Growing up, Archie Jordan was just like a lot of little boys, thinking that all it takes to get to Heaven is to be a good boy.
It wasn't until his college days that Mr. Jordan learned the real truth about how to get into the pearly gates of Heaven. The two-time Grammy nominated famed singer, songwriter, learned that the reality of getting into Heavenisn't about the good works that one does on earth - rather it's by the faith they possess in knowing that Jesus Christ died on the cross for everyone's sins, including their own.
"I really thought like a lot of little boys that if I was a good little boy, I'd go to Heaven, said Mr. Jordan. "It took me a long, long time to figure that out," added Mr. Jordan, who entertained an audience of some 250 at First Baptist Church of Thomson with a number of songs he played on the piano and guitar. "I sought God with all my heart in my college days."
Mr. Jordan is perhaps best-known for having written a number of top songs for such well-known singers as B.J. Thomas, Amy Grant, Ronnie Milsap, Barbara Mandrell, Kenny Rogers, Anne Murray, Larnelle Harris, Shirley Caesar, Steven Curtis Chapman and The Tams.
The Perkins, Ga., resident, who has had seven gold albums, three platinum albums and numerous awards, said he had allowed God to work in his life since his college days.
"God has shown me something - whether on a mountain top or down in a valley - that He's in control of it all," Mr. Jordan told those attending the concert.
Mr. Jordan was introduced to the audience by Thomson's Ed Grisham with welcoming remarks and prayer being given by the First Baptist Church pastor, Dr. Jim Ramsey.
He shared many of the songs he has written through the years. Many of them have become known worldwide.
One of his greatest hits was "What a Difference You've Made In My Life." His performance of that song met with a standing ovation near the end of the concert.
Other famed songs he's written and had recorded by some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry included: "It Was Almost Like a Song" and "Let's Take the Long Way Around the World."
Mr. Jordan, who was born in Augusta, recalled that he got his first big break in his music career when he turned 18 and was living in Aiken, S.C., with his parents. He teamed up with the famous musical group, The Tams, an all-black group.
"They gave me my first start," said Mr. Jordan. "I'll never forget what they did to help get my career started."
While with The Tams, Mr. Jordan produced a record and wrote the song, "Jesus is Your Ticket to Heaven," which he also performed.
The song, "It Was Almost Like a Song," turned out to be one of country recording artist Ronnie Milsap's most famous songs. It stayed number one for three weeks on the country billboard charts. That same song later was nominated for a Grammy Award and was featured in a movie, The Bridges of Madison County, which starred Clint Eastwood.
Mr. Jordan is quick to give praise to God for the success in his career.
"The talent that I have been given is all a gift from God," said Mr. Jordan. "I was blessed by God. He allowed a lot of doors to open for me in my life."
As an example, one of those doors opened up in his life and helped to launch his career early. It came just two years after he moved to Nashville.
"I was very fortunate to have had that song - It was almost like a song - come so early in my career," said Mr. Jordan, noting that most songwriters work an average of seven years before they get their first big hit.
Aside from his music, Mr. Jordan also thrilled the audience with his humor and a song he wrote about a 1975 Fleetwood Cadillac that he purchased with his first royalty check.
"I want ya'll to know that was the first check I ever received that had a comma in the amount of it," laughed the singer, songwriter.