Billy Blackwood and Friends

Episode 4

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: BBF

Program Code: BBF170004S

00:03 Hi, I'm Billy Blackwood.
00:05 Through my years in music ministry,
00:07 I've had the privilege of meeting many great people
00:09 and making a lot of great friends.
00:13 Some have been friends for literally decades
00:15 and some have been more recent.
00:19 It's my hope that you will enjoy
00:20 getting a glimpse behind the scenes
00:22 and into the real lives of my friends.
00:25 Sit back and enjoy as you watch Billy Blackwood and Friends.
00:33 Hi, I'm Billy Blackwood.
00:34 Welcome to Billy Blackwood and Friends.
00:36 My guest today is my friend John Darin Rowsey.
00:39 So glad to have John on the program.
00:41 Good to be here. Thanks for having me.
00:42 Great to have you.
00:44 I've been excited about being here with you
00:45 ever since we first talked about this
00:47 'cause, you know, just to get a chance to sit down and talk
00:51 with a friend about the stuff that we love is a lot of fun.
00:53 Yeah.
00:55 A lot of folks may not know you by face,
00:57 but I'm sure they know a lot of your songs
00:58 and we hope to acquaint them more with you today.
01:01 And your great gift for writing and singing,
01:04 your songs to me, when I think of John Darin,
01:07 your songs have a real soulful,
01:09 kind of a jazzy feel a lot of them
01:11 then I don't know,
01:13 is that to Does that box you in too much
01:15 or would you say that's pretty apt description?
01:16 No, I guess it's...
01:18 I've heard that a lot.
01:19 And, you know, I have a lot of people
01:21 tell me that my songs
01:23 don't necessarily fit my personality
01:25 'cause I'm pretty laid back.
01:26 I'm not a guy who's very excitable,
01:28 you know, and I can pretty much go
01:30 with the flow.
01:31 And sometimes like the songs feel
01:34 a little bit more aggressive than my personality real,
01:37 but I like stuff
01:38 that has a little bit of heart and soul to it.
01:40 Yeah. Well, you do those well.
01:42 Tell folks who don't know John Darin,
01:44 tell us a little bit about you and your career
01:46 and your history in gospel music?
01:48 Well, I grew up singing with my family,
01:50 started when I was 11 years old.
01:53 And sang with my aunt, my grandmother,
01:55 just, you know, around our area,
01:57 like there were so many family groups
01:58 when I was a kid.
02:00 And there was a what we called a singing
02:02 every Saturday night somewhere around home
02:04 and my family was a big part of that.
02:06 And when I graduated high school,
02:07 I started a group called a New Journey.
02:10 And we achieved a little bit of success
02:13 as far as the industry went
02:15 and were able to just sing on a label
02:18 and that grew for probably 15 years.
02:21 And at that point, my wife, her father passed away.
02:26 And she was traveling with me on the road at the time,
02:28 and she didn't want to be gone from her mom,
02:29 she wanted to be available for her.
02:32 And we shut the group down.
02:33 And I took a job with Karen Peck and New River
02:36 that was New Year's Eve 1999.
02:39 And I stayed there till 2003.
02:41 And one of the greatest, it was just an honor
02:44 to get to work with them
02:46 'cause they're truly godly people
02:47 who love the Lord with all their heart,
02:49 and they live everything they sing.
02:51 It was one of the greatest jobs I could ever have had.
02:55 And I came off the road in 2003
02:57 when my son started high school.
02:59 And when he did that,
03:01 I felt like I wanted to be closer to home
03:02 and worked with our church music program
03:05 for seven years.
03:07 All that time I was writing songs
03:09 and having a lot of groups
03:11 in southern gospel music record,
03:12 and a few in contemporary Christian
03:14 and things and some choral books
03:16 and different things like that.
03:18 So all through the time of singing,
03:21 writing has been part of what I did.
03:22 And this opportunity with the Guardians
03:25 came about totally unexpected.
03:27 And when that happened,
03:29 I had no intention of ever traveling again,
03:32 not that I didn't like it was a great experience,
03:34 but I thought,
03:36 you know, that part of my life is finished.
03:38 And when this came about,
03:41 they were kind of ready to start shutting things down.
03:43 They'd never had a personnel change in 25 years.
03:46 Oh, my!
03:47 I mean, almost no group can say that.
03:49 Right.
03:50 And they had done things on a regional basis.
03:51 And, well, when I came on board,
03:54 we decided when we did a project
03:57 that we would put a single out
03:59 just to see what it would do,
04:00 you know, and it did pretty well
04:02 And one thing led to another and a few doors opened
04:05 for concert venues and things like that.
04:07 And so, you know, we figure
04:09 Every time I think I've got God figured out,
04:11 every time I think I know exactly
04:13 what He's gonna do
04:14 He proves to me that I have no clue.
04:16 It is to surprise.
04:17 He keeps a few things that He doesn't let us to know.
04:18 Exactly.
04:20 You know what the Bible says,
04:21 His ways are higher than our ways
04:23 and, boy, has that been proven
04:24 over and over and over again in my life.
04:27 And so these days, I'm still traveling with them
04:29 and just enjoying,
04:31 I've learned to try not second guess God
04:34 because I'm really bad at it.
04:36 And watching what He does and it's good.
04:38 But tell us about, what was the first song
04:41 that you felt like, wow, this is really taking off,
04:44 I can, I want to be a writer.
04:46 Well, I had my first cut by a group called The Lesters
04:51 back in 1993 around that era '92, '93
04:56 there was a song called no greater love
04:58 and I thought, "My goodness.
05:00 Well, I have a song on another group's record."
05:03 These are the first people besides me
05:06 or my group has ever sung my songs.
05:07 Somebody likes my songs besides me.
05:08 I know. Maybe I can write.
05:11 Yeah. And I started to pitch
05:13 a few songs and one thing sort of,
05:16 one cut kind of leads to another it seems like.
05:19 And finally, a couple of years later,
05:21 the Gaither Vocal Band
05:23 cut a song that I wrote called Singing With the Saints,
05:26 now I wrote it with Daryl Williams
05:28 and John Starnes.
05:29 And the way it came about the group I had
05:33 at the time New Journey, had the privilege
05:35 of being on one of the Gaither Homecoming videos.
05:38 All of my heroes are there in one room,
05:40 and I got a chance to kind of sit in
05:42 and you talk about being a fly on the wall.
05:44 That's kind of what I felt like.
05:46 And when that was over, on the way home,
05:49 I wrote the chorus of Singing With the Saints,
05:52 and because, you know, I just thought,
05:54 if this is the taste of heaven,
05:56 it's only gonna get better, you know.
05:58 And then by the time I got home,
06:00 I'd written the first verse.
06:02 Well, I was writing with John Starnes
06:05 for a project he was doing.
06:07 Well, I said, you know, I've got this chorus,
06:10 a verse in the chorus of a song,
06:12 that I really think it sounds like the Gaither Vocal Band,
06:14 I wrote it at the taping, and when he heard it,
06:18 I played it for him.
06:19 He said, "Well,
06:21 that really does sound like the vocal band."
06:22 I said, "Well, let's write a second verse."
06:24 You can take it to guy and if he likes it,
06:26 he could give it to Bill and see what happens.
06:28 And so we started working on the second verse.
06:30 In the meantime, Daryl Williams had been writing
06:32 in another writer's room,
06:33 he came in and he finished the second verse with us.
06:36 They took it to Guy and he liked it.
06:38 And then Guy took it to Bill and he liked it,
06:40 and it became the title of one of the Homecoming videos
06:44 and they've used it for a lot of different things.
06:47 This is such a blessing in my life
06:48 because the Gaither Vocal Band were one of my favorites too.
06:52 You may have heard the Gaither Vocal Band, do you?
06:53 But let's listen to the guy who wrote the song sing it.
06:56 This is John Darin singing, Singing With the Saints.
07:12 Heaven's getting ready for an end it all celebration
07:18 To begin eternity with a righteous congregation
07:24 This world's comin' to an end
07:26 And it won't be long
07:28 The party's gonna start and go on and on and on
07:32 I'll be singin' with the saints at the morning light
07:36 Ringin' in the day 'cause there is no night
07:39 Sayin' goodbye to the heartache trouble and pain
07:45 I'll be sittin' at the throne with an angel band
07:49 Shoutin' hallelujah to the great I am
07:52 If you think it's a dream well, it ain't
07:55 I'll be singin' with the saints
08:02 Will the tambourine's ringin'
08:04 And David starts to feel the rhythm
08:09 Paul and Silas are hummin' a tune
08:11 They wrote in prison
08:15 Now Gabriel hears the music he picks up his horn
08:18 It's just another glory hallelujah morn
08:23 I'll be singin' with the saints at the morning light
08:27 Ringin' in the day 'cause there is no night
08:30 Sayin' goodbye to the heartache trouble and pain
08:35 I'll be sittin' at the throne with an angel band
08:39 Shoutin' hallelujah to the great I am
08:42 If you think it's a dream well, it ain't
08:44 I'll be singin' with the saints
08:51 I'll be singin' with the saints at the morning light
08:55 Ringin' in the day 'cause there is no night.
08:58 Will be sayin' goodbye to the heartache
09:00 The trouble and pain
09:03 I'll gonna be sittin' at the throne
09:06 With an angel band
09:08 Shoutin' hallelujah to the great I am
09:11 If you think it's a dream well, it ain't
09:14 I'll be singin' with the saints
09:25 I'll be singin' with the saints
09:32 Some happy morning yeah
09:40 I love that song.
09:41 I've heard the Gaither Vocal Band
09:43 do it for years now.
09:44 And, well, I love hearing John Darin sing that
09:46 because as you can tell
09:48 he's not only a great songwriter,
09:49 but he's a great singer.
09:50 Great job.
09:52 Thank you, Billy. That's awesome.
09:53 You mentioned that, you know, your wife traveled,
09:56 you traveled together for a while,
09:57 but when her dad passed away,
09:59 she wanted to be with her mom
10:01 and tell us a little bit about your family?
10:03 Well, I've got four children.
10:07 My wife and I got married in 1985.
10:10 I've been married over 30 years.
10:12 We had a son a couple of years
10:15 into our marriage, biological son,
10:18 but almost 9 years ago,
10:21 we got a phone call in the middle of the night,
10:22 it was a call from the sheriff's department
10:25 they were distant relatives of my wife,
10:28 and we lived in the county,
10:30 where their parents were arrested on drug charges.
10:33 And a year later, we became mom and dad.
10:35 My wife and I inherited three children.
10:39 That night, we had a five-month-old,
10:41 a four-year-old and a six-year-old.
10:43 So our life changed forever.
10:45 I tell people, I learned a lot during that period of time.
10:48 I learned, first of all, you know, they tell you that
10:51 if you don't sleep eventually you'll die.
10:53 You won't. It's not true.
10:55 Yeah, it's not true. You won't die.
10:56 You wish you were dead sometimes,
10:58 but there was
10:59 a long period of time of adjustment
11:00 getting used to that.
11:02 And, but we're so thankful.
11:03 They're just great kids.
11:05 And God has really turned their lives around.
11:08 And so just two years ago, our son and daughter-in-law,
11:13 our biological son and daughter-in-law
11:15 gave us a grandbaby.
11:17 I'm a grandpa. I'm called Papi.
11:20 Papi. Okay. That's what he calls me. Yeah.
11:22 And then our kids that we adopted,
11:24 they think he hung the moon
11:25 and he thinks they hung the moon.
11:27 I mean, they're his heroes, you know?
11:28 Yeah.
11:29 Well, that's quite an experience.
11:31 I mean, that to just overnight have three additional children
11:35 to your family that's...
11:37 You know what?
11:39 If you would have told me
11:40 that we were going to adopt three children,
11:44 I would have said, there's no possible way.
11:47 Absolutely not.
11:48 Our lifestyle will not accommodate that.
11:51 I mean, I've been involved in music all my life.
11:54 And that just involves traveling in
11:56 and it's not a 9 to 5,
11:58 Bill, as you well know. Right.
12:00 And, man, I found out
12:02 that sometimes God doesn't change the situation,
12:04 He changes you
12:06 because I was praying that He finds a home for them,
12:10 well, He had found a home for them.
12:12 It just happened to be mine. It just happened to be yours.
12:14 And so I remember the first time
12:18 that I kind of realized that's how it was gonna be.
12:23 We were at our home church on a Sunday,
12:24 and we were pulling off the parking lot.
12:28 And the little girl who was the eldest,
12:30 she was six at the time.
12:33 We were leaving the church.
12:34 And she said, 'cause everybody in our church
12:36 was just so kind to them
12:38 and loved on them and treated them so well.
12:40 And she said, "How come everybody likes us?"
12:45 And I said, "Well, they like you
12:46 because you're sweet.
12:48 You're good kids."
12:49 And she said, I saw in the rearview mirror,
12:50 she's sitting in the backseat, she dropped her head.
12:52 And she said,
12:54 "People didn't used to like us."
12:56 And my heart broke.
12:58 And I realized, you know what?
12:59 This is not temporary.
13:02 This is permanent
13:03 'cause we couldn't let them go back to,
13:06 you know, or any, let them feel like that they weren't loved.
13:11 And I just remember that, like it was yesterday.
13:14 And from that point on, I realized, you know what?
13:18 God, it's in your hands.
13:21 And if this is what you want us to do,
13:23 you're gonna make a way for us to do it.
13:25 And he's done that and, boy, they're good kids.
13:28 Man, what a blessing.
13:30 I can't imagine getting three overnight like that.
13:32 And they're all biological siblings.
13:34 Yeah, they're biological siblings,
13:35 their parents were arrested,
13:39 I said on drug charges
13:41 and they had lived in really a crack house,
13:47 as the night that we pick them up,
13:49 the police directed us where to come.
13:52 And I've never seen anything like it.
13:55 I guess I've lived in a box, a lot of my life,
13:57 you know, I was raised in church.
13:59 I told people all my life my testimony is,
14:01 I was raised with a drug problem.
14:03 I was drugged from church to church to church.
14:06 And that was really funny before I got my kids
14:09 and it became a little less funny.
14:11 But I saw conditions that I thought,
14:14 how is this possible?
14:16 That a baby,
14:18 the five-month-old baby was not even, not a crib,
14:21 not a she was in a box
14:24 that had blankets that were filthy.
14:27 And it was cold, where the electricity was off.
14:31 In this home and here are three kids
14:33 that were totally innocent of anything.
14:38 They didn't bring any of that on themselves.
14:41 And there they were in those circumstances
14:43 and we took them home and gave them a bath,
14:45 you know, they thought a bath was a treat.
14:49 And God taught us a lot during that time.
14:54 You know, isn't that just like God
14:56 to reach in
14:59 to the lives of people
15:04 in the worst of circumstances and redeem them?
15:09 Absolutely.
15:11 I don't know, John, if you, you know, as we travel,
15:14 we see a lot of different situations,
15:16 you know, a lot of different churches
15:18 and a lot of different cities
15:19 and encounter a lot of different people.
15:21 One of the things that I say I'm curious to know
15:25 if you see this,
15:26 sometimes I think people like us
15:28 who grow up in church can almost become inoculated
15:33 to what is reality for the rest of the world.
15:35 Right.
15:36 Praise the Lord
15:38 for my upbringing in my Christian family,
15:40 and, you know, growing up in church,
15:41 and that's all wonderful,
15:43 but as I've become an adult and realized,
15:46 there's a world of people out there that have no clue
15:50 what that life is like,
15:51 and our mandate, our mission,
15:55 you know, is to reach those people.
15:56 Do you see...
15:59 I see it over and over.
16:01 You know, our biological son,
16:04 I thought, after we got our adopted kids,
16:07 he was raised with a feeling
16:09 that he was the center of our world,
16:11 you know, he was just, he knew that.
16:15 When we got our adopted kids,
16:18 it took a lot of time,
16:20 they were conditioned to believe
16:22 that they were a nuisance.
16:25 They were conditioned to believe
16:26 that they were in the way
16:29 and that they were not worth anything.
16:31 And I've watched God
16:34 turn that completely around.
16:36 And, you know, the people that we minister to
16:38 week after week,
16:39 there are so many people
16:41 just like that...
16:42 Just like that.
16:43 Sitting in those audiences. Sitting in those audiences.
16:45 I think one of the enemy's greatest tools
16:47 he is the greatest distracter of you believing
16:50 that God loves you.
16:52 I think he just chips away
16:53 of that all of the time for just about everybody.
16:56 And a lot of people buy into it,
16:58 that they're not worth anything.
16:59 They're not worth anything. They're not good enough.
17:01 But God, He says,
17:03 He's no respecter of person, right?
17:04 So that means we're all His favorite.
17:08 I'm His favorite, you're His favorite.
17:09 And everybody watching us today are His favorite.
17:12 You know, I have found myself,
17:14 John, saying to our audiences so often,
17:18 it's really not about how good we are.
17:21 It's about how good God is.
17:23 Right.
17:24 You know, one of the things
17:25 that really getting a hold of God's grace
17:27 does is make you thankful.
17:28 Yes.
17:29 And one day you and I walked into a songwriting session.
17:33 And the first line usually in any songwriting session is,
17:36 does anybody have an idea?
17:38 That's right.
17:39 And so I said, "Well, I have this little idea
17:41 and I'll tell you, I don't know
17:42 if I've ever even shared this with you,
17:43 but I spoke the line.
17:45 If you woke up this morning,
17:47 and took another breath, give thanks."
17:49 And you just took that idea and you ran with it
17:52 in a much better way than I had in mind,
17:54 but I love the finished product that we came up with in.
17:56 You think we could...
17:58 I know we haven't rehearsed that...
18:00 Oh, for sure.
18:02 We have never even sung that together
18:04 or just anything,
18:05 but you think we could pull that off today
18:07 if we had a shot?
18:08 I'd love to give it a shot. Let's try it.
18:10 Don't try this at home.
18:12 Okay, this is unrehearsed and impromptu.
18:16 And we may never try this again.
18:17 And we may never do this again.
18:19 But this is a song John Darin and I wrote called Give Thanks.
18:22 We hope you enjoy it.
18:31 If you woke up this morning
18:33 And you took another breath
18:35 Give thanks Give thanks Give thanks
18:38 Oh, give thanks
18:39 If you saw another sunset
18:41 When you laid your head to rest Give thanks
18:44 Just give thanks
18:45 Give thanks Oh, give thanks
18:47 If there's food upon your table
18:49 You've got enough to eat
18:51 The style is not the greatest
18:53 But their shoes upon your feet
18:55 Give thanks Oh, give thanks
18:57 Oh, give thanks
18:59 Give thanks with a cheerful heart
19:01 Be grateful and rejoice
19:03 Get on your feet and testify
19:06 Make the joyful noise
19:07 This month they have its trouble
19:09 Its loneliness and pain
19:12 But let me tell you children
19:13 That I've learned in everything
19:15 Give thanks Oh, give thanks
19:17 Give thanks Come on.
19:20 In every situation In every circumstance
19:24 Give thanks Oh, give thanks
19:28 When you can't take another step
19:30 Just let your spirit dance
19:31 Give thanks Just give thanks
19:33 Oh, give thanks Oh, give thanks
19:35 When all your strength is gone
19:37 Defeat is knocking at your door
19:40 Go all and claim the victory
19:41 'Cause your hope is in the Lord
19:44 Give thanks Give thanks
19:45 Oh, give thanks
19:47 We'll give thanks with the cheerful heart
19:50 Be grateful and rejoice
19:52 Get on your feet and testify
19:54 Make a joyful noise
19:56 This month they have its trouble
19:58 Its loneliness and pain
20:00 But let me tell you children
20:02 That I've learned in everything
20:04 Give thanks Oh, give thanks
20:06 Give thanks
20:08 You know this love may have its trouble
20:10 Its loneliness and pain
20:12 But let me tell you children
20:14 That I've learned in everything
20:16 Give thanks Oh, give thanks
20:18 Give thanks
20:20 Just give thanks
20:30 I love that song, John, and thank you
20:32 for letting me be a part of that little song.
20:34 That's a great one.
20:36 Well, we've got to do that again.
20:37 Yeah, we do.
20:39 You have us a new song
20:41 that people are getting ready to hear
20:43 that is so powerful.
20:45 John, would you take just a minute or few minutes,
20:49 however much the Lord lead you.
20:51 And just talk to the folks
20:55 watching us today and share your heart
20:57 about this song?
20:59 Well, you know, I heard a statistic not long ago
21:01 that kind of blew my mind and it said that there were
21:06 over half a million runaways
21:08 in the United States every year.
21:11 It just, it really troubled me.
21:14 And my mind went back to the story in the Bible,
21:17 the prodigal son that we've heard 1000 times
21:19 I have grown up,
21:21 but the piece of that story
21:23 that I think touches my heart
21:24 the most is to think about that father,
21:27 who is looking down the road,
21:29 I just picture him in my mind wandering about his son
21:33 who decided to take his inheritance
21:35 and just go out and squander it.
21:37 And when his father had watched down the road,
21:40 I believe for him every day,
21:42 just wanting him to come home,
21:44 wanting to be able to put his arms around him
21:45 and hold him and let him know that he still loved him.
21:49 And I know there are a lot of parents like that.
21:51 But, you know, I think the thing that strikes me
21:54 the most is that wherever you are in your life,
21:58 the Lord is waiting with outstretched arms for you
22:01 because you may not even think of yourself as a runaway,
22:04 but if you have gone a direction
22:06 that is different than He has for you.
22:09 God has a plan for you today.
22:11 And His plan is greater than you can imagine.
22:14 And He is waiting with outstretched arms
22:16 loving you all the time.
22:18 Never giving up on you.
22:20 Never losing hope that you are going
22:23 to turn your face toward Him
22:26 and just become what He has planned for you
22:29 because He has a plan
22:31 that's greater than you can imagine.
22:33 And He's been watching down the road
22:35 for you to come home.
22:36 And, boy, today it would be a great day for you
22:39 to make that decision.
22:40 He is the Keeper of the Lost and Found.
22:59 He has a heart for lost
23:02 And troubled runaways
23:07 He has a place
23:09 Where comfort can be found
23:15 When friends are nowhere near you
23:19 There is one who hears you
23:23 He knows you cry
23:24 When no one is around
23:30 He sees you standing out there
23:34 In the darkness
23:38 He's heard your call for help
23:41 Out in the rain
23:46 He didn't come to scold you
23:50 He only wants to hold you
23:54 He's calling to you
23:56 Come in from the pain
24:01 He's the keeper
24:02 of the lost and found
24:09 Where wandering hearts can find a place
24:13 To settle down
24:17 And trade their tattered
24:18 Garments for a crown
24:24 He's the keeper of the lost
24:28 And found
24:36 It seems that you've been living
24:39 Miles away from home
24:44 And breaking every promise
24:47 That you've made
24:51 But child there's no outrunning
24:56 The boundaries of His loving
25:00 And where you are is not so far away
25:06 'Cause Jesus holds the key
25:09 To everything you're searching for
25:14 His eye's on you
25:17 Wherever you may roam
25:23 The door is always open
25:27 And you can come back knowing
25:31 That He will never ever
25:35 Let you go
25:38 He'll never let you go
25:41 He's the keeper
25:43 Of the lost and found
25:50 Where wandering hearts
25:51 Can find a place to settle down
25:57 And trade their tattered garments
26:01 For a crown
26:05 He's the keeper of the lost
26:08 And found
26:13 Hide me
26:17 Hide me
26:20 In the shelter
26:23 Of Your wings
26:29 Hide me
26:32 Hide me
26:37 You're the keeper
26:39 Of the lost and found
26:50 I'm glad You never leave us
26:52 and never forsake us but go with us all the way.
26:58 Hide me
27:02 Hide me
27:07 You're the keeper
27:11 Of the lost
27:13 And found
27:21 Yes, you are
27:33 If that song blessed your heart
27:35 half as much as it blessed mine,
27:36 you've been blessed today.
27:37 So, John Darin, tell us
27:39 how can people get in touch with you
27:41 and how can they get a hold of some of your product?
27:43 Well, the easiest way to get the project
27:45 Lift Him Up that Keeper of the Lost and Found is on
27:49 is just visit the Guardians website
27:50 is at
27:55 Thank you so much for being a guest today
27:58 and for being my friend.
27:59 Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.
28:00 It is a pleasure to get to be
28:02 here at Billy Blackwood and Friends.
28:04 I'm glad to be a friend.


Revised 2021-05-06