Grammy Award-winning Christian singer Zach Williams joined the likes of his musical hero Johnny Cash and recorded his latest album live from a prison.
"I grew up an hour from where Johnny Cash was born in Arkansas, and obviously that's one of my favorite records," Williams said in a recent interview with Faithwire, speaking of Cash's album, At Folsom Prison. "When we worked on the "Chain Breaker" record, we were always talking, 'Hey, wouldn't it be cool one day to go in and record some songs in a prison?'"
The "Chain Breaker" musician recently debuted his latest album, Survivor: Live From Harding Prison. He performed six of his hit songs for the inmates inside the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility in Nashville, Tennessee.
Williams was contacted by the Nashville-based prison ministry Men of Valor. They had been using some of the Christian singer's songs and inquired about Williams coming and performing live for a group of inmates.
"You could tell every one of these guys were just grateful we were there," Williams said. "They don't get stuff like this very often. We weren't going in and trying to exploit these guys or just do something to make a record. We just wanted to go in and hang out and play some music for these guys."
Williams said his record is a true reflection of the unity felt in the prison that day. "I think they had a respect for us," he said.
The Florida native and his wife have been a part of prison ministry for several years, so recording in the facility wasn't foreign to Williams, who recalled feeling "unequipped" to minister when he first started visiting prisons.