Meet Twila Paris

What do the songs "He Is Exalted," "Lamb of God," and "We Will Glorify" have in common? They all appear in church hymnals across the globe, and people sing them every week during Sunday morning worship services. (Maybe you’re one of those people.) But there’s something else that links these moving hymns together-they were all written by Twila Paris . . . and we have her father to thank for that.

When Twila was only 12, her dad, an accomplished musician and songwriter, assigned her the task of writing her first song. She was to carry on the family tradition of missions and music forwarded by her great grandparents (both traveling preachers), grandfather (a church planter), grandmother (a Christian songwriter), second cousin (founder of Youth With A Mission, or YWAM), and father (now head of YWAM’s Arkansas branch). Twila answered the call with vigor.

Since that first childhood song, Twila has become one of Christian music’s most revered artists. She has 14 albums to her credit, not to mention a best-of collection and her contribution to Billy Graham’s Global Mission Crusade, for which she wrote the theme song, "The Time Is Now." Her award history is impressive. She’s won five Dove Awards-Song of the Year (for "God Is In Control"), Female Vocalist of the Year (three consecutive times), and Praise & Worship Album of the Year (for Sanctuary)-and received many more honors from other sources in Christian music. But perhaps her most noteworthy accomplishment is the precious gift she’s given to the church. The gift of inspired worship music.

Twila’s definition of a good worship song is one that calls you into Christ’s presence. "A favorite of mine," she says in a CCM interview, "is ‘Lamb of God.’ It’s quieter, allows you to be still and know that He is God, and leads you to a place of worship. If you’re thinking about what you’re singing, it walks you through the message of atonement, who God is, and what He’s calling us to do in response to that." And Twila carries that message beyond the church sanctuary.

In addition to being a recording artist, Twila is a national spokeswoman for World Vision, a non-profit Christian humanitarian agency. She also lends her voice to YWAM’s world mission focus, following in the footsteps of her father.

Twila now lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with her husband, Jack Wright. When she’s not gardening or visiting the zoo, she’s composing songs while maneuvering her four-wheel-drive truck through the Ozark Mountain roads she’s known since childhood.

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