Jeremy Camp Biography
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They say the best songs come from personal experience and newcomer Jeremy Camp’s music certainly comes from a very personal place. A unique brand of rock and progressive pop, his music was born out of a heart that’s been broken and a faith that’s been tested. Yet, despite all this 24-year-old has walked through—or maybe because of it—he’s compelled to praise the God who has proven Himself faithful through it all and has a passion for telling others about Him through music.
Camp’s journey began when he left his home in Lafayette, Indiana, bound for Bible college in Southern California. He wasn’t sure what God had planned for him, but he knew he wanted to be ready. As he soaked up all the biblical knowledge he could and pondered a career in ministry, Jeremy filled his downtime strumming a guitar, a skill he picked up from his musically inclined father. One day, as he was playing in the dorm kitchen, the school’s worship leader overheard him and encouraged him to get involved in the music ministry opportunities available on campus.
It wasn’t long before Camp was leading worship at the school and all over Southern California. One of those gigs would even lead him to his future wife and a relationship that would shape him in ways he couldn’t imagine. He was playing for a small Bible study group in the San Diego area where he was living when he noticed her. “I started to play a worship song and she raised her hands high above her head to praise God,” Jeremy recalls. “I was in awe of this woman who obviously loved Jesus so much.”
They talked afterward and Jeremy and Melissa spent that summer getting to know each other better through church events, prayer meetings and college group activities. So it came as quite a shock when, after four months of dating, Melissa suggested they break up. Camp couldn’t find fault with her reason, though. She said she needed to spend more time with the Lord, that she felt He was preparing her for something.
Jeremy nursed his broken heart on the road, traveling around the country and overseas, introducing his original songs to anyone who would listen. Inspired by artists such as Dave Matthews, Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox Twenty, Pearl Jam and Creed, his music made a connection with audiences as his lyrics pointed them to the God Jeremy faithfully served.
While his personal life wasn’t going exactly the way he had hoped, his ministry was thriving.
And then Jeremy received a call that would change his life forever. He was summoned to the hospital to see Melissa, then 20, who had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
“I walked into the hospital and she was just beaming,” Jeremy recalls. “You could tell she wasn’t bummed out. She was just trusting the Lord. It was amazing.” During that same visit, Melissa shared a unique perspective with Jeremy. She told him if she ended up dying from her disease that as long as her death led one person to Christ that it would all be worth it.
Despite her upbeat attitude, Jeremy left the hospital confused and upset at seeing someone he cared about in pain. Once in his car he found himself making a strange promise. “I drove away saying, ‘God if You want me to marry Melissa, knowing she could die from this cancer, then I will. If she tells me she loves me, I’ll marry her.’” It seemed like a fairly safe bet. They had never spoken those words to each while they were dating, why would she say them now?
But during his next visit she did just that so Jeremy went away and fasted and prayed. The next time he saw Melissa, she was going through chemotherapy and was days away from losing all her hair. As they talked, Jeremy knew what he wanted to do. “I told her I loved her and said, ‘let’s get a ring tomorrow.’”
Five months later, with Melissa’s hair growing back and her feeling better, the young couple married in front of a thousand well wishers. Unfortunately, their happiness was short lived. During their honeymoon, Melissa started having stomach problems and when they returned the doctor delivered the news they dreaded. She had mere months to live. On Feb. 5, 2001, Melissa went to be with the Lord. As she took her last breath, Jeremy stood with her family and began worshipping God singing the same songs they had played so often for Melissa during her hospital stays. “I didn’t want to do it,” he says, “but I knew I was learning something about obedience.”
Melissa’s life and death changed Jeremy’s perspective on the music he makes. “Watching Melissa go to Heaven made me realize what’s important. Music is not my life. Christ is my life. The only thing that really matters is what we do for Jesus on this Earth, and as a result of what I’ve been through, I express even more the goodness of God and how faithful He is.”
One of those songs that reflects that perspective is “I Still Believe,” the first song Camp wrote after Melissa’s death, a declaration of faith from one who has walked through the fire. Also included on his BEC debut is “Walk by Faith,” a tune he composed on their honeymoon. Looking back now, Camp feels God knew he’d need that musical reminder in the months to follow. “I didn’t know what the song was for at the time, but I look at the words now and I can see God was preparing me for the path I’m now walking.”
Jeremy’s the first to admit it hasn’t been easy road. “It’s not like you just bounce back,” he says. “But God gives me the strength and I want to encourage others who are struggling.” And there’s another motivation. Jeremy knows with each song that he sings, he’s helping that wish Melissa made that day from her hospital bed, for her death to impact others for Christ, to come true.
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Jeremy camp is awesome! | Reviewer: Rachel | 11/26/13
Jeremy Camp shows a display of great faith that makes me want to have the same faith and love for the Lord as he does. Jeremy has inspired me so much to work for the Lord. He helped me realize that I need to let go of all my desires and just let God use me. I now have a very special was of witnessing, I give a Gospel message like usual, but I sing some Jeremy Camp songs in between words and they always seem to listen better and feel more touched that way. I don't know if Jeremy Camp will ever read this, but I know I'll see him in Glory! So I just want to say, thanks to Jeremy for all he's done for God, thanks for inspiring me for God.
P.S. I'm his #1 fan!!!!
Surrender | Reviewer: Changot.^_^. | 6/5/13
Thank you for the blessing and Gift you've share to us. when i accept God as my Father and Personal Savior, as my covenant to God that i will Serve HIM at the last Breath of mine. I am so bless to this song because if I sing this song something happen inside of me that i can't explain. thank you so much and Godbless.
this is my desire | Reviewer: danayt eritrea | 3/8/13
my family havent received God as their saviour yet and i always wished nd prayed for them.nd when ever i hear zt songs it makes me feel like God had already visted my home nd blessed my family nd washed everyone by his marvoulse blood.bless u brother for been z instrument God uses
Thank you ! He is Faithful !! | Reviewer: Katelyn | 2/8/13
Thank you, I have been so inspired by your music. God is using you in such a powerful way. Thank you, for seeking Him, and doing what He called you to do :) May the Lord, keep blessing you, and keep using you !! You are making, and impact. GOd bless everyone, that has gone through the battle of Cancer; and have lost many love ones. God give us a cure for cancer! GOd bless you- Jeremiah 29:11 Katelyn
Thank you | Reviewer: Sarah | 1/13/13
I grew up in a good home. I had good friends. An apartment. A job. I had everything going for me. I was working at a bookstore and was engaged. My life was amazing. The only thing I didn't have in my life was god. One day my fiancé decided he didn't want to get married and I had just convinced my parents that he was perfect and if I could move in with him. Only because I was engaged it was ok. So when he ended it. Pretty much kicked me out I moved back home. Next thing u know i started seeing someone else to void the emptiness I felt inside. He turned out to be a stalker and ended up having to press charges. I was scared couldn't eat or sleep. Talked to my doctor and he put me on a bunch of anxiety meds and antidepressants. I moved out of my parents to my own place. I started to go down hill. Not taking care of myself abusing my pills. I was fired from the bookstore I was working at. Then depression got worse. I started drinking and combining my pills. I started to not take care of myself or my apartment. I would lay in bed 3-4 days at a time. Met a guy I liked knew of him from school. We started dating. A couple months into dating he introduced me to cocaine. Still had no god in my life. It was just going to be a one time thing. Turned to weekend turned to everyday. I couldn't afford my place so I moved back home. Parents did not know. I spent everything I had. Would hock everything I owned. Would put empty envolopes in bank machines and take out money that I so called deposited. Later he mentioned he did 4 years in jail for robbery. I didn't care as long as he was in my life he could help me get what I wanted. To stay so called happy. I got another job and used throughout the whole time. Finally I had to charge him for threats. When he was waiting to b sentenced we decided to run. I was a missing person for 5 days didn't talk to my parents let them know I was ok. I didn't care. He was caught. And because my dad is a retired officer I was not put in jail. But I promised my family I was going to get help. Go to detox and rehab. I was not ready yet. But I went to detox while boyfriend was in jail and met a huge dealer I thought at the time was so cool. Weapons drugs power just like the tv shows. I was wrong. I left the day my family came to see me I left with him. He introduced me to crack cocaine. I was hooked. I sold my soul to it. That was going to fix all my problems I thought. It came with a price a huge price. There was a drug bust one night with my car I decided to stay in and he took my car. My parents took my car away and again I was not arrested only because I was not in that car at that time. Even though my parents took my car. I would then take the bus to see him to get my high and to try and be happy. 2 months later I lost everything. My close relationship to my little sister my mom my dad all my friends and my grandparents. I lost my car I lost my job my cellphone. My apartment turned into renting a bedroom. I lost so much weight. My mom would say everyday god loves me and has a plan for me and I would just ignore her and say yah well why is he doing this to me. He does not have a plan for me. One day she slid a cd under my door. I left it there. Didn't care what she had or had to say. I came home from a huge binge and had nothing to watch because i had hocked my DVDs. So i put in Jeremy camps cd. And I started crying. I realized i had so much potential and why was i doing this. I could of just asked god for help instead I thought my life choices was going to help me more. I sat up crying all night and the next day I listened to the cd again. For the next three days I googled Jeremy camp and listened to more songs. I then ended it with the drug dealer boyfriend. Stayed at a women's shelter for safely. Then I got my Jeremy camp songs on my iPod and decided to move. I go to church's every Sunday. I am an active member in the church. I have my family back. I have a beautiful 2 bedroom apartment. A full time job. Adopted two cats from a shelter. I am healthy and clean one year. I watch Joel osteen and Joyce Mey
er on tv everyday. I am so happy. All because I decided to put god who loves me so very much in my life. Thank u so much lord I can't thank u enough. U have saved my life. With god all things are possible
Empty Me | Reviewer: Robin Fuller | 12/5/12
My friend picked me up one day and told me she a WORD from the Lord for me. This is the first time she had ever said anything like this to me. She said get your eyes off of your circumstances and focus on Jesus totally. Every morning when I got up I put the song "Empty me" on and got on my knees with hands lifted and tears flowing. I listened to this song and all my other Jeremy Camp CD 's all day. Until I got a breakthrough and knew my heart was changed and I was indeed focused I continued every day with Empty Me first thing in the morning, on the way to work, at work and on the way home. It forever changed me life!!!! I love Jeremey Camp's music. He is my favorite. I went to The Story Tour to see him. His music ministers to me. So worhsipful. Thank you Jesus for Jeremy Camp. His music brought me out of a depression and gave me a new outlook on life.
I STILL BELIEVE | Reviewer: Rebecca Yusuf | 10/27/12
Listening 2 ur Music has given me a deeper depth i never imagined on the essense of Living 4 Christ... when i stray i find my way back thru d lyrics of ur songs....Thru ur music, i fell inlove with Gospel Rock... U r a Blessing...God Bless u beyond measures.
Jeremy God bless you | Reviewer: Jemimah kiano | 12/30/11
Jeremy you are a blessing to me and every time i listen to your music i do feel God presence near me expecialy the song"i still believe"i love that song and there is no single day that passes without me listening to it.Jeremy thank you so much.
Continue serving the lord | Reviewer: Solomon.W.kifubangabo | 11/26/11
Mr Jeremy Camp, thanks for the good job serving the almighty God. I have been listening to your songs and all of them are encouraging, thanks for the strong testimony and may the living God be with u from Solomon.
kbh | Reviewer: Kensley Holcombe | 11/16/11
I have read your testimony over and over again! I have truly been blessed by your faith and courage! I have lost someone very important to me in my life and it is hard and i almost gave up! Your song "walk by faith" as been played over and over again i love that song it is a blessing too me! It gave me the strenght to trust in God and know that he is always here for me whenever someone else in my life isn't. Thanks for posting your testimony, i have truly been blessed! God bless you!
Jesus knows it all - I'll take you back | Reviewer: Chilombo Grace | 11/7/11
Jeremy...well, what can I say, so much pain yet so much passion for the Lord. You are an inspiration. I lost my dad and at the time thought it was the biggest injustice God did to me but through the years, I have learnt to let go of the pain and let God deal with my heart cuz I know He has the best plans at hand for me. I am still learning the lesson of walking everyday by His guidance thanks to people like Jeremy. I have never felt the pain of losing a spouse yet through the words you speak, I somehow get a glimpse of how painful it must have been for Christ on that cross...it was not an easy task yet He endured it for my sake. When I sit to think about that, I pale at the complaints I hurl at God and think how much grace He has cuz despite the complaints, He still welcomes me with open arms even when I go astray and come back later, He welcomes me as if it is the first time I am coming home. We thank God for you and your faith jeremy because through your ministry, you surely are making Melissa's wish come true...many are getting saved because of you, to God be the glory forever and ever......
My desire | Reviewer: Joenil lao | 10/7/11
Jeremy thanks for your the gift u have shared with us..all of your songs truly motivate us being a Good servant of God and having strong relationship in him..i know that God use you being a blessing and courage for those people had a life without direction..Godd bless u more and keep the fire burning
Encouraged to trust God more | Reviewer: Raquel, Kenya | 9/25/11
I'm glad to read Jeremy's story. I'm just recovering from a scaring situation where in the 8th month of pregnancy the scan showed there was no baby.
So much surgery and medication on schedule, but my heart is well rested in Christ.
To our God be the glory, we are overcomers.
I still belive | Reviewer: Debbie. | 8/22/11
I lost my soulmate 8 months ago. it's been the worst time of my life, most times i want to thank God and belive that its better i suffer than him going through what i am right now. my friend sammy posted the song on ma wall and its so much comforting. thanks jeremy 4 ua strength and faith. i know exactly how hard it was 4 u. Gods grace guys.. my love to everyone.
Thank you! | Reviewer: Chelsea | 8/18/11
God has spoke to me through your music Jeremy! Thank you so much. "I Still Believe" was the first song our worship band played after my pastor lost his son in a terrible automobile accident. Little did I know my trials would be within the next year. I had 2 major surgeries the debilitated me for a year, and the songs "Understand" and "Walk by Faith" helped me know that God is near. This last weekend at the Harvest Crusade you came and sang "Jesus Saves" and "The Way". That same night some of my family went down to recieve the Lord Jesus in their heart! So you have had a major impact! Thank you for your boldness!
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