The following is a recording courtesy of Fletch Wiley’s wife Dale Wiley. It was recorded in the early 70s’ the quality is quite good considering how long ago it was recorded. Andrae Crouch was by far the most influential contemporary Christian musician. He understood his mission, and the real purpose of Christian music… to reach the lost. His style was not in the traditional genre of Gospel music. In fact his music defied and transcended genre. He used styles of music such as Jazz, Funk, Rock,Disco and other styles that were relevant during his day and often used non-Christian musicians because he was a reconciler. We have to reach those outside of the kingdom of Jesus Christ with the relevant message of salvation. Some of those musicians were men like pianist Joe Sample, saxophonist Michael Brecker, bassist Abe Laboriel, and the list goes on. He believed that christian music should be played and recorded at a high level.
As I listened to the secular media announce the passing of this gentle giant of a man, they paid homage to his secular accomplishments: his musical liaisons with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Madonna, and Paul Simon to name a few. Those of us who knew Andrae’s heart and purpose as revealed through the songs he wrote and the people’s whose lives were changed through the message in the songs and the live that was lived…know differently. As someone whose life was permanently influenced by the music of Pastor Andrae Crouch I can say unequivocally that I am grateful for his life.
I pay a silent tribute on this blog because it is because of him I write better, I sing with greater conviction, I preach with greater intensity and I live with a greater understanding of the lateness of the hour. The first song that I heard from Andrae Crouch was Jesus is the Answer That prompted me to listen to more of his songs. It was while serving as an apostolic church planter in the island of Curaçao, in the Nederlands Antilles, that during meetings we held in the square in Willemstad the capital that that song became our anthem and the name for the ministry. “Hesu Kristu E Kontesta” in Papiamentu Jesus Christ the Answer translated.
Up to a few years ago, he was still recording. He felt a sense of destiny with the music he wrote. Andrea Crouch the man, the pastor was no different. At the church he pastored with his sister Sandra, there was always room for the homeless, the addict and the downtrodden. Almost every Saturday they fed the hungry and ministered to the poor.
Andrae Crouch went to be with his Lord on January 8, 2015. He was 72 years old. He will never be forgotten — at least not by this ministry.
New Agape Ministries International