Just like the rest of us, Southern Gospel’s co-writers don’t always stay focused on the task at hand. But unlike the rest of us, that can sometimes be a very, very good thing.
One day, Kenna Turner West, Tony Wood, and Lee Black were working on a story song. Somehow, they got off of the topic at hand, and she started sharing her testimony.
“I’m fortunate that I grew up in Gospel music,” she recalls. Her father, Ken Turner, sang with the Palmetto State Quartet and the Dixie Echoes, before joining the Blackwood Brothers when she was seven. “I grew up backstage with the people that are on the mainstage now. I knew who Jesus was, but I didn’t know Him as Savior at all.”
“When I was eighteen years old,” she adds, “I was singing songs at a club in Memphis. I came to Christ watching Jerry Falwell on television on a Sunday night.”
West also shared her mother’s testimony with Wood and Black; her mother came to Christ at a Nicky Cruz crusade in the early ‘80s. “I was sharing how I came to the Lord watching Christian television. My mom came to the Lord at a crusade. We all have our story; somehow we all came to the cross.”
“I was just sharing my testimony with my friends,” she recalls. “I was crying, so I didn’t even notice what I had said. Tony and Lee were looking at each other, like, ‘She doesn’t even know what she said!’ Thankfully, they heard a song title in there.”
They never finished the other song. But they did write “We All Came To the Cross.”