By Tiffany Roney
For the Reflector-Chronicle
Emmanuel Church hosted recording artist Chris August Sunday night, drawing a crowd of 350.
The concert benefited the Cedar House, a ministry founded by Dickinson County resident Patti O’Malley to provide women seeking sobriety with a home, job opportunities and positive activities.
The event raised about $3,500 for the ministry.
“The Cedar House is such a great cause,” August said. “It’s important to me to perform for charities as much as I can.”
Helping people leave destructive paths to walk in God’s ways was not always August’s focus.
The musician began his career in the secular industry and moved to Los Angeles, where he worked with top artists, including Babyface and Robin Thicke. When he realized he was falling into sin and “becoming the type of man I never wanted to be,” August moved home to Dallas, where he found himself in the bedroom he’d grown up in — walls plastered with Bible verses.
It was in that room that he recommitted his life to Jesus and wrote “Starry Night,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Songs Chart in 2010-2011. In 2011, he won GMA Dove Awards’ New Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year.
He got married earlier this year and brought his wife with him to the concert at Emmanuel Church, where he changed the last line of his song, “Restore,” from “I pray I find a love like yours,” to “I found a love like yours.”
Between songs, August kept the crowd laughing by poking fun at himself, sharing stories of minor mishaps and even impersonating Stevie Wonder.
“He’s so hilarious,” said Rachel Heidorn, children’s minister at Emmanuel. “He’s like a comedian and a singer at the same time.”
August spent time after the concert signing autographs and taking photos with fans.
“The crowd was awesome and responsive,” he said. “They were my favorite crowd I’ve had in quite a while.”