ROCKINGHAM — Gospel Music Hall of Famer Carman brought his musical ministry to Roberdel Baptist Church Nov. 18.
“We are very excited to have Carman as a guest singer,” said church member Logan McKenzie, who began coordinating the concert in July.
Carman, whose real name is Carman Licciardello, has been singing contemporary Christian music for more than 36 years, selling more than 10 million records and recording 15 gold and platinum albums and videos. He also holds the world record for the largest solo Christian concert at Texas Stadium with 71,000 people.
Born in Trenton, New Jersey, in January 1956, Carman is still going strong at age 62 ― despite a 2013 diagnosis of incurable cancer, when doctors told him he would not live much longer.
With his strong faith in God and some research, he found 72-year-old specialist Dr. Bart Bartlogie. The doctor was about to retire and wasn’t taking any more patients but with much persistence, Carman was able to persuade Bartlogie to see one last patient.
Then, a miracle began to take place.
Carman called Bartlogie “the miracle-working doctor, because I am still here.”
He began the concert with the song “I Love Jesus” and continued with some of his older tunes, hymns, and a special testimonial song he wrote about his miraculous healing.
“I did want to do something if God allowed me to get through this,” he said regarding his bout with cancer. “I didn’t want a dollar bill to stop anyone from coming to my concert, so I didn’t charge.”
Carman added that he wanted others to be able to have the opportunity to give as well, telling the audience about Child Fund, which gives others the chance to sponsor a child who is less fortunate, which he asked all to consider. This took place instead of taking up an offering.
“I want others to be able to experience the blessing of changing others’ lives just as I have” he said. “In order to make a difference in this world, the biggest difference happens one person at a time.”
Several T-shirts were given away as they were tossed into the audience. A teddy bear with a T-shirt reading “Somebody’s Praying for Me” was also given away. There was a special segment honoring the military as Carman led all who attended in the Pledge of Allegiance. The concert came to an end as he thanked everyone for all the prayers throughout the time he battled cancer.