In 2007, we posted an unforgettable interview with Kyla Rowland. The most powerful moment in a conversation full of such moments was when she shared the story of how her son’s running away from home prompted her to write “One Scarred Hand.”

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to hear the other half of the story—from her son, Barry Rowland.

At age fourteen, Barry Rowland started singing in the Rowlands with his uncle, Ron Martin, and his mother, legendary songwriter Kyla Rowland. Yet four years later, at eighteen, he ran away from home. He recalls, “I was basically running away from God; I was trying to get away from her and her preaching to me—her consistent discipline, references to the Bible. I felt like it was just being thrown down my throat, and I was running away from it.”

He adds, “I didn’t realize at the time, in my immaturity and selfishness, how her heart was breaking.” Yet God used this in a way nobody could have predicted—for the night he ran away was the night his mother wrote the unforgettable anthem “One Scarred Hand.”

Four years later, “like the prodigal son,” he says, “I came back to myself, and began to build my relationship back with her and back with God.” He stayed off the road for several years; he was 25 before he started singing again in his home church, and 28 before he started singing again with his mother. After eight more years on the road with her, he launched Barry Rowland and Deliverance. “It was time,” he says, “to share what Christ has done in my life. Through four years of being in the hog pen, I have a testimony. I already had a testimony of salvation, but He really gave me a testimony of knowing who He is, through His mercy and grace.”

Barry Rowland and Deliverance signed with Crossroads this week—the quote above is from the press release—and will be releasing their first Crossroads project in May.

Sometimes, after I’ve prepared a Crossroads-related press release, it entirely slips my mind to discuss the story here. This one was too good to pass up!