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Billy Hoprnsby

A Tribute to Billy Hornsby

Church-planting pioneer Billy Hornsby, who worked for more than 30 years with church leaders nationally and internationally, passed away on March 23 after a battle with cancer.

"On March 23, 2011 at 9:44 p.m., our father and friend Billy Hornsby went to be with the Lord. Billy's passion for God, family, life and leaders around the world will be long remembered," announced Chris Hodges, founding and senior pastor of Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Ala. Hodges is also Hornsby's son-in-law.

Married for more than 40 years to his wife, Charlene, Hornsby was a published author who directed a nationwide church planting organization, the Association of Related Churches (ARC)—one of the most successful church-planting organizations in the world—and served as the senior European consultant for EQUIP, John Maxwell's global leadership training organization. Since Hornsby formed ARC in 2000 with a handful of pastors, the network's congregations have often been recognized among the fastest growing churches in the nation.

Coping With the Process of Dying

Just weeks before passing away, Billy Hornsby sat down with Charisma Publisher Steve Strang to talk about coping with the process of dying.

"Struggle Well"

Watch Billy Hornsby deliver an inspirational message at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Ala., only months before he went home to be with the Lord.

Honoring a General

Prior to Billy Hornsby's death, friends and leaders from across the nation paid tribute to ARC's inspirational co-founder, president and spiritual father. We've gathered some of those tributes here to honor Billy and give you a sense of what a true spiritual general he was.

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Kari Jobe

Kari Jobe: Changing the Atmosphere

Kari Jobe doesn’t just have a soft speaking voice and gentle demeanor. The 29-year-old worship leader is also blessed with the singing voice of an angel. And it’s the combination of these qualities that often allows her to help people lower their guard, release their burdens and truly worship God.

“When David played before Saul it caused the tormenting spirits to leave. I’ve always loved that,” Jobe says. “When you ask the Lord to come, He does come and it changes the atmosphere. That’s how it was for me. That’s what worship is for me.”

Not that Jobe is any different from the rest of us. She finds it difficult at times to fully lay down her burdens before the Lord, and sometimes those experiences become songs—as in the case of “You Are For Me,” which she wrote while in an anxious “season of waiting.”

“I felt like I could see some things that God had promised through a chain-link fence, but I couldn’t get to them yet. God was teaching me that His timing is perfect,” Jobe recalls before quoting Psalm 27:14: “‘Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.’” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Lincoln Brewster

Lincoln Brewster: Rockin’ a Baptist Hymnal

Never the churchgoing type, Lincoln Brewster grew up in Alaska and California surrounded by domestic violence and drug abuse. His stepfather was a gruff fisherman now known to millions as a boat captain on the reality TV series, Deadliest Catch.

“The fact that I’m married with kids and a worship leader at a church? That’s the miracle story,” says Brewster, 39. Even more unbelievable for Brewster—who, at 19, was former Journey frontman Steve Perry’s lead guitarist and had a mainstream record contract—is that one of his songs was recently published in a Baptist hymnal. “If you had my background, you would’ve been voted least likely to be a worship leader. So to have a song in a Baptist hymnal? It’s God having a sense of humor.”

“Leading worship is not what I thought I’d be doing, and it’s not what I wanted to do,” says Brewster, a staple on Christian radio and a worship pastor at a church near Sacramento, Calif. “But when God got a hold of my heart, I realized that this is what I was born to do.” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Leeland Mooring

Leeland Mooring: Worship in a Lincoln Town Car

Leeland Mooring, frontman for the band Leeland, is only 22, but he’s already preparing for the day when he no longer performs before big crowds and receives the attention that follows. Maybe that’s because his second home was once his family’s Lincoln Town Car. His parents had a band,  Majestic Praise, and traveled with two evangelists, conducting revivals around the country. 

“We did that for 2-1/2 years. I was 11, my brother was 13, and my sister was 9,” Mooring says. “We weren’t sure whether we’d be able to pay the bills, and it was then as kids that we began to see the sufficiency of God, the power of God.”

Mooring’s parents eventually started a church in Baytown, Texas, with Leeland as the unofficial youth-group worship leader. These days his band has the ability to make a leap into mainstream pop music, but Mooring says of the group: “Ultimately (praise and worship) is what comes out of us.” And as for all the attention? He could live without it. “If all this was taken away, I could go back to Baytown and continue to pursue God’s purpose in my life.” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Brian Doerksen

Brian Doerksen: Close-Up

 

Moment you knew you were called to be a worship leader: I was a teenager and my dad took a group of us to a Petra concert. Toward the end of their set, they did some songs that were ... more about drawing us into the presence of God. I was touched by God and wanted more!

Hardest thing about music ministry: Doing your best in a way that’s deep, transparent and vulnerable—and it being dismissed. 

Best part about your life: Getting a hug from my 11-year-old son, Isaiah [who has Fragile X Syndrome and doesn’t speak]. He knows life is about giving and receiving love!

Why it’s better to live in Canada: Our politics are more peaceful, and we are a bridge culture between Europe and the U.S., so we get the best of both!

Worship is ... Surrender. Sometimes we forget that’s what the word means ... and don’t realize the most profound expression of worship may be the times when we are willing not to play or sing. read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Chris Quilala

Chris Quilala: The Night That Changed Me

As a teenager, Chris Quilala asked God for one thing while attending church camp: freedom in worship. “That night, during the worship service, I lifted my hands for the first time. At that moment I felt His presence so strong,” Quilala says. “It was such an intense experience in which I felt the love, peace and fear of God all at the same time. From that moment on I knew that God was such a huge, loving and real God.”

Today, as a worship leader with Jesus Culture, Quilala helps people experience the same freedom. “My prayer over the past few years had simply been, ‘God, more than anything, I just want to know You.’ For me, worship is [an] intimate opportunity to express the love and burning passion that’s in my heart.” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Leonard Jones

Leonard Jones: The Cloud That Changed My Life

Leonard Jones, a worship leader for MorningStar Ministries, will never forget what happened on the final day of a worship conference in 1996. After nine hours of nonstop worship, he started playing a version of the song “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles. 

“The praise grew to a supernatural level because we were all physically worn out,” recalls Jones, who became a Christian in 1970 during the Jesus People movement. “All at once, a glory cloud appeared in the middle of the stage and stayed for like two minutes, and then rose up all at once and disappeared. It greatly impacted my life . The result was four CDs that changed the direction of worship in the church.”

Jones continues to play marathon praise sessions, including events where people worship for 50 straight hours. “I’ll be doing a lot more of those this year,” he says. read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Misty Edwards

Misty Edwards: Writing With the Holy Spirit

As a leader at the International House of Prayer, Misty Edwards is charged with staffing and encouraging those involved with the 24-7 prayer room. “Keeping it going ... is a lot of work,” she says. “It’s the primary place I pour out my energy.”

But despite the demands, Edwards  is  able to write songs and lead worship because of the Holy Spirit, whom she calls “my closest friend.” 

“Worship-leading and songwriting with Him is exhilarating,” she says. “When we pray and sing the Scripture, He actually teaches us—often through our own lips.” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Paul Baloche

Paul Baloche on ‘Open the Eyes of My Heart’

From Africa to Azerbaijan, that song has somehow gotten into people’s hearts and languages. Just that simple prayer: “Open the eyes of my heart.” 

It was one of those phrases that a pastor friend of mine would pray before he would preach, and ... I would take that phrase and just sing it over and over again. I thought, “Man, this is something we need to sing [as a congregation]. We should get another section to this.” 

I looked in the Word and saw, “high and lifted up.” [The other phrase] is from Ephesians chapter 1. And then the song just came together naturally.

People ask me, “Do you ever get tired of singing it?’ And honestly I don’t. It’s like, “Do you ever get tired of praying the Lord’s Prayer?” Repetition isn’t a bad thing.

Songwriting has actually been a helpful exercise for my spiritual life because I’m able to prayerfully construct a musical prayer that others can join in with me. You take a profound truth that you hear on a Sunday morning and you just explore that [in a song]. The Bible says, “Pray without ceasing,” and to me, songwriting has always been a way to carry that out. read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Matt Maher

Matt Maher on ‘Christ Has Risen’

“Christ Has Risen” was inspired by a third-century sermon by John Chrysostom. The concept is very simple: God used death to destroy death. He didn’t even have to lift a finger. He literally tricked death into destroying itself; Jesus used the process of death to completely eradicate it. So now it just becomes a process of transformation, and death is a window or a doorway. 

It became this chorus: “Christ has risen from the dead, trampling over death by death.” I wrote it and then Mia Fieldes from Hillsong helped finish it. 

I love to read works by theologians. Saint Augustine, John Chrysostom, Henri Nouwen and C.S. Lewis are some of my favorites. At the time I wrote this song, it was my goal that the record would have a theme, that it would be a record someone could listen to from start to finish and have been taken on a journey—the journey of transformation because of what Christ has done for us. 

The reality is that the conception, birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ is a journey that, if we allow it, takes place in our hearts every year, every day and, if we let it, every moment. read more

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