"I’ll never forget listening to Billy Graham start one of his sermons at a crusade when the Vocal Band sang. He said, ‘If you hear nothing else tonight, hear this: God loves you.’ I hope those words ring through the music and the lyrics of this recording.”

Although the accolades and the cheers from the crowd can be a struggle, David says Lori and the kids help him stay grounded. His wife of 11 years, Lori, helps David balance his dual roles as acclaimed vocalist and down-to-earth husband and father of three (soon to be four). “My real world keeps me from living in the applause too long,” he says. “Working on a stage of any kind can give you a really unrealistic view of life if you’re not careful. In her own loving way, Lori won’t let me live in that place of applause; I’m very thankful for that.”

In an example of the “at home” life of David Phelps, while he was writing songs for the new album, he was also building Lori a laundry room and teaching their children the harmony parts to a carol they would sing on his Christmas tour. “I help Lori with the dishes, listen to Callie recite her lines for the upcoming Christmas play, compliment Maggie Beth on her latest drawing, and wrestle with Grant on the living room floor.”

He admits that sometimes it’s difficult to balance everything when it gets busy. “But God gives us the grace to be able to do that and get through it. It’s something we have to work on.”

David is making sure his kids have the same musical opportunities he had by taking them on the road with him and Lori to his concerts. Lori homeschools their two daughters – 8-year-old Callie and 6-year-old Maggie Beth – both at home and on tour in order to let them and 3-year-old Grant spend more time with Dad. The couple are preparing for the arrival of a fourth little one, due just in time for the release of "Revelation." For an artist who makes nearly 150 concert appearances every year, the decision to educate their kids themselves was the only right one for them. “I’m gone pretty much every weekend,” says David. “Homeschooling allows us to pick up and go when we need to, and as a result, our kids have been able to see some wonderful things around the country.”

Despite the fame and the awards, David says the most important thing to him is his kids and playing outside with them. “Roller-skating, playing kickball and all that kind of stuff,” he lists. “Just building a bonfire out in the back, or whatever it is to make warm memories for them. And it’s also a privilege to get to go out and do what I do. To go out and sing – it is a dream come true.”

As for his day job with GVB, David also says he continues to be a grateful student of Bill Gaither. “It’s been a dream-come-true to work with Bill,” he says. “He’s taught me a lot about communication. From the moment you walk onstage until the moment you walk off, your body language as well as the song you are singing is communicating something to the audience. Do you believe what you’re saying? Then your whole countenance has to show it. Bill has an incredible gift of bringing the best out of an artist. I’m still learning.”


Sue Halford helped report this story. Additional material supplied by GaitherNet.com.


© 2004 Homecoming Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.  Click here to subscribe.