Here at Christian Music Daily, we don’t listen to a lot of Southern Gospel music, but we do like some of it. When a Nashville publicist told us she was promoting a woman named “Candy Christmas,” we weren’t sure if we heard right. Based on such a memorable name alone, we said, “This sounds like someone who should be highlighted on Christian Music Daily.” The best part is that Candy Christmas feeds hundreds of homeless people every week under a bridge in Nashville, so now you know there’s more to her than just ‘sangin’.” Here’s the scoop, peeps:
Award-winning vocalist Candy Christmas, of Southern Gospel’s legendary family The Hemphills and an acclaimed solo artist in her own right, makes a long-awaited return to recording with her new recording, On The Other Side. Her first solo release in more than seven years, the 12-song set is a stylistically diverse reflection of Christmas’ personal journey over the past decade.
Produced by Robb Tripp, highlights of On The Other Side include the title-cut, “There Is A Blessing (On The Other Side),” penned by Christmas’ daughter, Jasmine Christmas Brady; “Jesus On The Mainline”; and “Precious Lord (Take My Hand),” among others. The recording also includes new arrangements of The Hemphills’ classics “Can You See The Clock,” “Could I Wish,” and “Jesus Built This Church On Love.”
“God has been retooling me,” Christmas says of her return to music. “I knew in my heart I didn’t have anything pertinent to say until now. Rather than just crank out a project, I wanted to do something fresh and different and let my music reflect what’s going on in my life.”
Proceeds from On The Other Side will benefit Christmas’ The Bridge Ministry, a homeless outreach she founded under the Jefferson Street Bridge in Nashville in 2004.
“We feed the attendees at the beginning of the service,” Christmas says of the outreach, which is held every Tuesday evening. “Then we invite them to stay for church under the bridge. At the end of the evening, we give away brand new clothing, toiletries, groceries and a bicycle. There is no joy like walking away from the bridge and seeing these people with so much stuff they can hardly carry it. They often bring their friends with them the next week.”
The Bridge Ministry also includes a 20,000 square foot warehouse, which additionally serves as a local food bank for other area ministries; oversees The Candy House, an orphanage in Haiti; and operates the Food for Kids program in Nashville, which offers backpacks of food each week for underprivileged school children.
Christmas grew up on the road with her award-winning family, The Hemphills, and later sang with the Dove Award-winning group Heirloom, in addition to a successful solo career. With eight solo albums and two Heirloom recordings to her credit, she became one of Southern Gospel’s most respected singers. Christmas is featured in 23 Gaither Homecoming videos and has also appeared on The Today Show, The 700 Club, and Prime Time Country (TNN), among other outlets.