April 13, 1955 |
Wheaton, Illinois, U.S.
|Genres||Contemporary Christian music|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano|
|Labels||Myrrh, Sparrow, Warner Alliance, Ministry, Audience One|
Steven J. Camp (born April 13, 1955) is an American contemporary Christian music artist with an adult contemporary pop sound. He sold more than a million albums. He also has written or co-written 21 number one singles since his debut in 1978 as a solo artist. Today his popularity now continues mostly in his Christian writing addressing current trends and matters of Reformed Theology. He started Audience One Ministries, and his blog covering Christian music, biblical study, reformation, and revival.
He is well known for his strong views that Christian musicians are called to make direct, uncompromising music that confronts the world with the message of the Scriptures. Following Martin Luther's 95 theses, on Reformation Day (October 31), 1998 he sent out his own 107 theses calling for a reformation in contemporary Christian music.
Born in Wheaton, Illinois, Camp was raised by Christian parents; by 5 years of age he confessed faith in Jesus. This greatly influenced his desire to serve God through his teenage years. As a young Christian, he created a close bond with legendary Christian singer/songwriter Larry Norman, who gave him advice concerning his own singing and songwriting. In addition, he met the late Keith Green, who encouraged him to make a stronger commitment to Jesus and at the same time his own ministry. Camp was divorced from his wife prior to 2002. He remarried on June 19, 2009. He is unrelated to Jeremy Camp, a fellow Christian rock musician.
Camp attended Roosevelt University, where he majored in Music Composition and Theory under Professor Dodds, protegee to George Gershwin, and studied Business Law/Music at the College of DuPage, where his goal was to spread the gospel. Among many other college professors Steve had studied under, Camp didn't go through his academic circles for his theological or musical training. He did exactly that; hence, he received intense working knowledge of Scripture and theology, mastering the Greek language, and he has accomplished a library of historical and theological works. Camp also retains an orthodox historical Reformed theology, in the tradition of John Owen, Jeremiah Burroughs, Thomas Watson, Dr. John F. MacArthur, Dr. D.A. Carson, Dr. R.C. Sproul and the late Dr. Stephen Olford. He also began a longtime relationship with a then-unknown - Rob Frazier - in the late 1970s. Frazier, a one-time Petra member, began his tenure with Camp co-writing songs for Camp's own albums. Camp's singing career began when he played acoustic guitar and sang backups on Scott Wesley Brown's 1977 album, I'm Not Religious, I Just Love The Lord, one year before he went on his own. Compared to Frazier, he also began a longtime friendship with Brown in 1973, aged 18 at the time. Camp was reunited with Frazier on Frazier's 1992 compilation Retrospect, on which Frazier and Camp sang duet vocals for the song Why, Why Why?. Five of Camp's albums "Sayin' It With Love (1978), "Start Believin'" (1980), "For Every Man" (1981), "Only The Very Best" (1983), and "It's A Dying World" (1984) have never been released on CD.
Prior to becoming a conference speaker, a pianist, and a lecturer, Camp was a popular Contemporary Christian Music singer-songwriter. He released his first album in 1975 for CBS Records, his first and only secular label. He began playing music for Jesus and used it for His glory. In 1977, he signed a recording contract with Myrrh Records, releasing a stringful of songs as a solo artist. In 1983, Camp signed a new contract, this one with Sparrow Records, where he released nine successful albums. On his first album, Fire and Ice, Camp paired up with labelmate and old friend Michele Pillar to sing on Love's Not A Feeling. She would later sing on Do Something Now, which she was a part of, and on Camp's 1987 album, After God's Own Heart, as one of the backup vocalists. Early in 1989, Camp released his 10th studio album, Justice, where he recorded the ever-popular hit Do You Feel Their Pain?, where BeBe Winans shared duet vocals with him. Steve Green, Ashley Cleveland, former labelmate Margaret Becker (who sang duet vocals with him on 1986's One On One, from the album of the same name), and The Choir all sang background vocals. After Camp's contract with Sparrow in 1992, he signed with Warner Alliance, where he released 2 albums. On his 1993 release Taking Heaven By Storm, Camp teamed up with veteran keyboardist and songwriter Michael Omartian to produce the album, achieving a series of #1 hits in a single year (1994), including the title cut and a contemporary remake of The Lord's Prayer. Later that same year, he released a worship-themed project titled Mercy In The Wilderness. Although this album was also produced by Omartian, it proved to be a rather modest commercial success compared with Taking Heaven By Storm, producing no #1 singles.
Along with other popular contemporary Christian artists of the 1980s, Camp made several front covers of CCM Magazine, World Magazine, and Christianity Today, among many others. At the same time, he also wrote several articles for leading Christian publications, in addition to giving numerous interviews on Christian radio. After recording several albums, Camp began attending Christian conferences and making frequent guest appearances at Christian colleges. In 1996, he was an honorable invitee at the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals Conference, where the Cambridge Document was drafted. One year later, he was spotted in 1997 at the Summit on Church Music Ministry held at Cedarville College in Ohio, contending for sound Biblical theology in Christian music. In the fall of 1998 he once again appeared in Ohio, this time in Celina at a benefit for Harbor House Maternity Home, a Christian home for pregnant teens. 440 people were present to hear Steve do four songs, including Keith Green's "Asleep in the Light" and Camp's own "He's All You Need." He followed up his first set of songs with an even more passionate exhortation, possibly causing some in attendance to be a bit uncomfortable with Camp's straightforward approach to his messages: they must do everything possible to save the unborn and be seen as proactively pro-life.
Radio show and writing
In the mid-1990s, Camp was a frequent guest on radio stations all across the country. Between 1995 and 1997, he also hosted his own radio talk show, No Compromise with Steve Camp. He also made guest appearances on The Bible Answer Man with Hank Hanegraaff, The Janet Parshall Show, The Dick Staub Show, Prime Time America with Jim Warren, Iron Sharpens Iron, and many more. He is also a well-known writer for the AudienceONE ministries website. As of 2010, Camp continues to make numerous guest appearances on other radio shows.
- Sayin' It with Love (1978, Myrrh)
- Start Believin' (1980, Myrrh)
- For Every Man (1981, Myrrh)
- Only the Very Best (1983, Myrrh)
- Fire and Ice (1983, Sparrow)
- It's a Dying World (1984, Myrrh)
- Shake Me to Wake Me (1985, Sparrow)
- One on One (1986, Sparrow)
- After God's Own Heart (1987, Sparrow)
- Compact Favorites (1988, Sparrow)
- Justice (1988, Sparrow)
- Doing My Best (1990, Sparrow)
- Consider the Cost (1991, Sparrow)
- Doing My Best: Volume 2 (1991, Sparrow)
- Taking Heaven By Storm (1993, Warner Alliance)
- Mercy in the Wilderness (1994, Warner Alliance)
- Best of Steve Camp: My Utmost for His Highest (1995, Sparrow)
- The Steve Camp Collection (1995, Sparrow)
- Abandoned to God (1999, Ministry Music\Diamante)
- Desiring God (2002, Audience One\Diamante)
- The Definitive Collection (2007, Word)
- "Steve Camp | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Myspace.com. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- Steve Camp
- "Desiring God - reviewed by Russ Breimeier - Crosswalk.com". Thefish.com. October 1, 2002. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- "Twitter / PastorSJCamp: Was married last week on the". Twitter.com. June 25, 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- The Monitor's interview with Jeremy Camp June 26, 2009, <http://www.themonitor.com/entertainment/camp-28002-tickets-christian.html> Pulled February 16, 2012
- "Sharing Banquet Wrap-Up: Winter 1998 Harbor News". Harborhouse.org. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- CampOnThis - Steve Camp's Blog
- Complete Discography @ Christian Music Archive
- Olsen, Ted (November 1, 2002). "Weblog: Evangelical Leaders Criticize Chevrolet's Worship Tour Sponsorship". Christianity Today.