50 years ago on September 8, 1965, Darlene Zschech was born in Brisbane, Queensland in Australia. Pioneered the modern worship movement, Zschech paved the way for women to lead worship across churches. She is best known for her role as worship pastor of Hillsong Church where she penned worship staples for the church including "Shout to the Lord," "High and Lifted Up," "Worthy is the Lamb," "It is You," "Potter's Hands" and "At the Cross." She was instrumental in taking the Australian megachurch's music to the world.
This is what Brian Houston, Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church, has to say about the "Shout to the Lord" writer: "Darlene Zschech, as a songwriter, has been very, very successful. And, I guess, because of that, her composing royalties are quite significant. But the wonderful thing with Darlene is that she has been a real testimony to the message we preach because she and Mark, her husband, have really focused that on helping other people."
Zschech started on television at the age of 10, as part of an Australian children's show, Happy Go Round. When she was 13, her parents divorced and the emotional stress of being on television and her parents' divorce resulted in her having bulimia for about four years.
In 1980, when Zschech was 15, her father rededicated his life to Christ and began taking her to church, where she also became a committed Christian and met her future husband, Mark Zschech. When they married, her husband suggested that they move from Brisbane to Sydney, which was confirmed at a small church they were visiting one Sunday when the guest speaker said in the middle of his sermon, "This doesn't happen to me very often, but whatever it is you two prayed last night, God says do it now."They began attending Hills Christian Life Centre, which would become Hillsong Church.
Zschech sang jingles for a number of international companies including McDonald's, KFC and Coca Cola, until she eventually joined the staff of Hillsong Church after penning "Shout to the Lord". She released a vinyl album in 1987 called "Make the Choice" and a cassette album in 1993 called Pearls & Gold.
Zschech and her husband have three daughters, Amy, Chloe and Zoe. In 2000 she had a miscarriage after 12 weeks.
Shout to the Lord was nominated as Album of the Year for the 1997 Dove Awards and was nominated as Song of the Year for the 1998 Dove Awards. In 2000, Zschech received a Dove Award nomination for Songwriter of the Year and received the International Award for influence in praise and worship.
In 2003, Zschech released her first official solo album, Kiss of Heaven. Change Your World followed in 2005. She has since released two albums, in 2011, called Simply Darlene and You Are Love. In addition to writing songs, she has written five books: Worship (1996), Extravagant Worship (2002), The Kiss of Heaven (2003), The Great Generational Transition (2009) and Revealing Jesus: A 365-Day Devotional (2013).