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Darlene Zschech

Darlene Zschech

Life and careerZschech started on television at the age of 10, as part of an Australian kids' show, Happy Go Round. When she was 13, her parents divorced, and the emotional stress of television and her parents' divorce resulted in Zschech struggling with bulimia for about four years.In 1980, when Zschech was 15, her father rededicated his life to Christ and began taking her to church, where she gave her heart to Christ and met her future husband Mark. Later, when they married, Mark suggested they move from Brisbane to Sydney, which was confirmed at a small church they were visiting one Sunday when the guest speaker said in the middle of his sermon, "This doesn't happen to me very often, but whatever it is you two prayed last night, God says do it now." They began attending Hills Christian Life Centre, which would become Hillsong Church.Zschech sang jingles for a number of international companies including McDonald's, KFC and Coca Cola, until she eventually came on staff at Hillsong Church after penning "Shout to the Lord". She released a vinyl album in 1987 called "Make the Choice" and a cassette album in 1993 called "Pearls & Gold."Zschech and her husband Mark have three daughters, Amy, Chloe and Zoe. In 2000 she had a miscarriage after 12 weeks.Shout to the Lord was nominated as Album of the Year for the 1997 Dove Awards and was nominated as Song of the Year for the 1998 Dove Awards. In 2000 Darlene received a Dove Award nomination for Songwriter of the Year and received the International Award for influence in praise and worship.In 2003, Zschech released her first 'official' solo album, Kiss of Heaven. Change Your World followed in 2005. She has since released two albums in 2011 called Simply Darlene and You Are Love. In addition to writing songs, Zschech has written five books: Worship (1996), Extravagant Worship (2002), The Kiss of Heaven (2003), The Great Generational Transition (2009), and Revealing Jesus: A 365-Day Devotional (2013).On 11 December 2013, Zschech was diagnosed with breast cancer.Hillsong ChurchZschech was the worship pastor of Hillsong Church from 1996 to 2007, during which time she served as producer, vocal producer, or executive producer for more than 20 albums under the Hillsong Music label and wrote more than 80 published worship songs. Under Zschech's leadership, the album People Just Like Us (1994) was the first Christian album in Australia to go Gold as well as the first to go Platinum and the album For All You've Done (2004) debuted at #1 on the Australian Record Industry Association album charts. Zschech explained Hillsong Music's stance in her book Extravagant Worship in a prayer: "Father, let them quickly get their eyes off of us. We just want to point them to you, God, because you are the Author of truth. You are the only One who is to be praised."Zschech stepped down as worship pastor in 2007 with the blessing of Hillsong Senior Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston to become Senior Pastor with her husband of Church Unlimited in Charmhaven. Reuben Morgan was appointed to the Hillsong worship pastor position in 2008.Hope Unlimited ChurchIn January 2011, Zschech and her husband became senior pastors at Church Unlimited, later renamed Hope Unlimited Church, in Charmhaven on the New South Wales Central Coast.Hope GlobalIn April 2004, the Zschech family visited Rwanda, Africa and were inspired to launch "Hope Rwanda: 100 Days of Hope", a faith-based global initiative that provided hygiene options and education for the citizens of Rwanda, which eventually morphed into Hope Global. According to the official website, Hope Global currently exists to "offer practical solutions to countries devastated by war, genocide, and poverty." It has major centres in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Cambodia, runs long-term development projects, such as Hope Education and the Village of Hope, and has hosted Parramatta Eels trips to Rwanda with CEO Paul Osborne."Shout to the Lord"Zschech composed "Shout to the Lord" in 1993 and it has become one of the most well-known modern worship songs, being sung by an estimated 25-30 million churchgoers every Sunday since the song's release. She wrote the song during a time of personal struggle, and when she presented it to Hillsong's then-worship pastor Geoff Bullock, she was so embarrassed she asked him to face away from her as she played it on the piano and sang."Shout to the Lord" was first recorded on People Just Like Us and has appeared on more than 200 different albums by numerous artists in multiple languages. It is also the title track for the first live album co-produced with Integrity Music featuring Zschech as a worship leader, and Integrity Music's first album to feature a female worship leader. The album was nominated for the 1997 Dove Awards 'Praise & Worship Album of the Year' at the Gospel Music Awards and the song was nominated in the 1998 Dove Awards 'Song of the Year' category. The song has been performed for the Pope at the Vatican and for the President of the United States.On the global impact of "Shout to the Lord", Zschech said, "I can't take any credit for its impact. God decided to put his blessing on this song."SongsSongs written or co-written by Zschech include:Stone's Been Rolled Away (1993)"Your Name""People Just Like Us" (1994)"Shout to the Lord"Friends in High Places (1995)"Praise His Holy Name""Rock of Ages", with Geoff Bullock"Lord I Give Myself"God Is in the House (1996)"God Is in the House" with Russell Fragar"And That My Soul Knows Very Well" with Fragar"Let the Peace of God Reign""Walking in the Light""I Will Run To You"All Things Are Possible (1997)"All Things Are Possible""I Live to Know You""I Know It""Glory to the King"Touching Heaven Changing Earth (1998)"That's What We Came Here For" with Fragar"I Will Bless You Lord""Jesus You're All I Need""The Potter's Hand"By Your Side (1999)"Sing of Your Great Love""Free to Dance"For This Cause (2000)"Here to Eternity", with David Moyse"It Is You"You Are My World (2001)"Irresistible""Glorious""To You""Worthy Is the Lamb"Blessed (2002)"Blessed", with Reuben MorganHope (2003)"My Hope""Call""You Are"For All You've Done (2004)"You Are Worthy""Glorify Your Name", with David HolmesGod He Reigns (2005)"Saviour""Know You More"Mighty to Save (2006)"More to See", with Mia Fieldes, Deborah Ezzy (Zschech's sister), Donia Makadonez and Nigel Hendroff"I Believe""At the Cross", with Reuben MorganSaviour King (2007)"One Thing" with Marty SampsonThis Is Our God (2008)"High and Lifted Up", with Mike GuglielmucciFaith + Hope + Love (2009)"His Glory Appears", with Marty SampsonA Beautiful Exchange (2010)"Believe", with Reuben MorganGod is Able (2011)"Cry of the Broken"You Are Love (2011)"Under Grace""Saving Me""You Are Love""We are Your People""I Will Wait""Beautiful""Hope for Humanity""Faithful""Cry of the Broken""Face to face"Revealing Jesus (2013)"God Is Here""In Jesus' Name""Victor's Crown""Yours Forever (You Took the Nails)""My Jesus I Love Thee (I Love You Jesus)""Your Name/Cry of the Broken""I Am Yours""Shout to the Lord" (DVD only)

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