Country singer Josh Turner is venturing into the world of gospel music with his new faith-based album "I Serve a Savior."
The singer told Fox News he has been wanting to record gospel tunes "for a long, long time" and feels his new music has been a "God-ordained blessing."
"I’ve always wanted to do a gospel record. It’s always been a part of who I am and what I’ve been called to do," Turner told us adding that he only chose songs that "spoke to my faith and what I believe."
He added, "Working on this project has definitely been a God-ordained blessing. I never would have thought I’d be doing this record this year, but God opened a door and I walked through it. I’ve seen many seemingly impossible things take place during the making of this record and I’ve felt God in it."
While Turner is best known for his work in country music with hit songs like "Your Man" and "Would You Go with Me," he is hesitant to call his latest record a "new direction."
"[The album is] something that’s near and dear to my heart and has allowed me to record songs that I probably wouldn’t have been able to record on a mainstream country record. It’s very fulfilling to record these songs so I can have my own version to lean on during certain seasons of my life and throughout my career," he shared.
The 41-year-old is particularly proud of one song off of the record which was written by his wife, Jennifer, and son Hampton, 12.
"They actually wrote the song about four years ago when Hampton was eight," Turner said of "The River (of Happiness)." "Hampton had been playing something on the mandolin, and Jennifer asked him what it was. He said it was something he made up and they ended up collaborating on it and writing [the song]."
Turner and Jennifer's three other sons also sing on the special tune.
The 41-year-old also opened up about the role faith plays in his life calling it the "most important thing to me."
"God has commissioned us to go out and tell people about Him and that’s what I’m doing. I want people to hear the sentiment and heart behind this record. I want them to feel the same inspiration that I felt. I want them to feel that and hopefully they’ll make these songs a part of their life," he shared.
The singer-songwriter said that it's only through his belief in God that he has been able to make it through the tough times in his life. He recalled hitting a low during his first year of marriage nearly 15 years ago.
"I always describe 2004 as the best and worst year of my life – I was in my first year of marriage and sitting on a big hit, but at the same time, I had a lot people on the business side who were supposed to be working for me, working against me," he shared adding that he was on the road "close to 300 days that year."
"The magnitude of having to travel as many days as I did that year...took a tax on me physically," Turner recounted, revealing that he began to have "panic attacks and nervous breakdowns" while he was on the road and his wife was home in Nashville working as a teacher.
"I had to go through things that year that I never thought I had to go through. I had every reason to give it up and to quit, but in the midst of the turmoil, I thought back to when God spoke to me about this career and my future," he said. "I knew He had called me to trust him no matter what. I clung to that moment, relied on that and trusted in Him and I’m glad that I did. If I had packed up and moved back to South Carolina, I would have forfeited all the blessings I’ve experienced in the last almost twenty years."
Faith & Fame is a regular column exploring how a strong belief system helps some performers navigate the pitfalls of the entertainment industry.