JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "I ran from a call for a long time," says Jonesboro's Zach Williams. "He pretty much said 'I'm gonna make it so clear you can't turn it down.' and that's pretty much what's happened with all of this."
When Zach Williams says "all of this," he is talking about being in a Nashville, Tennessee, studio recording the single that stands to make him a star on the Contemporary Christian charts.
It's a long way from the rocker he thought he'd be.
For years, Zach was a fixture on the local scene in and around Jonesboro.
His band, Zach Williams and the Reformation, played hard and partied hard. However, the rock star life started to lose its luster for Zach.
It was 2012. Williams says he was already going back to church and finding his way back to Christ.
That's when his band was touring in Spain and everything changed.
He was on the tour bus and the radio was set to a Christian music station. That's when it happened. The Big Daddy Weave song "I am Redeemed" came on the radio.
"I heard that song and it spoke to me," Williams said. "I feel like that was the moment I decided to change. The rest of the week I wasn't perfect, but I knew when I got home I had to make some serious changes. I came home and asked my wife and family to forgive me, I fell on the floor and prayed and that was it. Never looked back."
From that moment, a new Zach. His newfound voice became a beacon for Christ at Central Baptist Church as a worship leader for the Refuge Campus.
The drinking and drugs were gone.
Those chains that were holding him back were broken.
The new single, called "Chain Breaker," was set to write itself but one thing was still missing, the right producer.
"I think anytime you write songs that are authentic and true to our own stories they have a way of speaking to someone else," said Jonathon Smith said.
Smith is a songwriter and producer in Nashville who is also a Jonesboro native.
Jonathon and Zach met and started collaborating a year and a half ago.
Early this year, with Jonathon at his side, Provident Records signed Zach.
"He's really smart and has a good ear for blending my style with more modern feel," Williams said.
"It kind of feels like we're making a lot of these songs for the people we know in Jonesboro. It sort of feels full circle in a way," Smith said.
Full circle? In a way.
But for Zach, his life is 180 degrees from where it was four years ago.
With a renewed commitment to his family and his faith, he's now a rocker with religion and ready to share his story through his music.
"A lot of this stuff I'm writing is straight out of my heart. Straight out of my personal experiences and my testimony in what God's done and continues to do in my life."
Zach's new single, "Chain Breaker," is now available for download on iTunes and Amazon music.
You can also visit his official website at www.zachwilliamsmusic.com.
If you want to hear Zach Williams play live, he continues to lead the worship service at Central Baptist Church's Refuge Campus every Sunday at 9:30 and 11 a.m.
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