There’s a professing of Christianity and what it means to pursue God every day. There is a lack of passion to live, not just raising your hands in church and witnessing once a month.

Phil Wickham performs a concert under the stars at Luther Memorial.

Phil Wickham performs a concert under the stars at Luther Memorial.

A phrase to describe it well is ‘reckless abandon.’ Our job as young believers is to live a life that is unafraid, abandoning all cares into the wind and saying ‘I’m going to live for Jesus.’”

During his time spent at the university, Wickham was dubbed a Crusader by university President Randy O’Rear.

Junior nursing major Sarah Herriott was excited about the event.

“I thought it was cool that he was made an official Crusader for life,” she said.

Sophomore sports management major Andy Evans agreed.

“The concert was well done; and everybody got a kick out of him being dubbed as a Crusader,” he said.

Wickham encouraged students to be conscious of their actions.

“It’s easy to be a Christian because the lines are more blurred in the world,” he said. “Romans 12:1 … should be the motto or statement for living. There are so many songs and poems, but can you say day to day, ‘I’m going to put you (God) over myself.’ It’s impossible because we’re human, but a passion is created that will change us.”

Aside from touring, Wickhan recently married his longtime girlfriend.

“I’ve been married 10 months now, and it has affected my career very well,” he said. “Our relationship has had an amazing improvement. We were dating when I first signed as an artist. She tours with me and is also involved with Compassion International.”

Wickham said his marriage has taught him more about God.

“It’s so amazing to have a partner to make me be honest with myself,”he said. “It’s complete love and a reminder of God’s love.”

Wickham and his spouse are both strong supporters for Compassion International.

Musician Phil Wickham leads students in worship in the chapel during Welcome Week festivities. He also performed a concert under the stars at Luther Memorial where students got a sneak peek of a few songs from Wickham’s unreleased album Heaven and Earth, coming out Nov. 17. While on campus, the artist spent time with students and was dubbed a Crusader by university President Dr. Randy O’Rear.

Musician Phil Wickham leads students in worship in the chapel during Welcome Week festivities. He also performed a concert under the stars at Luther Memorial where students got a sneak peek of a few songs from Wickham’s unreleased album Heaven and Earth, coming out Nov. 17. While on campus, the artist spent time with students and was dubbed a Crusader by university President Dr. Randy O’Rear.

“The foundation is an opportunity for more fortunate people to sponsor an individual child for $38 a month,” he said. “It will provide clothing, education, clean water (and) food and aids the local church to bring Jesus into the community.”

During the concert, students received a sneak peek of pieces from the singer’s unreleased record.

“I enjoyed hearing two of the new songs, and I’m excited about his new CD,” Herriott said. “He’s one of my
favorite artists.”

The album, Heaven and Earth, will release Nov. 17.

“It’s got a timeline, and the beginning is about Eden,” Wickham said. “It’s an interesting idea to think of Adam … and what it was like to see God’s love face to face and to have eternal life. Think about what
he felt after Eden when his body was deteriorating and what he remembered of his relationship with God.”

He encourages listeners to pay close attention to the lyrics and what they mean for each person individually.

“It’s about the reward of heaven and the story behind it all,” he said.

The artist said his wife helped him with the new album.

“She would always push me to do better.”

Eager fans can listen to the fresh tracks prior to the album release.

The record is available for pre-paid download this month.

Wickham also encourages students to follow him on twitter and visit his Web site for additional news and music at philwickham.com and at twitter.com/philwickham.

Author: Mary Beth Kelton

I am a senior at UMHB and loving it! I am the features editor for The Bells and I also intern at the Temple Chamber of Commerce. I transferred to UMHB fall 2008 and God has done so many amazing things with my life. I am excited to graduate in May but more excited about the next two semesters and the memories that I will gain. I plan to continue my education by obtaining a masters degree in sociology after graduation unless I am somehow blessed with a job.

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