Darlene Zschech

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Darlene Zschech
DarleneZschech2.jpg
Background information
Birth name Darlene Joyce Steinhardt
Born (1965-09-08) 8 September 1965 (age 48)
Brisbane, QLD
Origin Sydney, NSW, Australia
Genres Contemporary worship music, contemporary Christian music
Occupations Singer, songwriter, pastor
Instruments Voice
Years active 1989–present
Labels Hillsong, INO, Integrity
Website www.darlenezschech.com

Darlene Joyce Zschech (/dɑrˈln ˈɛk/; born Steinhardt on 8 September 1965) is an Australian Pentecostal Christian worship leader and singer-songwriter who primarily writes praise and worship songs. Described as a "pioneer of the modern worship movement",[1] she is the former worship pastor of Hillsong Church and is currently a member of Compassionart, a charity founded by Martin Smith.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Zschech started on television at the age of 10, as part of an Australian kids' show, Happy Go Round.[3] When she was 13, her parents divorced,[4] and the emotional stress of television and her parents' divorce resulted in Zschech struggling with bulimia for about four years.[5]

In 1980, when Zschech was 15, her father rededicated his life to Christ and began taking her to church, where she gave her heart to Christ and met her future husband Mark.[6] Later, when they married, Mark suggested they move from Brisbane to Sydney, which was confirmed at a small church they were visiting one Sunday when the guest speaker said in the middle of his sermon, "This doesn't happen to me very often, but whatever it is you two prayed last night, God says do it now."[7] They began attending Hills Christian Life Centre, which would become Hillsong Church.

Zschech sang jingles for a number of international companies including McDonald's, KFC and Coca Cola,[8] until she eventually came on staff at Hillsong Church after penning "Shout to the Lord".[6] She released a vinyl album in 1987 called "Make the Choice" and a cassette album in 1993 called "Pearls & Gold."[9]

Zschech and her husband Mark have three daughters, Amy, Chloe and Zoe. In 2000 she had a miscarriage after 12 weeks.[10]

Shout to the Lord was nominated as Album of the Year for the 1997 Dove Awards and was nominated as Song of the Year for the 1998 Dove Awards. In 2000 Darlene received a Dove Award nomination for Songwriter of the Year and received the International Award for influence in praise and worship.

In 2003, Zschech released her first 'official' solo album, Kiss of Heaven. Change Your World followed in 2005. She has since released two albums in 2011 called Simply Darlene and You Are Love. In addition to writing songs, Zschech has written five books: Worship (1996), Extravagant Worship (2002), The Kiss of Heaven (2003), The Great Generational Transition (2009), and Revealing Jesus: A 365-Day Devotional (2013).

On 11 December 2013, Zschech was diagnosed with breast cancer.[11]

Hillsong Church[edit]

Zschech was the worship pastor of Hillsong Church from 1996 to 2007, during which time she served as producer, vocal producer, or executive producer for more than 20 albums under the Hillsong Music label and wrote more than 80 published worship songs.[12] Under Zschech's leadership, the album People Just Like Us (1994) was the first Christian album in Australia to go Gold as well as the first to go Platinum[13] and the album For All You've Done (2004) debuted at #1 on the Australian Record Industry Association album charts.[14] Zschech explained Hillsong Music's stance in her book Extravagant Worship in a prayer: "Father, let them quickly get their eyes off of us. We just want to point them to you, God, because you are the Author of truth. You are the only One who is to be praised."[13]

Zschech stepped down as worship pastor in 2007, but continued to write songs for Hillsong and to serve as Senior Worship Leader on their Live Albums. Reuben Morgan was appointed Hillsong worship pastor in 2008.

Hope Unlimited Church[edit]

In January 2011, Zschech and her husband became senior pastors at Church Unlimited, later renamed Hope Unlimited Church, in Charmhaven on the New South Wales Central Coast.[15] Zschech continues to be part of the Hillsong Team, involved in several Live Albums and other worship projects, and as part of the team for the annual Hillsong Conference.


Hope Global[edit]

In April 2004, the Zschech family visited Rwanda, Africa and were inspired to launch "Hope Rwanda: 100 Days of Hope", a faith-based global initiative that provided hygiene options and education for the citizens of Rwanda, which eventually morphed into Hope Global.[16] According to the official website, Hope Global currently exists to "offer practical solutions to countries devastated by war, genocide, and poverty."[17] It has major centres in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Cambodia, runs long-term development projects, such as Hope Education and the Village of Hope, and has hosted Parramatta Eels trips to Rwanda with CEO Paul Osborne.

"Shout to the Lord"[edit]

Zschech composed "Shout to the Lord" in 1993 and it has become one of the most well-known modern worship songs, being sung by an estimated 25-30 million churchgoers every Sunday since the song's release.[18] She wrote the song during a time of personal struggle,[19] and when she presented it to Hillsong's then-worship pastor Geoff Bullock, she was so embarrassed she asked him to face away from her as she played it on the piano and sang.[19]

"Shout to the Lord" was first recorded on People Just Like Us and has appeared on more than 200 different albums by numerous artists in multiple languages. It is also the title track for the first live album co-produced with Integrity Music featuring Zschech as a worship leader, and Integrity Music's first album to feature a female worship leader. The album was nominated for the 1997 Dove Awards 'Praise & Worship Album of the Year' at the Gospel Music Awards and the song was nominated in the 1998 Dove Awards 'Song of the Year' category. The song has been performed for the Pope at the Vatican and for the President of the United States.[20]

On the global impact of "Shout to the Lord", Zschech said, "I can't take any credit for its impact. God decided to put his blessing on this song."[21]

Songs[edit]

Songs written or co-written by Zschech include:

Discography[edit]

The following is a list by year of albums or single tracks which feature Zschech as a prominent vocalist or worship leader.

Year Featured on Notes
1987 Make the Choice (Darlene Zschech) first solo studio album release
1988 Spirit and Truth (Hillsong Music International) first album released by Hillsong
1990 Show Your Glory (Hillsong Music Australia)
1992 The Power Of Your Love (Hillsong Music Australia) first Live album released by Hillsong
1993 Stone's Been Rolled Away (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "Your Name"
1993 Pearls & Gold (Darlene Zschech)
1994 People Just Like Us (Hillsong Music Australia) first recording of "Shout to the Lord"
1994 The song "Shout to the Lord" from Jump to the Jam (Youth Alive / Hillsong Music Australia)
1995 "Friends in High Places (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "Praise His Holy Name", "Rock of Ages" with Geoff Bullock, and "Lord I Give Myself"
1996 God is in the House (Hillsong Music Australia) first Hillsong Live album as Worship Pastor; wrote "God Is in the House" with Russell Fragar, "And That My Soul Knows Very Well" with Fragar, "Let the Peace of God Reign", "Walking in the Light", and "I Will Run To You"
1996 Simply Worship (Hillsong Music Australia)
1996 The song "And That My Soul Knows Very Well" on Chosen One (Youth Alive / Hillsong Music Australia)
1996 Shout to the Lord (Integrity Music) first Integrity album to feature a prominent female worship leader, Darlene Zschech
1997 All Things Are Possible (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "All Things Are Possible", "I Live to Know You", "I Know It", and "Glory to the King"
1997 Simply Worship 2 (Hillsong Music Australia)
1997 Hills Praise (Hillsong Music Australia and Integrity Music)
1997 I Believe the Promise (London Christian Media Centre)
1998 Touching Heaven, Changing Earth (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote the songs "That's What We Came Here For" with Fragar, "I Will Bless You Lord", "Jesus You're All I Need", and "The Potter's Hand"
1998 Simply Worship 3 (Hillsong Music Australia)
1998 Shout to the Lord 2000 (Integrity Music)
1999 By Your Side (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "Sing of Your Great Love" and "Free to Dance"; Album received a nomination for the 2001 Dove Awards 'Praise & Worship Album of the Year' at the Gospel Music Awards
2000 For This Cause (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "Here to Eternity" with David Moyse and "It Is You"
2000 The Power of Your Love Symphony (Sony Music)
2000 Overwhelmed (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "Overwhelmed", "Jesus, Our Lord Jesus", and "The Lord is Good" with Reuben Morgan
2000 You Shine (Hillsong Music Australia)
2000 "The Platinum Collection Volume 1: Shout to the Lord" (Hillsong Music Australia) originally published as "Millennium: The Story So Far"; a compilation of previously recorded songs by the Hillsong team
2001 "You Are My World" (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "Irresistible", "Glorious", "To You", and "Worthy Is the Lamb"; Album received a nomination for the 2002 Dove Awards 'Praise & Worship Album of the Year' at the Gospel Music Awards
2001 "Christmas" (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "Perfect Love" with Russell Fragar and "Hallelujah"
2002 "Blessed" (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "Blessed" with Reuben Morgan; Album received a nomination for the 2003 Dove Awards 'Praise & Worship Album of the Year' at the Gospel Music Awards
2002 Extravagant Worship: The Songs of Darlene Zschech (Hillsong Music Australia) a compilation of previously recorded songs; the tracks that were written by Zschech but previously recorded by a different lead vocalist were re-recorded with Zschech as the lead vocal
2002 Extravagant Worship: The Songs of Reuben Morgan (Hillsong Music Australia)
2003 Hope (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "My Hope", "Call", and "You Are"; the song "My Hope" was nominated for the 2004 Dove Awards 'Inspirational Song of the Year' at the Gospel Music Awards
2003 Kiss of Heaven (Darlene Zschech)
2003 Amazing Love (Hillsong Music Australia)
2003 The Platinum Collection Volume 2: Shout to the Lord 2 (Hillsong Music Australia) a compilation of previously recorded songs by the Hillsong team, plus a studio-recorded version of Zschech's song "My Hope"
2004 For All You've Done (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "You Are Worthy" and "Glorify Your Name" with David Holmes
2004 Faithful (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "Mercy Endures"
2004 UP: Unified Praise (Hillsong Music Australia) Zschech and the Hillsong team join with Delirious?
2005 God He Reigns (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "Saviour" and "Know You More"
2005 Celebrating Christmas (Hillsong Music Australia)
2005 Ultimate Worship (Hillsong Music Australia)
2005 Change Your World (Darlene Zschech)
2006 "Mighty to Save (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "More to See" with Mia Fieldes, Deborah Ezzy (Zschech's sister), Donia Makadonez & Nigel Hendroff, "I Believe", and "At the Cross" with Reuben Morgan; The song "Mighty to Save" written by Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan received the 2009 Dove Awards 'Worship Song of the Year' at the Gospel Music Awards
2006 Songs for Communion (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "The Only Name", "Saviour" (which was previously recorded live on the album God He Reigns'), "Oh the Blood", and "Worthy is the Lamb" (which was previously recorded live on "You Are My World")
2006 Supernatural (Hillsong Kids/Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "I Will Sing" with Gio Galanti and daughters Chloe Zschech and Zoe Zschech
2007 Saviour King (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "One Thing" with Marty Sampson
2007 Lord of All (Hillsong Music Australia)
2008 This Is Our God (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "High and Lifted Up" with Mike Guglielmucci
2008 Ultimate Collection Volume II (Hillsong Music Australia) a compilation of previously released songs
2009 Songs 4 Worship 50 featured on the songs "Shout to the Lord" and "My Redeemer Lives"
2009 Faith + Hope + Love (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "His Glory Appears" with Marty Sampson
2010 A Beautiful Exchange (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "Believe" with Reuben Morgan
2010 The Very Best of Graham Kendrick: Knowing You Jesus (Graham Kendrick) featured on the songs "There is a Hope So Sure" and "Until the Day"
2010 Con Todo (Hillsong Music Australia) Zschech sings in Spanish; the album won the award for Spanish Language Album of the Year at the 42nd GMA Dove Awards
2010 One Voice featured on the song "Awesome Wonder"
2011 God is Able (Hillsong Music Australia) wrote "Cry of the Broken"
2011 Simply Darlene (Darlene Zschech)
2011 You Are Love (Darlene Zschech)
2011 Songs 4 Worship Ultimate featured on the song "Face to Face" which she wrote
2011 The song "Lo Grande Que Eres Dios" on the album En Mi Lugar (Hillsong Music Australia) Zschech sings in Spanish
2011 The song "Emmanuel" on the album Born is the King (Hillsong Music Australia)
2011 Music Inspired by the Story featured on a duet with Michael W. Smith on the track "The Great Day (Second Coming)"
2012 The song "Es Tu Amor" on the album Global Project Español (Hillsong Music Australia) Zschech sings in Spanish
2012 25 Songs That Changed the Way We Worship featured on the song "Shout to the Lord"
2012 Hope featured on the song "My Hope"
2012 The song "Emmanuel" on the album We Have a Saviour (Hillsong Music Australia)
2013 The Rescue (Sidney Mohede) featured on the song "It is Done"
2013 Revealing Jesus (Darlene Zschech) Zschech's first official live solo album
2013 Worship Duets (Graham Kendrick) featured on the song "That Name"
2013 Just As I Am (A Legacy of Hymns and Worship) featured on the song "My Jesus I Love Thee (I Love You Jesus)"
2013 In Christ Alone: 25 of Today's Most Powerful Modern Hymns featured on the song "Your Name/Cry of the Broken"
2013 My Hope: Songs Inspired by the Message and Mission of Billy Graham featured on the song "The Cross of Christ", which she wrote
2014 Only King Forever (Elevation Worship) featured on the song "The Love of Jesus"
2014 "Heaven is For Real (Songs Inspired by the Film and Best-Selling Book)" composed and featured as lead vocal on the song "Heaven in Me"

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Darlene Zschech Reveals Jesus in Latest Album". Charismanews.com. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (First printing ed.). Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 1067. ISBN 1-56563-679-1. 
  3. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch v=sliIUu8cyfk
  4. ^ "Darlene Zschech Interview". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Camerin Courtney. "The Power of Praising God | Today's Christian Woman". Todayschristianwoman.com. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Camerin Courtney. "The Power of Praising God | Today's Christian Woman". Todayschristianwoman.com. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Darlene Zschech Interview". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Revealing Jesus". YouTube. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Darlene Zschech". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Camerin Courtney. "The Power of Praising God | Today's Christian Woman". Todayschristianwoman.com. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Important Update from Darlene and Mark". Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "KLOVE: Darlene Zschech". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Socialphy: Hillsong Music Australia". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  14. ^ ""For All You've Done" Hillsong Music Australia - Yahoo! 7 News". 
  15. ^ "Darlene & Mark Zschech Senior Pastors of Church Unlimited". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Hope:Global". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "Hope:Global". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  18. ^ "Songfacts: Darlene Zschech's Shout to the Lord". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  19. ^ a b "Hillsong's Darlene Zschech: "How I Wrote Shout to the Lord"". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  20. ^ Camerin Courtney. "The Power of Praising God | Today's Christian Woman". Todayschristianwoman.com. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Camerin Courtney. "The Power of Praising God | Today's Christian Woman". Todayschristianwoman.com. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 

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