The CCM pioneer used to talk faith with George H. W. Bush and Billy Graham. This year, he performs at both of their memorials.
Michael W. Smith’s hit song “Friends” has been sung thousands of times over the decades, but never quite like today’s performance at the funeral service for President George H. W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington.
Not only will Smith be backed by a full orchestra and a 150-person choir, but he will also be singing a personal farewell to the leader who, to his surprise, became his longtime friend and fan. Bush died on Friday at age 94.
“First and foremost, I hope the song is very honoring of the president because he loved the song,” Smith said in an interview with CT. “The last time I saw him, when we said goodbye, he gave me a hug, pointed his finger in the air, and with a twinkle in his eye, said, ‘Friends are friends forever.’”
The contemporary Christian music chart-topper first played for President Bush in the White House after a Christmas special in 1989. They struck up a friendship that led to regular visits to the late president’s home in Kennebunkport, Maine; relationships with the rest of the Bush family; and even travel together.
“He’s just been an inspiration to me,” the three-time Grammy winner said. “We didn’t talk about politics much. But we did have a lot of conversations about God and faith.”
“One thing that tied us together was his relationship with Billy Graham. There were times we would get Billy Graham on the phone and talk,” Smith said, remembering them standing on the deck conversing with the late evangelist, whose memorial service and funeral the singer performed at earlier this year.
Bush requested “Friends,” his favorite song of Smith’s, for his funeral. Smith will …
As the nation learned of the death of former President George H.W. Bush, religious leaders from across the country reacted with statements recalling his leadership, his dedication to his family and his embrace of civility.
Bush, a longtime Episcopalian, died Friday (Nov. 30) at the age of 94.
Here is a sampling of the reaction:
Source: Religious Leaders Recall George H.W. Bush’s Priorities: Friendship, Faith, Family
In the midst of relational uncertainty, this season invites me to savor God’s goodness.
Source: What Advent Waiting Means for Singles
A wan effort to do away with the religious designation on ID cards in Egypt reflects the enormity of the discrimination Christians face in a country regarded as a leader of Middle Eastern Islam, rights advocates said.
Source: Discrimination against Christians in Egypt Reflects Deeper Issues
Officers arrested six pastors in eastern Uganda on Saturday (Nov. 24) after hundreds of Muslims, furious over a public talk comparing Christianity with Islam, descended on the local police station, sources said.
Source: Muslim Mob Incites Police to Arrest Six Pastors in Uganda
The archbishop of Canterbury says Christians in the Middle East face extinction from radical Islam and need help from the worldwide community if they are going to survive.
Source: Middle East Christians Face ‘Extinction’ from Radical Islam, Archbishop of Canterbury Warns
Joanna Gaines, well-known interior designer to HGTV fans, has recently launched a new clothing line which includes pieces created for baby boys.
Source: Joanna Gaines Announces Her New Clothing Line Will Feature Items for Baby Boys
A humanitarian crisis unlike any we’ve seen in decades is unfolding in Yemen. And it’s being caused by an “ally” of the U.S.
Source: Saudi Arabia and the Politics of Famine: The Death of the Yemenis
A 38-year-old Belgian woman was euthanized in 2010, and her family is seeking justice.
Source: Woman Diagnosed with Autism, Euthanized In Belgium, Doctors Involved Are Now Under Investigation