Mark Lowry is one of gospel music’s greatest gifts. From his Dove Award-winning musical recordings to his GRAMMY-winning run as a member of the Gaither Vocal Band, his celebrated songwriting prowess—evidenced especially this time of year thanks to the phenomenal impact of his composition, “Mary, Did You Know?”—and of course his infamous side-splitting antics, Lowry has inspired audiences for decades through one of the industry’s most fascinating and multi-faceted careers.
But no matter the medium, Lowry says his goal for his audiences, and for himself, remains the same: to serve God, and to serve each other, in love.
Following his cheered 2015 recording, How We Love (Spring Hill—buy), with a full-blown live humor-and-song shindig on his new Billboard chart-topping DVD, Dogs Go To Heaven (Gaither Music—buy), Lowry sits down for a transparent talk about the realities of life, the mysteries of faith and the possibilities of love. Dig in as we engage the recent Gospel Music Hall of Famer in one of the most thoughtful conversations to transpire inside the pages of CCM Magazine in recent history.
CCM Magazine: You are a singer. A songwriter. A comedian. Thinking through all of the facets of your career, it originally began with singing, right?
Mark Lowry: [It started] with my mama. When I was little, I was hyperactive and wasn’t athletic, so she put me in music. Our church was a big singing church—the Berean Baptist Church on 11th Street in Houston, Texas. Independent, fundamental Baptist, but they loved to sing. I’d always sing in this little voice. But when I was home, I’d have another voice that was big and loud. My dad said, “Mark, I’ll give you five dollars if you’ll sing in your big voice.” So the next Sunday I sang in my big voice.
All the little old ladies were hugging me. I’ve always loved old people and young people. Young people are a clean slate. Old people are cleaning their slate. Mama said I came home from church and my pants were full of nickels and dimes from the old ladies. So I realized there’s gold in them hills, and I never sang in that little voice again.
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