Fred Hammond's Purpose
by Carol Sherrod

Fred Hammond

God has designed some individuals for a specific purpose, and no matter what happens in their life it doesn't deter them; (like Joseph in the book of Genesis) well Fred Hammond is that type of individual. Most of us know Fred Hammond for his accomplishments which include, numerous awards including a Grammy Award for "Gospel Album of the Year" in 1999 for his production work with Yolanda Adams on "Mountain High, Valley Low" and "Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year," "Male Vocalist of the Year" and "Producer of the Year," at the 2000 Stellar Awards. In addition to a Dove Awards for "Let the Praise Begin" and "Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year" and N. A. A. C. P. Image Award for "Outstanding Gospel Artist of the Year." Furthermore, he has also produced such artists as Yolanda Adams, CeCe Winans, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Della Reese and the Touch by an angel soundtrack, 4HIM, Tammy Trent, and Carman on "Shakin' the House Live" project.

But very few of us knew that Fred Hammond was born out of wedlock from an affair that his mother had with another man. This affair caused her to lose her husband and her two daughters in a very painful divorce. As a result of her anger she stopped going to church, because the church people shone her and consequently she took a lot of her pain out on Fred physically and mentally. This obviously put a great strain on their relationship, which has taken a long time to repair. However, after a lot and pain and heartache she finally started to mend and she met and married Raymond Hammond. He adopted Fred as his own and gave him his last name - Hammond. Everything was going well until Raymond found out that he was dying of cancer. After the lost her second husband Mrs. Hammond had a choice to once again become bitter and angry with God or to live for Him. She chose to live for Him and started witnessing to Fred and led him to the Lord at age 10.

Through it all, Fred Hammond was "Purpose By Design" (the title of his 2000 CD) to be called by God to minister as a Psalmist. He started by singing with the Winans Brothers then named "The Testimonials" in the earlier 1980's. He went on to form "Commission" which included the now solo artist and pastor Marvin Sapp; and later went to form Fred Hammond with Radical for Christ. He has also made several television appears on such programs as "The Parkers" in 2001, as well as doing a theatrical production in 2001 "Been There, Done That" with television judge, "Greg Mathis." Fred is now in negotiations for his own television show and possibly a movie on the silver screen.

Nevertheless, whether in television, movies, commercials, plays CD's or producer of more than 80 projects. Fred Hammond knows that his purpose is to share with others through his music that, "Only one person can fill that void, and that is Jesus Christ." He shares on the inspirational page of his website that, "Jesus isn't a quick fix - He is the fix. - I offer Jesus to you." That's what I liked most about my interview with him, even though he is the architect behind the development of a new genre of gospel music, Urban Praise & Worship he hasn't forgotten his true mission of offering Jesus Christ to the world.

Carol Yvonne Sherrod is the President of the Memphis chapter of the National Association of Christian Artists and Songwriters and a member of the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission. www.sherrodministries.com

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