When music meets God’s truth
02 July 2015
Recently uncovered photos, artefacts on loan from collectors and interactive videos are taking Salvationists on a journey through the history of The Salvation Army in ‘Our Boundless Story’, an historical exhibition at Boundless 2015.
Being brought up as the son of Salvation Army officers in the USA, Phil Laeger knew a home where faith and music were closely intertwined. It comes as no surprise then that at an early age he learned to play the piano and started writing poems for Jesus. In his testimony he admits that he strayed from Jesus during his teenage years, but one day in January 1996, after hitting rock bottom, he decided to return to God. Years on and several albums later, Phil is a singer, songwriter, father of three, husband and active Salvationist living in Australia, north of Sydney.
His arrangements of traditional Army tunes started when corps officer friends contacted Phil to help arrange ‘Send the Fire’, but he really received recognition when Lieut-Colonel Eddie Hobgood asked him to specifically look at old Army songs and use them to lead worship at a territorial youth institute in Oklahoma in 2004. An overwhelming response encouraged Phil to keep going down this route. However, he has also composed and written several original songs, as well as released a number of piano albums.
When asked what makes a good worship song, Phil enthuses, ‘I think music has the ability to suspend reality for a second. It has the ability to make people stop. Music done well lets people appreciate beauty and connect on an emotional level that words alone cannot do. When you couple music with God’s truth, amazing things can happen.’
At Boundless, Phil is participating in the main sessions as well as the concert with transMission on Friday 3 July.
By Kersten Rieder, Editorial Assistant Salvationist and photo by Bruce Redman -
This article was included in issue three of Boundless Today. Click to read all issues of Boundless Today.