“We’re blown away,” says guitarist/vocalist Kevin Huguley. “We’ve gotten so many emails from people about how the music has impacted their lives. We’re just five guys who really like music, and God has just continued to open doors for us. We’ve been absolutely blessed.”
Lead vocalist Wes Willis agrees. “After the year we’ve had, we constantly wake up in awe,” he says. “We’re just five guys from Alabama. I just have a lot of questions for God when I get up there one day like, ‘Why did you let all of this work?’”
This spring the band members are excited about touring with the newsboys on the “GO Tour.” They have partnered with God Tube and will be active on the website. They have also become involved in the Freedom Begins Here campaign. “It’s an organization out to create awareness of sexual addiction and pornography,” explains Huguley. “We want to be advocates and start getting people help any way we can.”
Rush of Fools takes its name from 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 where the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth in an effort to humble them. “Paul tells the church to remember that there was nothing special about them before Christ,” says Huguley. “None of them were smart. None of them were from rich, wealthy families. None of them were leaders. However, Paul explains to them that God is what made the difference in their lives.”
Huguley always knew he’d be involved in ministry, but this music career caught him by surprise. He had originally wanted to go to seminary, but things didn’t work out. Instead, he has opted to bloom where God has planted him—and the result of that obedience has helped propel the band into the spotlight and give them a platform to do many things.
Huguley founded the band and enlisted Willis as the group’s lead vocalist. Bassist Jacob Chestnut, drummer Jamie Sharpe and J.D Frazier round out the quintet. “Being a church planter, I’ve read all sorts of books on church planting and studied it,” Huguley says. “Then God led me into the music industry. I’ve had to learn how to balance ministry and business decisions, and how to understand that, at the end of the day, ministry is what matters.”
The group played its very first show in October 2005; not long after, they heard about a talent competition called Band With a Mission and entered not even expecting to win, just looking for some feedback from the judges. They had only been performing together for about five or six months when they traveled to Nashville to compete.
Much to their collective surprise, they won. “We just worshipped and played songs like we always do,” says Huguley. “We just try to share our hearts. We’re in this for God’s glory.”
The group began fielding offers from record labels, eventually signing with Midas Records, a Nashville-based company. Even before the full album was released, the single “Undo” began climbing the charts. By the time the Christian music industry convened in April 2007 for the annual Gospel Music Week festivities, the song had gone to No. 1.
“Our radio promoter, Chris Hauser, came to us and said, ‘No one has a clue who you are, but you’ve got the No. 1 song in the country this week,’” recalls Huguley. “God is so big and so funny to use normal guys like us to bring Him glory. We’re honored.”
Though No. 1 songs are wonderful affirmation, the greatest reward is seeing people touched by their music. “There was a guy named Michael who walked out on his wife and kids to be with another woman,” says Willis. “Somebody sent him the lyrics to ‘Undo,’ and he started weeping and went back home. We had nothing to do with that. We’re just what God used to put that song out.”
Willis also relates the story of a woman who was contemplating suicide, then heard “Undo,” and the message in the song helped her turn her life around. “God just used that song to shake her and say, ‘You’ve got so much more to live for,’” says Willis. “We’re totally humbled by that.”
When asked what about them resonates so strongly with the audience, Willis responds, “People tell us all the time—through emails, online or at our shows—that it’s so refreshing to hear lyrics that really just touch the core of who they are. I grew up in a Christian community and had lots of songs touch my life, so I can relate.”
Both men say that God has taught them so much in the last year. Huguley, who is married, says God taught him more about being a good husband. That’s a role Willis will assume next summer as he marries his girlfriend of six years; the two have been dating since she was 14 and he was 15.
Another important relationship in their lives is with their audience. Huguley says the band is always eager to point people in the right direction. “We’ve had to crawl into this position very humbly with a little bit of fear and trembling,” he says. “Sometimes people seem to have the wrong impression and [are] just falling at our feet. As a worship band, we don’t want that at all. We want people to fall at Jesus’ feet and worship Him.”
— Deborah Evans Price is a writer and music critic well-versed in both the Christian market and the general market. She has written for the likes of Billboard, US Weekly, HomeLife, Country Weekly, Christian Single, American Songwriter, The Washington Times, CMA Close-Up, Devo’Zine and others.