Chuck Girard is one of the fathers of contemporary Christian music.
He is a recording artist and former lead singer for the Hondells and
Love Song. Girard has appeared on numerous television programs and continues
to record albums and tour the world. He spoke with James Linzey for
the Pentecostal Evangel.
Evangel: When did you become a Christian?
From 1966 to 1970, I was into the hippie and drug scene. But I
never forgot about my background in the Catholic church. I became hungry
to find out more about God and started studying Eastern philosophies.
I began reading the Bible. I saw glaring contradictions in the way people
perceived Jesus. Some believe He was only a great teacher, though the
Bible said He was God. I had to deal with this.
I didnt know about the leading of the Holy Spirit. I merely wanted
clarity on truth, because I didnt want to die and discover there
was a hell and I had gone there.
The real clincher was the fact that Jesus offered salvation, not based
on our own works, but based on His death on the cross and His resurrection.
So one night at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, Calif., in February 1970,
I received Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.
Evangel: Tell about your baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Girard: I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, as evidenced
by speaking in tongues, when Lonnie Frisbee, a former hippie minister
from Calvary Chapel, prayed with me. He taught me to hear the voice
of the Spirit and tune into the supernatural. And the simplicity of
Chuck Smiths teaching never allowed me to be blown off course.
Evangel: How did you begin in Christian music?
Girard: Before becoming a Christian, I was working up to five
days a week in the studio with some of the greatest musicians of the
Then in 1970 after becoming born again, some friends and I revived
a group that was part of my nightclub days a group called Love
Song. We became Christians that year and decided to keep the same name.
We started playing at Calvary Chapel when the Jesus Movement began.
In this environment, we recorded our first Christian folk/rock album
Love Song. The press began to cover the Jesus Movement; consequently,
we were quickly brought into national and international prominence.
We were committed to the goals of the gospel. I knew that each member
of Love Song on that stage was never there for his own glory. We were
on that stage because we wanted to see the gospel preached and people
enter into Gods kingdom.
Evangel: What is the key to your happy marriage?
Girard: Karen and I are 100 percent committed to the ministry.
Karen and I are spiritually on the same wavelength. Karen attended First
Assembly of God in Santa Ana, Calif., as a student at Vanguard University,
and I attended Calvary Chapel. So we both have Pentecostal roots.
Also, its crucial to give more than you take. I dont think
a marriage can succeed without this principle at work.
Evangel: Who are your heroes?
Girard: I love what pastors do and I look at them with great
respect. When I come into their churches, Im there to serve them.
Billy Graham is very much my hero. I love him and hold him in high regard.
Evangel: Describe your devotional time.
Girard: I spend as much time as I can in Bible study and prayer.
But also sustaining is the constant awareness that Im His and
everything I am depends on Him. When I get tired of the rigors of traveling,
what keeps me going is the knowledge that Im serving the Church
with what I do. And in seeing what God is doing in the Church throughout
the world, Ive learned that every Christian is in full-time ministry.
Evangel: What is the most vital lesson you have learned?
Girard: Without God, Id surely fail. And with Him, I can
do anything. No matter what I might achieve, its only brought
to pass by His mercy and grace.
Evangel: Anything else?
Girard: To nonbelievers, I would communicate the need for Jesus
and that ones eternal life depends on Him. But I would remind
believers that "to live is Christ and to die is gain." If
you can live for God, realizing nothing is greater than going to be
with the Lord, then youve really got a handle on the meaning of