Air1 Cover Story With Josh Baldwin

Posted on Friday, August 4, 2023 by Katie Clinebell

Air1 Cover Story Josh Baldwin

With memorable hits like “Stand In Your Love,” “There Is Freedom,” and “God You Are,” Josh Baldwin has given us a number of influential worship anthems that have been playing in our heads again and again. For years, this artist has been working alongside Jenn Johnson and as a solo artist to craft and release worship songs that meet us where we are and refocus our minds on Christ’s love for us. We sat down with Baldwin himself to find out his story, as well as the truth behind his personal songwriting process. 

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Josh Baldwin began his worship journey at a young age, playing drums alongside his father, who served as both worship leader and pastor for their local church in North Carolina. In the late 90’s, he was encouraged to begin playing acoustic guitar and leading worship for his youth group. By 2001, Baldwin would find himself living in the mountains of North Carolina, attending ministry school alongside John Mark McMillan and Jonathan David & Melissa Helser

Serving at MorningStar Fellowship Church as a worship pastor for nearly 10 years, Baldwin often led worship alongside Church leaders Brian & Jenn Johnson in church conferences. During these years at MorningStar, he would also meet and marry his wife, Sheila, in 2010. Before long, the two would move to Charlotte to begin a church alongside McMillan and his family.

By 2014, having released two full-length worship albums on his own, Baldwin was approached by the Johnsons and asked to be a part of their worship collective while continuing to serve at his own church in Charlotte. “These little songs that I thought were just for my little church could actually go out and touch the world. It was amazing.” After only a short time working with the Johnsons, Baldwin felt a calling to fully commit himself to his endeavors at the church, and moved out of Charlotte to pursue the next step of God’s adventure. 

Since then, Baldwin has worked both with worship collectives and in his solo career to release multiple albums and singles that have moved our hearts. Josh describes the difference between these different capacities of leading worship as a balance. In his music, he often toned back his natural country sound in an attempt to make his songs accessible to a broader audience. 

With “Stand In Your Love,” Baldwin allowed his worship to take on his own natural style, no longer restraining the true sound and heart behind the song. “Stand In Your Love” would become one of the artist’s most popular releases, connecting with his audience like never before. “It’s just funny that that’s the song that connected the most, and still to this day is the song more people listen to than any song I’ve written… I just need to write, I’m just gonna be myself, and this is who the Lord is inside me. It’s not just how He made me, but it’s how He shaped me.”

Listen to Josh Baldwin's "Stand In Your Love"

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Baldwin still has a deep love and appreciation for leading worship. “I’m definitely a worship leader, that’s what I started out being. I will always lead worship… The artist thing, some of that might end one day… but until they don’t let me up there, I will lead worship into my old age. But I’m also the artist guy who wants to write songs that meet people in their daily walk that maybe they’re not gonna hear on a Sunday.”

In every performance, Baldwin shares, despite his status as an artist on the radio, he cannot separate playing songs from leading in worship. “I’m just gonna be me,” he shares. “I’ll have the times where I'll do my singer/songwriter, but then I'm gonna do worship songs and I’m just gonna flow, and maybe sing out spontaneous and whatever and see what happens. And sometimes people just sit there and stare and look at me, and sometimes people join in, but the Lord is faithful to always show up.”

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When it comes to writing new songs, Josh explains that his most meaningful songs come out of moments of spontaneous worship in his performances, while others have been written about characters from the Bible. “I think the older I get, the more I realize, I need to just look for songs in everyday life. They’re there, and I used to think I had to be in some big inspirational moment to come up with a good idea for a song or a good chorus or something, and now I realize, I just need to be open and ready and available in everyday life.”

Josh explained to us his excitement for his upcoming live solo album, recording later this fall, and expected to release sometime in 2024. He is hard at work on new songs to be featured on this live album, as well as a new Bethel album recording later this year as well. With all of this upcoming music, we cannot wait to hear what both Josh Baldwin and Bethel Music will share with us next.

Finally, Josh shared with us his favorite guilty pleasure snack, which are the chocolate covered payday candy bars. He is currently preparing to share some time with his family this summer while performing at a number of county fairs and festivals. Stay tuned to Josh’s social media to find out if he is performing near you! We were very honored to be able to speak with Josh and we cannot wait to hear the new songs that he is working on now. Rest assured that Air1 will be featuring all the latest hits as they release!

Air1 Cover StoryBrian and Jenn JohnsonJenn JohnsonJonathan DavidJosh BaldwinMelissa HelserBehind the Music

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