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Zach Williams
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Discography

 

Concert Dates

DateLocation
12/30/2017Lynchburg, VA
12/8/2017Clarkston, MI
12/10/2017Willoughby Hills, OH
12/15/2017Boca Raton, FL
12/16/2017Cape Coral, FL
12/7/2017Lansing, MI
12/9/2017Cadillac, MI
12/13/2017Lagrange, GA
12/14/2017Tampa, FL
12/17/2017Ocala, FL
2/16/2018Charlottesville, VA
2/17/2018Hershey, PA
2/18/2018Charleston, WV
2/22/2018Cape Girardeau, MO
2/23/2018Tulsa, OK
2/24/2018Albuquerque, NM
2/25/2018Phoenix, AZ
3/1/2018Henderson, NV
3/2/2018Stockton, CA
3/3/2018Fresno, CA
3/4/2018Ontario, CA
3/8/2018Boise, ID
3/9/2018Portland, OR
3/10/2018Seattle, WA
3/11/2018Spokane, WA
3/15/2018Reno, NV
3/16/2018West Valley City, UT
3/17/2018Colorado Springs, CO
3/18/2018Wichita Falls, TX
3/23/2018Lubbock, TX
3/24/2018College Station, TX
12/31/2017Lynchburg, VA

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Biography

ZachWilliams was born and raised in a small town outside Jonesboro, Arkansas, notunlike Andy Griffith’s Mayberry or a scene from Goonies. Williams grew up in ahome filled with loving parents who created a safe world for him to live in,surrounded by family members and neighbors who encouraged him. Yet the safetyand security of that childhood seemed like a distant memory as Williams watchedhis life spiral out of control over a decade later.

 

“Mychildhood was amazing. I had awesome parents who, at an early age, instilled inme what it was to follow he Lord. My dad led worship in churches and my momsang on praise teams. My childhood was almost storybook, you could say. They wouldalways tell me I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and Ican still remember to this day how supportive they were of everything I did,”shares Williams.

 

Witha desire to follow in his father’s footsteps, a young Williams began pursuingsports with the hope he might become the kind of standout basketball player hisfather was years ago during his own high school career. Turns out, Williamscarried a similar talent to his father and before he knew it, the basketballstar was being watched and pursued by scouts from various colleges. Whilethings continued to look up for the star athlete, Williams started playingRussian Roulette with his future by dabbling with alcohol and experimentingwith drugs. It wasn’t long before his poor choices cost him everything he hadbeen working towards as he bid farewell to his Division 1 scholarship.

 

In spite of the majorsetback, Williams decided to go to college anyway and continued to playbasketball in a men’s intramural league. Through a chance meeting, Williams wasable to try out for a college team in Northwest Arkansas and clenched a full-ridescholarship. What seemed like a promising future took another nosedive asWilliams began partying with other athletes trying to outdo each other in variouslate-night shenanigans involving drugs and alcohol. Before he played his firstgame, Williams busted his ankle and sat out the entire first season.

 

And that’s when music cameinto the picture.

 

Explains Williams, “Breakingmy ankle ended up being a blessing and a curse” Sports were my life and Ithought that’s where I wanted to be, but music gave me opportunity to dosomething different with my life. My roommate brought a guitar with him tocollege so I decided to teach myself how to play. My dad played music growingup but I was never interested in playing an instrument until that moment./Playing guitar felt so natural and I fell in love with it. I started writingsongs and sports took a back seat. I knew what I wanted to do with my life.”

 

After college, Williams movedback home and continued playing music for anybody and everybody who would lendan ear. He also continued to nurture his love affair with drugs and alcohol,finding the musician’s lifestyle more conductive to bad habits.

 

“I knew I had a problem but Ijustified it. I was working for my dad’s construction company at the time and Itold myself that as long as I could go to work and get the job done, it didn’tmatter what I did at night,” says Williams.

 

By his late twenties,Williams experienced both a marriage and a divorce. He also became the frontman for a rock band, which quickly took off after the release of their firstalbum. A booking agent was secured and the band began touring heavily in theStates as well as Europe. Williams embraced the rock star lifestylewholeheartedly, doing his best to bury his unhappiness with the growing successof his band. “I finally had gotten to where I wanted to be and there were evenmore drugs and alcohol in the picture,” shares Williams. “I would take anythingand everything that you gave me, and was always the first guy ready to jumpinto the craziness and the last to go home. I went 100% at whatever I was doingand got really good at doing that with my bad habits, unfortunately.”

 

As the notoriety of his bandgrew, so did the conviction that change needed to happen. Newly married withtwo stepchildren, Williams was encouraged by his bride, Crystal, to seek help.Wildly aware of his problem, he came face to face with the fact he needed help,but fear proved to be a serious hurdle that caused him to run in the oppositedirection. Then, the encouragement to change his lifestyle was reinforced witha doctor’s diagnosis.

 

“I had a scare in 2011 thatcaused me to take a break, I found out I had some early stages of cancer in myesophagus. The doctor told me, ‘The way you’re living – you’ve got to quit orit’s going to kill you.’ It scared me, but instead of quitting I sunk deeperand deeper into depression, drugs and alcohol. I just continued to live thatway for another year until something inside of me started to change’”

 

The catalyst for that changestarted with an invitation. A band mate started attending church and begantalking with him about it, so he and Crystal began attending the same churchand found open arms, acceptance, something they were not expecting. They beganplugging into as many activities and opportunities as possible and Williams’lifestyle started changing, but it wasn’t until he went back on the road thathe made a complete 180.

 

“The guy driving our bus wasscanning the radio and Big Daddy Weave’s ‘Redeemed’ came on the radio,” heshares. “I immediately knew the song because I worked construction with my dadfor almost 15 years and every day on the job we listened to Christian radio. I’dalso been listening to Petra, Keith Green and Russ Taff my whole life, so itwas really a part of my DNA.” That day when Williams heard the lyrics to “Redeemed,”he said, “The Holy Spirit spoke to me in that moment, saying ‘You need to quitdoing what you’re doing and turn your life around.’ That was a turning pointfor me. I called my wife and told her I was coming home. I was quitting theband, we are going to cancel the rest of our shows, and that was it.”

 

Williams’ literal andfigurative homecoming was full of confession, repentance and forgiveness withGod as well as his family. They continued to immerse themselves in the life oftheir church and together Williams and his wife were baptized right beforetheir fourth child was born.

 

Zach Williams eventuallybecame the campus director and worship leader of Central Baptist’s new campusin Jonesboro. Over time, doors opened for him to write songs with JonathanSmith and Mia Fieldes. That led to the three of them to write “Chan Breaker,” atribute to the goodness of God in our lives. The song has not only stayed No. 1at radio for multiple weeks in a row and on numerous charts, It’s also earnedWilliams his first GRAMMY nomination (for Best Pop/Contemporary Christian Songat the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards). But beyone he accolades andtoppin the radio charts, for Williams it’s about reaching people. It’s aboutbeing honest, it’s about the impact – and redemption – that music can bring.

 

“I did the whole rock starthing  for so long and I felt like I wasalways faking it, and now I really just want to be real with people,” heexplains. “Please don’t wait another minute, make the decision today to followChrist. I wished I would’ve done it 20 years ago. I wished I would’ve nevergotten into drugs and alcohol and all that came with it. If you don’t know whatyou’re doing with your life, then find a quiet place, fall down on your handsand knees, and ask God to come in and save your life, Surrender everything toHim. Jesus came and died on the cross so there would be a way for the chains ofthose struggles and addictions to be broken.If you have pain he’s a pain taker, if you’re lost He is the way maker, and ifyou’ve got chains, he’s the chain breaker. The first step is allowing himto come in so he can set you free.”