Co-Producer, Hillsongs Music Australia, more than 23 CDs
Recipient of 1999 Dove Award for International Song of the Year, numerous certified Gold albums
Wife of Mark, 16 years; mother to Amy, 12; Chloe, 8; Zoe, 8 months
The Power Of Worship
Darlene and Mark have been vital parts of the leadership team at the Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. Her responsibilities as Worship Pastor include singing lead vocals on most of the music projects. Her passion for God, her willingness to serve the Body of Christ and an enormous amount of work and energy have resulted in their praise and worship style moving literally around the world.
Recently, they had to walk through their own personal trial. After years of waiting to add to their family, Darlene was pregnant with their third child last year. After announcing her pregnancy at 12 weeks to their church (right before their extensive Hillsong tour in the United States) Darlene miscarried. They were devastated.
"I know the power of bringing to God what Hebrews 13:15 calls a 'sacrifice of praise,' because there were nights when I really didn't feel like getting up on that stage and praising him," she says. "But I didn't want to see the enemy win." Several months later, Darlene got pregnant again and delivered a healthy baby girl, Zoe, in April of this year.
We were created for worship and to spend time in the presence of God. Darlene reminds us that when Paul and Silas were in jail, they worshipped God. Suddenly while they were worshipping, there came an incredible sound and God delivered them from that prison. Darlene says worship is a positive act that requires obedience.
"It's a free will offering which reflects the generosity of God," she says. "Through worship, the Spirit of God starts to change us from the inside, as we learn to open ourselves up to Him and what He is saying to us.
It's thanking God for things even though they're not there yet," Darlene says. "It's appreciating Jesus not for what He can do, but for being your Savior. And there's power in that. The more time we spend in God's presence worshipping Him, the more we begin to hear and know His voice," she says. "His power becomes evident in our lives and we become more like Jesus."
Faithful With Her Gift
From the age of 10, Darlene performed in a weekly children's television show, singing, dancing and hosting segments. As a teen, Darlene continued in music with various local gospel bands in Brisbane, Australia. Outwardly, her childhood seemed glamorous. When she was 13, her parents divorced. The pressures of television, combined with the emotional turmoil of her parents' divorce and the custody battle took their toll on Darlene. At 14, she was bulimic.
In 1980, Darlene's father rededicated his life to Christ and started taking her to church. At the age of 15, Darlene gave her life to Jesus. She also met her husband, Mark, at the church, dated for a year and a half and married when she was 19-years-old.
As newlyweds, Mark and Darlene struggled financially. Darlene sang commercial jingles for Kentucky Fried Chicken, Diet Coke and McDonald's. Mark struggled to keep their motorcycle parts business afloat along with their new family, Amy, now 12, and Chloe, now 8.
It was then that Darlene decided to praise God through the struggle. "I learned we'll never find hope looking at our circumstances," she says. "It's only found by fixing our eyes on Jesus who doesn't change and who's always faithful."
The Hillsong Church, with Senior Pastor Brian Houston, who is the superintendent of the Australian Assemblies of God, started in 1982 with 45 people. Today the Hillsong church holds one Saturday night service and four services every Sunday for more than 10,000 in weekly attendance. They have developed a unique contemporary style of praise and worship, communicating a fresh, genuine spirit and energy. Hillsong Music is their in-house company, formed specifically for selling and distributing their audio and video tapes and songbooks.
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