Broad brushstrokes of vibrant hues confidently sweep the canvas. A sure and steady hand adds careful detail, shadings and intricate nuances that begin to reveal an image. Without question the Artist is unparalleled; the richness and beauty of His ability breathtaking. Yet his methods appear abstract--even uncertain--at times. The human eye cannot fully grasp His vision, but the end result is a masterpiece.
The Apostle Paul reminds us "...that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:6). This reassurance of the Artist's purpose is near to the heart of singer/songwriter and worship leader Casey Hensley, whose long-awaited debut, Pieces of Art, showcases God's penchant for transforming life's imperfect canvases into priceless treasures.
Serving as an associate pastor and worship director at Faith Family Baptist Church, his daily vocation has proved a welcome foundation for Casey's musical endeavors. Pieces of Art is a glimpse of a man in process--a Christ-follower learning to surrender each day, worship with a full heart, and share his Hope with the world.
Helmed by sought-after producers and songwriters Tyrus Morgan and Jay Speight, the project features eight selections, five of which were co-penned by Casey. Sitting squarely atop a pop foundation, Pieces of Art showcases tight production and accessible melodies that allow the versatility and strength of Casey's vocals to shine.
The title-cut--and project's overarching theme--conveys God's ability to bring art and beauty out of adversity. It's a deeply personal song for Casey, as he's watched his wife battle multiple sclerosis for more than 10 years. "Stephanie is living proof of a God Who is full of grace; a God Who is full of mercy. She uses her disease to tell others of this Lord whom she loves and serves on a daily basis. We were created to reflect Him and here she is--on what others may see as a broken canvas--reflecting a Master Craftsman who knew exactly what He was doing."
"After our second child was born, Stephanie was unable to walk because of the MS," he continues. "She was determined and kept telling me it was alright. She had a role in our Christmas musical that year and still continued her part; with two canes she pulled herself down the aisle. I was floored by her strength and how she was able to press on. I was being molded by my Lord through her."
Other selections like "Crash Over Us" and "Song To the Savior" are reminders of Casey's heart as a worshipper, while "Every City, Every Soul" is a challenge for believers to live out The Great Commission--"'Til the whole world knows His name/We will go," he sings.
The importance of family also prevails, not surprisingly, throughout Pieces of Art. Casey began writing the lullaby-like "Fly" before his daughter Brooke--now four-years-old--was born. "I came up with a verse and chorus and got stumped on what to say; I was so in awe of this new creation in our lives," he says. "After our son Tyler was born I wanted to finish this song for both of them. They will 'paint their own stories' in life and I want them to live their dreams to the fullest knowing I will support them and be by their side all the way."
With parents who afforded him the same guidance and freedom to paint his own story, Casey grew up in the tropical paradise of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. His father was a music minister, and Casey exhibited a natural inclination for music at an early age. Coming full circle, today the elder Hensley serves under his son as choir director at Faith Family Baptist Church. Supported by a tight-knit family, Casey doesn't take for granted these blessings after almost walking a drastically different path.
When he left St. Croix for college in Florida, poor choices--drug and alcohol abuse--and a wayward heart drove Casey further from his faith. It took a tragic wake-up call to realign his life.
"My cousin died of an overdose one night," Casey recalls. "He and I were like brothers. I couldn't imagine my life without him anymore. So I sought out the one thing that had never changed, the Lord. Shortly after this incident, I surrendered my life to Christ."
Back on track and back in the church, Casey began using his gifts to write songs and lead worship while pursuing a career in IT/network administration. His job eventually led him to Houston, and Casey's calling to music ministry came soon after and was unmistakably direct.
"I received a call from my pastor's father," he remembers. "He recently planted a church and was looking for a worship director, so I told him I would pray about it. We met three times and he offered me the job. I politely declined, went back to work that day and lost my IT job. God was in control--I have worked at Faith Family Baptist Church ever since."
Casey is also a leader within the denomination, working with the Southern Baptist Convention as a worship leader and instructor for various conferences and events. "I teach on worship leading and what worship means in our everyday walk," he explains. "I share about the importance of taking moments of silence to hear what the Lord says to us in His Word, or simply learning to be in awe of His creation."
It's a fitting role for Casey on many levels, as he strives to help others fully embrace God, the Artist. "I know the Lord doesn't need me to advance His Gospel, but I am overjoyed to be a part of Him moving," Casey reflects. "I want to be in the middle of His work and His will."
Pieces of Art brings yet a new facet to his ministry through music, proving Casey Hensley's life is part of a grander scheme--a powerful story of brilliant color, texture and detail--the Artist's masterpiece.