Former Hillsong worship leader Darlene Zschech and her husband, Mark, were welcomed as the new senior pastors of Hope Unlimited Church this past weekend.
A special inauguration service was held at the coastal church, located north of Sydney, Australia, for the Zschechs who are starting a new chapter in their lives after 25 years at Hillsong Church.
“More than ever, I sense the responsibility as a Christian, to bring and be the felt expression of Christ into our communities, and into every sphere of life where we have a voice or influence,” Darlene Zschech posted on her blog Thursday in anticipation of the year ahead.
Here is a look at a few of Zschech’s accomplishments since devoting her life to Christ:
Writing “Shout to the Lord” in 1993
Many consider “Shout to the Lord” as the song that made Zschech famous, with the popular worship anthem being sung by an estimated 25 to 30 million churchgoers every week around the world. It was nominated Song of the Year at the 1998 Dove Awards.
Hillsong Music Australia produced “Shout to the Lord,” as well as over 80 songs written by Zschech, including notable praise songs “The Potter’s Hand” and “Worthy is the Lamb.”
Leading the Hillsong Worship team for 11 years
Darlene served as worship pastor of the Hillsong praise team, alongside founding Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston, leading praise and worship worldwide at conferences and outreach events.
During this time, Hillsong’s 2004 live CD For All You’ve Done made global headlines when it hit No. 1 on the Australian national music chart.
Founding Hope Rwanda
The Zschechs, being strong advocates of Christian childrens ministry Compassion International, joined a mission trip to Central Africa in 2004, visiting Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, a nation that suffered the loss of over one million people in a horrific genocide in 1994.
Moved by what they witnessed, the couple soon became founders and directors of Hope Rwanda, a faith-based, non-profit organization which today works to bring hope and justice to the people of the African nation.
“We knew about the genocide, but it wasn’t until ten years on, while we were there that we understand the depth of what took place and its ongoing impact. We were challenged to the core by the plight of the Rwandan people,” Zschech wrote about the trip.
Darlene and Mark have three daughters, Amy, Chloe and Zoe. The family now resides at Central Coast, the regional city where they will begin a new life with Hope Unlimited Church and the local community.