Christian singers who struggled with faith

Gospel singers and musicians who struggled with faith and some who are no longer Christians

Audrey Assad: Perspective on gay marriage

Audrey Assad is an American singer-songwriter known for her amazing Christian music. She gained fame with her debut album “The House You’re Building” in 2010 which became Amazon’s “Best Music” of the year. Eventually, she began affirming LGBTQ. It caused so much conflict from within that she eventually left Orthodox Christianity.

A major and fundamental reason for my departure from practicing Christianity and being part of the institutional Catholic Church was and is the Evangelical/Catholic perspective on gay marriage,” Audrey posted on Facebook in 2021.

Assad was raised Evangelical protestant but later converted to Catholic Charismatic in 2007 at 24 years old. She practiced Christianity by creating and singing wonderful music and worked and toured with CCM artists such as Chris Tomlin and Jars of Clay.

Audrey Assad has moved to secular music after leaving her Charismatic Catholic faith in 2021. She was married in 2008 and had a daughter, but divorced in 2019.

Marty Sampson: “It was amazing being one of you”

Marty Sampson, a prominent songwriter and worship leader for Hillsong, has expressed doubts about his faith after years of service. Joining Hillsong Australia in 1998, he gained fame for songs like “By Your Side,” “There Is More,” and “Carry Me.”

Sampson, one of the most successful Christian singers wrote or co-written nearly a hundred songs in the 20 years. However, in August 10, 2019, he shared on on Instagram that he was “genuinely losing my faith” and that his faith has been on “incredibly shaky ground.”

He later said he didn’t renounce his faith. Thirtheen days later, Sampson posted he no longer identifies as Christian and delted the post after.

Franklin Graham alleged that young people who have been turning away from faith probably didn’t have it to begin with, and for Marty, he deemed some sort of “publicity.”

Part of a post captured by HuffPost on Aug. 23, 2019 which Marty Sampson later deleted.

Michael and Lisa Gungor’s Quest for a “Good God”

Lisa and Michael Gungor lived a devout Christian life, following strict moral guidelines and excelling in their music career. But in 2006, the Gungors parted ways with Integrity Music because they no longer wanted to be associated with gospel music.

The Gungors stopped following Jesus after Lisa visited Auschwitz and witnessed the suffering of the Jews. Her cousin’s partial healing from cancer and the birth of their daughter with Down syndrome in 2014 further eroded their Christian faith.

The Gungor couple can no longer see the God of the Bible in their family equation—but continues to live in a “generic spirituality” that they alone understand.

In 2018, it was revealed in Relevant Magazine that the couple are no longer Christians.

Michael and Lisa Gungor, once known as gospel musicians, have moved away from the spiritual beliefs and practices aligned with the Christian Bible and the overall faith.

Chris Rice’s “SSA struggle”

Chris Rice is a Christian singer-songwriter who gained fame in the late 1990s for songs like “Untitled Hymn” and “Cartoons Song.” His heartfelt music, which won him awards, undoubtedly brought people closer to God. However, beneath his anointed songs, Rice struggled with same-sex attraction.

At that time, Chris Rice, who was in his 30s, was the worship leader and spiritual teacher at Tates Creek Presbyterian Church in Kentucky. He allegedly used his mentor-like role to engage in inappropriate touching with young men seeking guidance in the music industry.

Former students accused Chris Rice of inappropriate behavior, including massages, touching, and intrusive actions. A third student saw their interactions as a friendship but, in hindsight, realized it was malicious.

These accusations came to light through an investigation conducted by Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE) in 2022.

Chris Rice took a hiatus from his music career for 12 years until 2019, when he released a collaboration with Andrew Ripp. He is focused on his career as a painter and enjoys activities like rock climbing while surrounded by loved ones.

Chris Rice, who sang “Untitled Hymn” (Come to Jesus), has silently left the contemporary Christian music scene and is now devoted to his creative talent in painting and being with his loved ones.

Byron Rice: “Openly gay HIV positive”

Byron Rice (aka Byron Keith), a singer-songwriter and son of a pastor, had a significant presence in the Nashville Contemporary Christian music scene. His music resonated deeply, touching the hearts of listeners with its powerful messages of faith, hope, and love.

However, following his marriage, parenthood, and subsequent divorce, Rice took a break from the music industry in 2005.

After seven years of touring, Byron Rice made a courageous comeback, embracing his identity as an openly gay and HIV-positive folk singer.

Today, Bryron Rice still writes and sings about the love of God. Although there are moments of struggle, he continues to keep his faith and do what he loves most: sing and write songs, even if it’s no longer gospel music.

Byron Rice is no longer a gospel musician. Instead, he has embraced his homosexuality and no longer struggles with figuring out the Christin life he wants.


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