I was on my way back to Nashville from Carrollton where we had a show the night before when I got a text from one of my high school friends, Lorrie Bell. It was a text asking me to do a benefit for her brother who had just been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. When I replied to her later that I would love to be apart of the benefit for her brother, I had no idea that it would change my life forever. I can’t explain the feeling I got when I received this calling to help this local fireman (who is now a forever great friend, and hero to me) from my hometown of Newnan, GA.
I knew from the way people spoke of him, he was a great man, served our community well, and loved God. Lorrie called me a couple nights after, and during our conversation she said to me, “The doctor told him he had the heart of a champion.” I couldn’t get that out of my head. The next day I went into the office of my manager and bud (Stokes Nielson), and brought up the idea of a song called “Heart of a Champion” for Chris. We grabbed our guitars, sat down on the floor and wrote his song.It was as if God, and Chris were with us every second of writing it. I got to Newnan, and right away wanted to go visit Chris and his family.
When I walked into the Landreau home, it was an indescribable feeling. Chris was so pumped about the benefits for that weekend. He never once stopped smiling, and praised God and his community the whole time. You would’ve thought he was going through the best times in his life. That’s when I realized; wow, this is a true champion and a special human being. When we got to Chic-fil-a (which is where the first benefit for Chris was held in Newnan), and asked Chris to come out to the van to listen to his song for the first time, I didn’t know what to expect. He and some of his family came out and we played the song… I will never forget him sitting in the front seat of our van, and after the first chorus a tear fell on the notebook paper he had on a clipboard in his lap. The song moved everyone, but when I saw Chris was emotionally touched, I felt at peace. I didn’t have dry eyes my self, and I honestly do not at this moment writing this blog. He pulled his wife, Amanda close and hugged us all. At that moment we became a family. God had brought us together. Stokes and I were the instruments He had sent for Chris, and Chris with his song and story has and will change so many lives. God bless everyone for there help, and support! I’m so proud to call Newnan, Georgia my home.
Keep posted for more blogs to come on the event, Chris, and Heart of a Champion.