Stories Include Real Life Death Row, Trafficking, Abuse, Addiction Survivors
Multi-Artist Beatitudes Album Releases April 21, Preorder Features Instant Download Of “Morning Light,” Plus Songs By Hillsong UNITED, Matt Maher, John Mark McMillan
Award winning guitarist, songwriter and author Stu Garrard (Stu G) is joined by six-time GRAMMY® Award winning and Platinum-selling recording artist and philanthropist Amy Grant to tell remarkable true stories of mercy in The Beatitudes Project (#TheBeatitudesProject).
The project is an 18-track (plus two bonus songs), multi-artist album, Beatitudes, releasing Friday, April 21 from Stugiology Music with management, marketing and distribution through The Fuel Music, a book, Words From The Hill (An Invitation to the Unexpected), available tomorrow from NavPress, and a documentary film, View From the Hill, currently in production.
The project reveals a wide world of connected stories: real people from all faiths and walks of life who embody mercy, poverty, meekness, the hungry and thirsty, the peacemakers, the mourners, and the pure in heart—as seen, heard and experienced through a 21st century lens. They are the culmination of Garrard’s 15-year excavation of these “blessings at the bottom of life.”
“When Stu asked me to write the song about mercy, I was already hooked by the way he’d described the Beatitudes,” Grant says. “It was like Jesus was looking at a crowd and saying, “Blessed are those with dirty feet and those of you who stink and those whose stomachs are growling, you’re blessed and here’s why… I’d never thought about it that way before.”
Grant’s song for the project, “Morning Light,” along with “The View from Here” featuring Hillsong UNITED, “Heaven Is Around Us” featuring John Mark McMillan, and “Oh Mercy” featuring Matt Maher with additional vocals by Audrey Assad, are available now for immediate download with preorder from iTunes®.
“Morning Light” was written after Grant and Garrard met with Gaile Owens, who was convicted as an accessory in her husband’s murder after suffering years of emotional, physical and sexual abuse at his hands. Owens spent 27 years on death row in Tennessee, six of them in solitary confinement where she kept herself whole by singing Grant’s “My Father’s Eyes,” offering her both comfort and solace. Owens (who was pardoned in 2010) was astonished when her remarkable story reached Grant herself, inspiring her to write this powerful new song.
This song of mercy is connected to the Words From the Hill “Mercy: Getting Caught In The Rain” chapter, which shares the story of Owens, as well as prostitution and addiction survivor Regina Mullins, currently the residential manager of Magdalene House at Thistle Farms in Franklin (Nashville), TN; Dorris, a survivor of rape, trafficking and a 20-year drug addiction and whose parents were shot in front of her at age 12; Jennifer, who ran away at 12, moved from truck to truck for four years, became a heroin addict, had a son die and was committed fully to the sex industry for 20 years before finding hope through miraculous circumstances, and Becca Stevens, founder of Thistle Farms and CNN Hero of the Year Nominee who was sexually abused as a child.
“The Beatitudes have been the core of how I’ve lived and worked forever,” shares Stevens in the Words from the Hill book. “…If you are trying to get to a place where you love without judgment and you welcome everybody and leave nobody behind, you have to work from the Beatitudes. They are the heart of the gospel. It’s how we live.”
In addition to Grant, Garrard, Hillsong UNITED, McMillan, Maher and Assad, featured on the Beatitudes album are Michael W. Smith, Martin Smith, All Sons & Daughters, Amanda Cook, Propaganda, The Brilliance, Anthony Skinner, Terrian Bass and Becky Harding. Collectively, these artists have sold more than 62 million records, won 11 Grammy, 90 Dove Awards and amassed dozens of hit songs and millions of followers on social media.
“The Beatitudes Project is meant to be a reset button in a world plagued with violence and division,” says Garrard, who also authored the book. “These upside-down Jesus announcements on a hillside by the Sea of Galilee in Matthew 5 where Jews, Greeks, Romans and people of all ethnicities were gathered are a reminder that there is another way.”
About Stugiology Music:
Stugiology Music is a record label formed by Stu Garrard, who is perhaps best-known as the guitarist / songwriter for the RIAA Certified Gold-selling, GRAMMY®-nominated and Dove Award-winning British band Delirious?. He is also a founding member of One Sonic Society (although no longer with the band) and recorded and released his first solo project in 2013, Of Burdens, Birds, and Stars. When not touring with Michael W. Smith or adding his sonic paint to Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Meredith Andrews, All Sons & Daughters, Amy Grant and many others’ recordings, Garrard is writing, recording, speaking, leading worship and working with JHS on a custom line of guitar pedals. He lives in Nashville with his wife Karen. For all the latest Stu Garrard news and tour information, go to www.stugworld.com.
About The Fuel Music:
Established in 2008, The Fuel Music & Management Co., LLC, is a leading artist management and artist solutions company that independently distributes music internationally. Based in Tennessee, the Fuel team brings nearly 70 years of combined music industry experience in record label operations, major label distribution and marketing, and artist management for artists ranging from upstart bands to GRAMMY Award nominated, multi-platinum artists. More information on the company can be found at www.thefuelmusic.com.
The NavPress mission is to advance the calling of The Navigators by bringing biblically rooted, culturally relevant, and highly practical products to people who want to know and love Christ more deeply. Through The Message Bible and other insightful resources, NavPress seeks to bring positive spiritual movement to peoples’ lives. In January 2014, NavPress entered into an alliance with Tyndale House Publishers to strengthen and better position NavPress and its rich content for the future. NavPress provides books and other content that bring spiritual impact, life transformation, and help lead in the mission of making disciples. A NavPress resource published in alliance with Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., NAVPRESS and the NAVPRESS logo are registered trademarks of NavPress, The Navigators, Colorado Springs, CO.