The Story So Far.
Twenty-nine years ago he was driving trucks and singing in bars. Today, Steve Grace is an international award winning Country Gospel artist with sixteen albums and a million miles of concert tours behind him. Communicating to thousands of people each year, his tours literally go anywhere and everywhere, from remote villages on South Pacific islands to major venues in the big cities.
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Steve Grace is one of Australia’s leading contemporary Christian musicians. In 1996, the Gospel Music Association of America voted Steve as the International Artist of the Year and the Australian radio industry has awarded him two Pater awards for songwriting.
Australia’s biggest selling country music performer, Slim Dusty, honored Steve by recording his song “Port Augusta” on his 100th album “Looking Forward, Looking Back”. Slim was one of the featured artists at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.
Steve’s album Children of the Western World (1988) achieved gold status in Australia. It was the first Christian album by an Australian artist released on CD. The album, Follow, was recorded in Los Angeles and features members of the Franklin Graham Festival Praise Band. Steve’s music has been released in the USA, New Zealand (Parachute) and Australia (Word Australia), and is available to order online or download on the iTunes Music Store.
A story that starts in the highlands of New Guinea sounds exotic to most people. But when the plot thickens to include driving trucks in an industrial Australian city and launching an international music platform, this is when it sounds like a major film script. Australian singer/songwriter, Steve Grace has lived a colorful life. He spent his early years on a Wycliffe Bible Translators mission station in New Guinea before moving to Wollongong in New South Wales for his teenage years.
At 14, Steve learnt guitar and started writing songs and singing in local churches. After secondary school, he began performing in a number of bands, busking on the streets of Sydney and developing a solo career ministering in pubs and churches. Soon after, he met Kerrie who became his wife, partner, and mother to three children. When his parents sold the family hardware business, Steve began driving trucks. With time to himself on the road and time to think, Steve’s songwriting took a turn writing material that strongly relates to the ordinary man on the street.
I used to write some really deep songs, until I found that people responded to the really simple ones that I thought were a bit corny,’ he says. I began to see the effect that a simple song could have on the right audience, very much in line with the parables Jesus told,’ Steve adds.
This soon became the resource material for Steve’s debut album Young Australian Man (1986). Things changed quickly. Steve felt the call to leave truck driving and move to Melbourne with his wife and children. There he began working on a second album Children of the Western World (1988) with the Little River Bands, Beeb Birtles. This became one of the biggest selling Christian albums in Australia, and the largest by a contemporary artist. US company Reunion issued the album, which spawned several radio hits including Big Dreams and Children of the Western World. It was also released in Canada, Europe, and the UK.
True to his missionary upbringing, Steve pioneered a concert touring ministry to Australian country towns in the early 90’s, traveling the vast expanses of the Australian continent to serve local churches in their task of reaching people with a contemporary message of hope and faith.
These tours got churches together, some for the first time under the banner of a Christian concert. And Steve challenged them with a vision for evangelism in their community.’ The key to this on-going work is to simply get out there and serve,’ he says. With new doors opening all around the world, Steve is very conscious of the great commission of Christ to simply ‘Go!’
Whether it is small outback town halls, concert halls in large cities, or the international stage, Steve’s love for God and people shine through his music and life. He is strongly committed to serving the church and its task of evangelism.