Darlene Zschech is known worldwide for her ability to move listeners into a state of worship, both by her gifted ability to sing, and the heart-felt lyrics that warm our souls.
Her worship songs have been popular amongst churchgoers since the release of “Shout to the Lord,” the title track of the first live album co-produced with Integrity Music.
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Darlene began singing and performing at a young age, and by her teen years was singing jingles for popular companies like McDonalds, KFC, and Diet Coke.
At the age of fifteen, Darlene gave her life to Jesus Christ–a decision that opened a door for God’s leading to where she is today. Being the worship pastor at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia she oversees a team of over 800 volunteers. The Hillsong albums have gained popularity in both the Christian and secular market with 14 live worship albums all certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association.
With a passion to care for the hurting, Darlene and her husband Mark initiated the ‘100 days of hope project’ in 2006, to bring hope to the nation of Rwanda who suffered the horrific genocide of 1994.
Through Mercy Ministries, Darlene and Mark minister to young women, helping them through issues of abuse, unplanned pregnancy, and eating disorders.
God has also blessed Darlene and Mark with three daughters–Amy, Chloe and Zoe, and together they reside in Sydney Australia.
Although Darlene is an extremely busy woman, it was my pleasure and honor to have caught up with her this month to talk about her singing, her walk with God, and about her new album “Change Your World” dated for release November 8th.
I understand that you oversee a team of over 800 volunteers in the Worship & Creative Arts department, of Hillsong church in Sydney Australia. Which keeps you busier—being the worship pastor, or raising three children?
Definitely raising three children keeps me personally busier…..as we have an awesome team that assist me on a daily basis with the worship and creative arts dept.
Well, those kids are blessed to have a mom like you and a father like Mark–as you are three times blessed in return.
I’d like to offer our condolences and our prayers to you on the recent passing of your father-in-law. Can you tell us what positive influences he had on your life?
Mark’s dad has been one incredible human being. A missionary, a man who really gave up the lures of this world to pursue Christ, and a worshipper to the core. He was a very softly spoken man, but when he had something to say, you knew it would be gold… and so all would listen. He loved us all very, very much and will be missed every moment of every day.
He sounds wonderful. We’d all love to have in-laws like him who are so grounded in their faith.
Darlene, at what age did you get saved, and can you tell us a bit about that experience?
I was fifteen when I gave my life to Christ…. It was literally my defining moment, and the best way to describe it to you would be that I was BLOWN AWAY by the unconditional love of Christ. Growing up on television… I always felt the need to perform to achieve value… finding Christ, was like finding my centre, my reason, my anchor. I will ever be grateful.
Many readers may not know that you are a former child television star; can you tell us a about that experience?
Star might be a bit of an exaggeration… although to my mother I know I was! I have been singing since I was 3, and paid full time to sing since I was ten years old. The experience I received was invaluable… being in the recording studio every week, being mentored by incredible local muso’s and artists – gaining a level of confidence in front of the camera which has also proved to be invaluable….
You’ve written, recorded, and performed countless worship songs; do you have a personal favorite?
Hard to say… Glorify Your Name would be one of the favourites which I have written, Take All of Me would be one of my faves which Marty Sampson wrote…
I’m excited to see that your newest CD, “Change Your World” is due to arrive in stores on November 8th. Iunderstand that there is a passion behind this CD; what is “Change your World” all about?
Change Your World is about exactly that…. I believe in the power of a worshipping heart, a heart that is committed to Christ–to be ACTIVE in our pursuit of making a difference in the world we live in, and not for our benefit, but for the benefit of the seemingly forgotten, the abandoned, the orphans and the widows. CHANGED by the SPIRIT of GOD… to BRING CHANGE in the world we live in….
I’ve seen the video and listened to some of the clips online, it really is a powerful CD and one I can’t wait to add to my collection this month.
My name has often been confused with yours, but the disappointment quickly sets in when they learn that I’m not you, which is quite understandable since I’m disappointed myself sometime. 🙂
Do most people have a hard time spelling your last name, and was it ever a thought early on to change it?
I never thought about changing my name… it’s who I am.
Bravo to you Darlene I like the name too.
I’ve read that Mercy Ministries reaches out to young women who suffer from eating disorders, unwanted pregnancies, and issues of abuse. As a young woman, did you suffer with any of these issues?
Well, like many young woman who battle with self esteem issues, I struggled with Bulimia over a period of 5 years. As a form of control, I would binge and purge, abuse my body with laxatives and all I can say looking back, is that I am so grateful for the love of a heavenly father, and the love and support of my beautiful best friend, my husband Mark….
Husbands can be wonderful–the undying love of a best friend and spouse is truly a gift from God.
Darlene, the world sees you as a world-renowned Christian recording artist. What else do you hope they will see?
I pray people will see a woman who is devoted to Christ and His worship, and devoted to the lives of others.
Ok, good because that’s what I’m seeing too.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or one that’s been on your heart that you can share with us today?
Psalm 145 is key for me…. It’s David talking about proclaiming the goodness of God to the next generation… and praising the Lord at all times, no matter what is going on……
There is strength in that Psalm. What a powerful scripture, thank you
Lastly—a question I’ve always wanted to ask–when you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red one’s last? 🙂
MMMMMM, I’m not really a smarties chick… Definitely a peanut M&Ms chick… and no, not red ones last!!!
Love you… Darls
Darlene, we love you too, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us girls at CWO. I’ll be looking for your CD this month, but before I do that, I’m off to pick up some peanut M&M’s and then I’m settling down with my nose in Psalm 145.
You can find out more about Darlene Zschech by visiting her website at:
Check out her newest CD at: