Joseph Habedank On the Value of Hymn Singing and His New Hymns Album "Take Time to Be Holy"

joseph habedank

Joseph Habedank is a multi award-winning and Dove Award nominated singer/songwriter.  He was awarded Singing News Magazine's Young Artist of the Year in 2009 and Songwriter of the Year (Artist) at the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards in 2011.  His songs have been recorded by such artists as: Gold City, Brian Free & Assurance, Karen Peck & New River, Lauren Talley, The Hoppers, The Kingsmen, Ivan Parker, Jeff & Sheri Easter, and more.  He has helped write two nationally charted number one songs and in 2010, "If You Knew Him" (written with Rodney Griffin) was nominated for Southern Gospel Song of the Year at the GMA Dove Awards and won the Singing News Fan Award for Song of the Year.   

On March 24, Habedank will be releasing his hymns album "Take Time to Be Holy" on Daywind Records.  We are so honored to catch up with him for this exclusive Hallels' interview.

Hallels:  Congratulations on your new hymns album "Take Time to Be Holy."  Being such a prolific writer, why would you want to record a hymns album?

First of all, thank you so much for your kind words. As much as I love writing new music, I feel that people are always listening for something familiar; something they can sing along with. I did this album for those people. The older generation, if you will. With that being said, I believe the arrangements lend themselves to the younger generation and I feel it's important these songs aren't forgotten. 

Hallels:  There are many albums of hymns out there, how did you approach this album in order to put your own mark on these evergreen songs of the church?

We wanted to keep it simple; most of the cuts on the album consist of just a piano and me. At the same time, we wanted to find a balance in keeping with the original arrangements and yet changing a few things here and there for a fresh take on these classics. 

Hallels:  What do you think is the value of hymn singing?  What are churches missing out if they eschew the hymns? 

I try not to be one of the nay-sayers in regards to the epidemic that is Praise & Worship music in evangelical churches today because at the end of the day, it is all about the song in my mind. With that being said, it's hard to ignore the heritage of hymns. One of the greatest values to hymn singing is the different harmony parts one often learns when singing these songs in church. Furthermore, the lyrics in these songs are unparalleled. They are simply brilliant and anointed. 

Hallels:  With hundreds of years of hymns to choose from, how did you narrow down your choice?

I tried to record songs that meant the most to me personally. I always feel like I can better communicate a lyric I am passionate about. Some of the songs are not as well known as others, but the majority of them are songs I grew up singing in church. 

Hallels:  Listening to album right now, I absolutely love "It is Well" which you sang it as a duet with your wife, Lindsay. Tell us why did you choose this hymn?  And why did you envisage it as a duet?

This has always been one of my favorite hymns and it just seemed like a no-brainer when choosing songs for this record. As for the duet, Lindsay and I had actually never sang together before this recording and considering we get asked nearly everywhere we go when we are finally going to do a duet, we just felt it was time. The song really lends itself to a duet with the echo parts in the chorus. Not only did Lindsay sing on the album, but she produced it as well! I am so proud of the work she put into this. She did an amazing job! 

Hallels:  It's been some time since I have heard the title cut "Take Time to be Holy."  Is there a story behind your choice of this song?

Lindsay actually brought this song to my attention after she was introduced to it by our Pastor, Dan Scott, who sang it at our church (Christ Church Nashville) one Sunday. When Lindsay first read me the lyric, I was in, I didn't even need to hear the music. This is probably my favorite song on the album and quite possibly one of my favorite songs period. The message in this song is so needed in the church today. It's so easy for us to rely on the blood of Jesus, but the Lord longs for his children to live a holy, separated life. 

Hallels:  For our readers who would like to purchase "Take Time to be Holy," where can they go?

You can pre-order the album TODAY on our website. Just visit: On March 24, it will be available for download on iTunes, or you can order the CD from It will also be available in your local Christian bookstore. 
Thanks so much for helping us spread the word about this album! 

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