But a move to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area proved problematic for the would-be worship leader. He experimented with drugs, lived out of other people’s houses, and often found himself hanging out with the wrong crowd—he was a convicted felon before he was old enough to drive.
Providentially, a desire to reconnect with his father back in Illinois and an internship at a recording studio opened the door for him to find Christ and sow the seeds of a promising career in music.
“I was led to the Lord in a recording studio,” says Freddy, who was drug-free at the time but hadn’t quite kicked his previous lifestyle to the curb. “One time I came to the studio and the owner noticed I was under the influence. He just loved on me and asked me if I wanted to make a significant choice in my life.”
It was then, at 19, that he decided to follow Christ. Not long after he met his wife Julie, with whom he now has four children—Samuel Joseph, 13, Sabrina, 9, Michael, 7, and Stephen, 2.
But even with a fresh spiritual outlook and newly acquired musical skills, it took some time before Freddy caught a vision for worship ministry. Coming from the streets, he was disenchanted by the songs being sung by some of the churches he attended.
“There was nothing. It was strange to me,” he recalls. “It was out of date. It was sung with a lack of passion. They looked like they were depressed. It was really weird to me.”
Incidentally, Freddy’s imminent change of heart came when a friend invited him to watch a concert video by another Integrity artist who was forerunner in worship music: Ron Kenoly. Kenoly’s 1994 recording, God Is Able, spoke to Freddy in ways he didn’t think possible. Immediately, the scales fell from his eyes.
“What I heard and what I saw had a significant impact on me defining myself as a worship leader,” Freddy says. “When I saw that, I heard the Lord speak to me and say, ‘Son, that’s your destiny right there.’”
Freddy never looked back. Today, he has 11 years of ministry under his belt including three years on staff at Champions before returning to Texas to be closer to family. He now serves as worship pastor at Destiny Church in Cedar Hills, TX. And, he is determined to push ahead, creating worship music and resources to bless the body of Christ. And what better way to do so than Light in the Darkness, a parade of future anthems for the multicultural church.