We are especially excited to release this edition of CCM Magazine! Any time that we can cover artists that typically do not receive a large amount of press in the, what some might call, “traditional CCM” market is an all-around win.

Our first two featured artists in the July 15, 2015 issue, Marvin Sapp and Mike Farris, have as many (if not more) GRAMMY and Dove nominations and awards as those you regularly see on Christian music publications and websites over and again. What is especially great about highlighting these two in particular, are their gripping stories of hope found in Christ. I am assured both of them would eagerly trade their collections of accolades for the chance that their gifts would draw you close to God.

Richard Smallwood’s career spans a who’s who list of collaborations and musical partnerships ranging from Destiny’s Child to Bill and Gloria Gaither to Quincy Jones, and Aretha Franklin—naming just a few. As we witnessed from the examples of Andrae Crouch (another Smallwood colleague), what an extraordinary opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ on some mighty incredible platforms.

I agree with Mike Farris. There would be no Contemporary Christian Music (or blues, jazz, R&B, rock, gospel, etc.) if it were not for our own unique musical heritage—in his words, “Black spirituals and old Appalachian music.” We hope you enjoy this glimpse into celebrating the fruits of our musical roots, for what the Lord has done, and what He is continually doing!

Kevin Sparkman, CCM Magazine - image

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