I was five years old when my dad, Glenn Ledbetter, had me record for the first time. I spent most of my life traveling with the Singing Ledbetter Family, playing the bass and singing. Even though I had a Christian heritage, sang in many services, and watched my family live the life in front of me, I never truly committed my life Jesus.
I quit going to church on a regular basis when I was about 17 or 18 years old. During that time I tried to fill the void in my life by playing in a rock band. I played and sang in several different rock bands. Now that I look back I know the Lord was telling me that rock music was not where I belonged. It seemed like something always went wrong. After I got married to my wife, Brenda, and we had our son, Austin, this kind of lifestyle almost broke up our home. At one point I had decided to move to Arizona to try to further my singing career. But God had other plans for my life and my family and church were praying that God would keep our home together. Several times I can remember my mother, Madge Ledbetter, stepping in to try to talk sense in to me and I know if it was not for the prayers and support of both my mom and dad, I don’t know where I would be. Eventually I realized that I was losing everything and I still had a void that the rock music couldn’t fill.
Shortly after I came back my daughter, Paige, was born and for several years I would go to church occasionally and circumstances of life and earthly sorrow would lead me to the alter and I would play church for a while, but I never gave my all to Him. When my cousin, Morey, passed away due to cancer, I became bitter, not understanding why God would take someone who had always been so faithful to Him. (I still don’t completely understand but God has given peace because I know I’ll see Morey again someday.)
After so many years of running from God and from prayers, I realized that without God, I was miserable. He brought me to the place where I knew that I needed Him and without Him I had no joy, peace or happiness.
As it states in the song I wrote on my first project, “His Love Still Puzzles Me,” one Sunday night my cousin Michael Leichner was preaching a sermon entitled “When Your Prayer Bowls are Full,” I realized that my prayer bowls were full of the prayers that people had prayed for me and it was time to turn my life around.
It wasn’t long before God began giving me the words and music to write some songs and I felt that He was calling me to begin a ministry for Him. Through prayers for His guidance everything started falling in place. First the songs were chosen with the assistance of my dad, then the Lord made it possible for my mother-in-law, Charlene Peterson, and my sister-in-law, Dianne Shelton, to support the first project financially so that we could begin right away.
During my recordings, I had the support of my mom and dad, giving their guidance, my sister, Charlotte Brooks and my cousins, Monte Leichner and Jerrod Rogers, singing background vocals as well as many other family members, friends and my church family that was praying for me. We always pray each day before recordings and we pray for each song that God will use it to bless the lives of those who listen.
I am very thankful that I had a mom and dad that were always praying for me and always there for me and for the heritage that started with my grandma Nadine and grandpa Jack. And I appreciate all of my family members and my church family for their prayers through the years and for looking beyond my past mistakes to see that God is now real in my life.