Christian Music Artist Gary Chapman on Decades-Long Career: ‘I Think I’m Supposed to Be Me Wherever I Go’

Gary Chapman

Christian music artist Gary Chapman sat down for an exclusive interview with The Tennessee Star’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief Michael Patrick Leahy on Friday to reminisce on his career in the entertainment industry.

Chapman, who has won seven Dove Awards and five Grammy nominations during the course of his career as an artist, also hosted the Nashville Network’s (TNN) flagship show and the Sam’s Place series at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Chapman has also produced CMT’s Musik Mafia TV and a number of documentaries and specials as part of his career.

On Friday, Chapman sat down for an in-studio interview on The Michael Patrick Leahy Show where he reminisced on his decades-long career and detailed what his current gigs look like.

Chapman said he plays in venues ranging from churches to bars, adding that the type of venue he plays in does not affect the songs he performs.

“I play the same songs in churches that I do in the bar. I think I’m supposed to be me wherever I go,” Chapman said.

On Wednesdays, Chapman said he and his wife host a livestream on his Facebook page, Gary Chapman Singer/Songwriter, where they sing songs and converse with those who join the livestream.

“Every Wednesday night we livestream. This is the one thing that Facebook lets me do. My wife and I do a live stream on Wednesdays at 8:00 pm CST. We have anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 or 12,000 people join. We sing, we talk, we encourage. It’s impossible to stay completely apolitical because it affects a lot of your life, some of the issues, but we’re not necessarily hopping on a pony and riding it very far. If it agrees with the word of God, we’re all about it. If it doesn’t, we’re not. It’s that simple for me. So we do that every Wednesday,” Chapman said.

“I still go out and play. I love to do that. Honestly, I play more in bars than churches. It’s true. I came pre-canceled way before it was cool,” Chapman added.

Chapman said his three go-to songs if he were asked to play a set are called Sweet Glow of Mercy, Sweet Jesus, and Call Me Crazy.

“The first thing I would do is a song called Sweet Glow of Mercy. I wrote it 30 years ago. I meant it at the time and after 30 years, I actually mean it more. It’s about the simple reality that we’re all screwed up and if we don’t submit and acknowledge and walk in that sweet glow of mercy, we’re going to be headed down a dark road,” Chapman said.

“The next song I would do is a song called Sweet Jesus. It is a fictional story song that I describe as stepping off a curb and a song-shaped bus that I didn’t see coming mows me down. It’s as quick as I can write it down. It’s as quick as I can pick up a guitar and play it. Some songs happen that way. It’s God’s not-so subtle way of reminding me that I’m not all that necessary in the process and that those songs have life,” Chapman continued.

“I would finish with a new song called Call Me Crazy. It’s basically acknowledging the reality that the darkness, some would call it the left, certainly the fringe left, see me and they brand guys like me as literally insane. Our whole thing, think about it, our whole thing, as a Christian is based on believing that God came down to earth, sort of, and he lived. He got here, his mom didn’t have sex with a guy, but he got here, right? We believe that. He lived here at about age 30. He starts doing incredible miracles, freaks everybody out, dies on a cross for us, sheds his blood so that we could be saved from our sin. Then three days later, he comes back to life. He walks around for 40 days and then he disappears into the clouds and we are all waiting for him to come back the same way. In their defense, if you don’t believe it, it is insane. But it’s not. It’s true,” Chapman said.

Closing out Friday’s interview, Chapman said he would perform a song live the next time he comes in studio on The Michael Patrick Leahy Show.

Watch the full interview:

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Kaitlin on X / Twitter.
Photo “Gary Chapman” by Gary Chapman.



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