Graham Kendrick performing in 2019
|Birth name||Graham Kendrick|
|Born||2 August 1950|
|Origin||Blisworth, Northamptonshire, England|
|Genres||Contemporary worship music|
Graham Kendrick (born 2 August 1950) is a prolific English Christian singer, songwriter and worship leader. He is the son of Baptist pastor, M. D. Kendrick and grew up in Laindon, Essex and Putney. He now lives in Tunbridge Wells and is a member of Holy Trinity with Christ Church, Tunbridge Wells. He is a member of Ichthus Christian Fellowship. Together with Roger Forster, Gerald Coates and Lynn Green, he was a founder of March for Jesus.
Kendrick began his songwriting career in the late 1960s. His most successful accomplishment is his authorship of the lyrics and music for the song, "Shine, Jesus, Shine", which is among the most widely heard songs in contemporary Christian worship worldwide. His other songs have been primarily used by worshipers in Britain. Kendrick is a co-founder of the March for Jesus. He received a Dove Award in 1995 for his international work. In 2000, London School of Theology and Brunel University awarded Kendrick an honorary doctorate in Divinity ('DD') in "recognition of his contribution to the worship life of the Church". He was awarded another DD in May 2008, from Wycliffe College in Toronto, Canada.
Although now best known as a worship leader and writer of worship songs, Graham Kendrick began his career as a member of the Christian beat group Whispers of Truth (formerly the "Forerunners"). Later, he began working as a solo concert performer and recording artist in the singer/songwriter tradition. He was closely associated with the organisation Musical Gospel Outreach and recorded several albums for their record labels. On the first, Footsteps on the Sea, released in 1972, he worked with the virtuoso guitarist Gordon Giltrap.
Kendrick worked for a time as a member of "In the Name of Jesus", a mission team led by Clive Calver. He was based at St Michael le Belfrey church in York in the late 1970s and was involved in student and university ministry with British Youth for Christ. At this time he recorded the albums Triumph in the Air and Cresta Run. Calver went on to run British Youth for Christ and the Evangelical Alliance, and then left the United Kingdom for the Evangelical Church in the United States. Kendrick, however, remained firmly fixed in the UK church as probably the most influential Christian songwriter of his generation.
In more recent years Kendrick has developed the concept of "Psalm Surfing".
"Shine, Jesus, Shine" is regularly highly placed in hymn popularity polls. Fellow songwriter and former Kendrick bandmember Stuart Townend has said, "I have no doubt that in 100 years time the name of Kendrick will be alongside Watts and Wesley in the list of the UK's greatest hymnwriters". Kendrick also has his critics, among them the journalist Quentin Letts, who has described him as "king of the happy-clappy banalities".