I always find it so inspiring to hear the real life stories of various singers that bring forth messages. Whether it be how God worked a miracle, used an adversity to bring about something to their advantage, or allowed them to simply be a blessing to others. It is also the music that carries these messages that is of great significance, and because of that, The Clark Family makes a great difference. With their pure, sweet voices blended in family harmony, carrying simple sermons in song, this family has a meaningful music ministry. I had the opportunity to interview Travis Clark, the 18-year-old musician of this group, and find out a little more about him and his family’s gospel group. Travis says, “There are five people in my family. Four of us travel and sing with our three cousins, and my mom runs the sound system.” Being a part of a family group himself, Travis can similarly relate to other gospel groups. Some of his favorites are “The Mylon Hayes Family, Collingsworth Family, and Brian Free and Assurance.” He says, “I enjoy hearing and seeing other families serve God together. It’s an encouragement to me. And Brian Free and Assurance sing so many songs with an awesome message so they inspire me to write.”
Singing is not the only musical talent this family employs. Travis also plays the cello, guitar and piano, and as stated earlier, is recently expanding upon his family’s ministry even more through the art of songwriting. “I love to write music. I wrote my first song six months ago and have been writing ever since. It’s so cool and humbling to see God use songs He’s given me to help encourage and be a blessing to others,” the young musician discloses. Yet music is not his only interest. In his spare time he also enjoys playing sports and hunting.
Furthermore, it’s amazing to watch how God allows one open door to lead to another door of opportunity, causing the scope of influence to continue escalating. This same effect can be seen in the Clark Family’s life. Travis explains his group’s origin: “My dad along with his brother and sister group up, and their dad started a church, which made them automatically become the special music. So they got older and kept singing, had kids, and we’ve been doing it ever since.”
Along with being born into the music, Travis was also born into a family who serves the Maker of music. Travis reflects that He was always reminded that the Maker of music is the one whom they were to make music for. “Whether I was singing or playing an instrument, my dad would often stop me and say, ‘Do you know who you’re singing to?’ And I would say ‘yes’ and not give it much thought, until one day in my music room I was pondering that through and wrote the song titled, Living in Me — just a simple song that talks about how the same God who filled the oceans is the same God I have access to in my heart each day.” That simple principle is so often overlooked, but when it is overlooked, life is not so simple. Travis can attest to this because of what He has gone through, and what He was able to cling to during that time. “The Lord has really used the song Big Enough to help me personally as many others. I went through a sickness where I was unable to sing for nine months because of some heart problems, and this song helped my spirit. It’s been a theme in my life, especially through my teenage years.”
As expressed, music is such a special element that can be utilized to touch its players along with its listeners. This may be why Travis believes it is so important to get involved in this noteworthy art. “I usually tell teens that it’s never too late. I often try to encourage other teenagers to sing and learn instruments, and I usually hear the same thing, whether that be ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I’m gonna be a senior’ etc… It’s never too late to start.”
According to Travis’ family, he is “energetic, organized and a perfectionist,” but it does take great energy and strength to sing at such a young age in front of such a large crowd. Travis remembers, “When I was eight years old, I was invited to Lancaster Baptist Church in California and it was the first time I remember traveling and singing. In addition, it was the biggest audience I ever sang in front of. I believe it was approximately 4,000.” But no matter the size of the crowd, Travis says, “I love traveling and singing with my family. I always enjoy meeting new people and making friends. To be able to come into a church and help people through music and leave them refreshed and encouraged is an awesome opportunity.”
After reaching the milestone of graduating from high school, this young musician plans to continue following God’s call by attending Vision Baptist College in New Jersey while studying music education. But no matter where he goes or what he must go through, Travis knows that God is big enough. Like the song says, “So when it seems it can’t be done, I know God is big enough. I can run the race I’m called to run. Cause I know God is big enough. He’ll finish everything He starts. He’ll meet us right here where we are. And I can feel faith rising up cause I know God is big enough.”