The Resting Place
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Authentic Church
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On The Other Side is Candy's new book.
 
 
This book tells powerful stories of changed lives, including Candy’s own story of how God gave her a ministry that has blessed thousands. Artists like Amy Grant, Mark Lowry, Marty Stuart, and other country and Christian performers come and perform for the homeless and share the gospel of Christ. This book is filled with true and gripping stories of lives confronted with the Christ who loves them—under the bridge.  It can be purchased HERE at the Bridge Ministry Website.
 
Some of Candy's favorite recipes can be found in her cook book. 
 
 
Great Christmas deserts, meals for any season and old family recipes. Limited copies of this book remain. To order yours, click here and complete the form.
 

Candy Christmas

Candy Christmas
 
 
 
 

At age 26, she met and married Kent Christmas. A dynamic young evangelist from the state of Washington, Kent welcomed her into his ministry after she opted to put her solo career on hold. She made this difficult decision to ensure normalcy for her young family. She knew that daughter Jasmine, who arrived in 1988, needed the comfort and security of full-time parents rather than the confusion that characterizes separate road careers. They became a traveling threesome, mother and daughter accompanying dad to his preaching engagements around the country. During a visit to California in October 1994, Candy was rushed to the hospital to deliver Nicholas three months early. Weighing only two pounds, the baby couldn't be released from the hospital until Christmas day, some nine weeks later. The young couple had no insurance, no place to live and no income. "God worked a miracle," she says. "People we had met in churches across the United States heard about our situation and sent help. Somehow we were able to pay Nick's medical bill, which was more than seven-hundred-fifty thousand dollars. I never felt such an outpouring of love and compassion in my life. I remember saying to Kent, "Just look what God can do."


She also credits God with providing her the opportunity to restart her music ministry two years after Nick's birth. Gospel singer and songwriter Bill Gaither was inviting several gospel-music pioneers to his recording studio in Alexandria, Indiana, to participate in a videotape project called Gaither and Friends Revival. Candy's parents agreed to sing their classic hit, "Let's Have a Revival," but wanted the rest of the singing Hemphills-Candy and Joey- to join them. On short notice, the younger Hemphills jumped in a car and drove north. The Revival turned into a reunion as Candy greeted old friends and family gathered around Gaither's piano. The songs were familiar (many had been written by the assembled pioneers) and neither sheet music nor scripts were required. The same spontaneity that permeates a Gaither concert was also evident in the studio. Gaither quickly recognized the ease with which Candy fit into the mix. He suggested that she consider singing at several special events he was planning for the upcoming months. These included the Gaithers' annual Praise Gathering in Indianapolis as well as future videotapes and several concerts. She agreed, although she admits to feeling apprehensive about returning to the road. With Kent's encouragement, she put together a flexible schedule that had either her or Kent at home with the children most of the time.


In 2004, Candy's ministry took a different twist. After years of feeling a calling to minister to the homeless and poor, God opened a door. It began humbly, as Candy took a pot of jumbalya to feed a few families who were living under the Jefferson Street Bridge in Nashville. There she shared the gospel of Jesus Christ and realized this is where her heart is. She used the family garage to store clothes, new shoes, and non-perishable food. Today, "The Bridge Ministry" is housed in a 4000-square-foot warehouse and is blessed with a multi-denominational band of over 75 dedicated volunteers who feed, clothe, and share the gospel with more than 250 souls each Tuesday night under that same bridge. In addition, she has begun a Thursday night service in a low-income area of Nashville that shares the gospel and distributes a truckload of non-perishable food and household products. A third location has it's kickoff in November and a fourth location is in the planning stages. All the while, Candy maintains a full schedule of traveling on weekends and ministering in churches across the country.


When asked about The Bridge Ministry, Candy says, we offer an environment that is non-traditional and non-threatening to attract people who might not otherwise hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is my heart, I love these people and I want to minister not only to their physical needs but most importantly their spiritual needs. I want to show these people the reality of Christ through our healing hands of compassion!"