"Gospel music matters. You can make more money in the secular world, but I want to sing something that makes a difference in people’s lives, so my time is not wasted."
Kim Lord, who once sang with her family in The Ruppes, then formed LordSong with her husband, Michael Lord, and now sings with her sisters Heather and Valerie in Sisters, explained, in an interview with The Christian View, why she has chosen to sing Gospel music.
"If you can encourage somebody not to give up," she told this writer, "and can make their day brighter, and, to even go deeper than that, really give them the Word in a song. I think that music softens the heart. If you can soften the heart to be receptive to the Gospel, that is an awesome task. Gospel music does that.
"We always look for songs with lyrics that will impact somebody’s life or make them stop and think, or encourage them. The main reason we sing is because we want to see people saved. We love to sing songs about the cross, what the Lord did for us, and the hope we have in Calvary.
"We do a song called "Wandering Heart," that lets people know that it doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone or what you’ve done, God’s forgiveness is all-encompassing. It’s so amazing to think about God’s forgiveness. It’s so wonderful to be on stage and to connect with somebody in the audience who gets it. It’s almost like you can see a ‘light’ come on—God really does love me, and I can be forgiven. All I have to do is ask Him. To see that happen is the most incredible thing--it matters."
A nine-year-old Kim Ruppe began singing with her mother, Brenda, and sister, Heather, in 1974. She was 10 when The Ruppes recorded their first record in 1975.
The first time she sang live on the radio, however, was at the age of three, with her mother and grandmother. "That is one of my earliest memories, singing in that radio station," she said. "One of Mama’s brothers was playing drums. I had a huge microphone in my face, and I was standing on a chair."
The Rambos were her family’s favorite singers when she was growing up. "We didn’t know there was anybody else other than the Rambos," Kim said. "We sang something off every record they ever did. They were the Singing Echoes and then the Singing Rambos. We loved them."
At a time when The Ruppes consisted of Brenda and daughters Kim and Valerie, they had the opportunity to meet Dottie Rambo. "It was awesome," Kim said. "We went to her house, sat in her living room, and talked and sang. It was an honor to meet her. She is one of the most prolific songwriters ever."
Family influences on Kim’s life and career have included her mother and father, Brenda and the late Leo Ruppe, and her maternal grandmother. "It was almost like we were born singing our parts," she said. "When we were little girls, Heather sang low, alto, and I always sang in the middle. Mama sang high, soprano. Mama worked with us on the songs, but it seemed like we always knew our parts. We grew up in this. Mom and her Mom were musical influences. But Dad was always the glue that kept us together. He was always behind the scenes, doing everything--all the booking, all the management, all the driving, all the running sound. He always had a vision for The Ruppes, and wouldn’t let us quit when it got really hard."
Kim left The Ruppes in 1986, and her sister Valerie joined Heather and their mother. Kim returned to The Ruppes in 1990 when Heather and her husband, Greg Day, sang together as The Days for 10 years. Kim’s last concert with The Ruppes was New Year’s Eve, 1999. She and her husband formed LordSong in 2000, and Heather returned to The Ruppes.
"The Lord told us to form LordSong," Kim said. "I didn’t want to, at first, because I was so comfortable singing with The Ruppes. That was all I had ever known, singing with them. I had never sung with anybody else. But the Lord had other plans, and He has really blessed.
"Sometimes, it’s hard to follow what God wants for our life, but, during my prayer time and really struggling with whether or not to leave, God gave me a verse, Jeremiah 29:11, which says, I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans not to harm you but to prosper you and give you hope and a future. That first part—I know the plans I have for you—spoke to my heart. Sometimes, my plans are not the plans He has for me, but, if I trust in Him, He will take care of me. And He has. He has always been faithful. When I sign my autograph, I always put Jeremiah 29:11, because that is the verse that helped me step out on faith and form LordSong."
LordSong has recorded several albums. "The hardest part is finding the right songs," she said. "The recording part is easy." Her husband wrote songs for their first album. "My brother-in-law, Greg Day, is a wonderful songwriter, too," she added. "I always check with him. There are certain writers we always go back to, and the publishing houses that employ those writers. We try to find the songs God wants us to do."
Kim and Michael and daughter Kailey are members of Anderson Mill Road Baptist Church in Spartanburg. "It’s a wonderful church," said Kim. "Our Pastor started two years ago right out of the seminary. We also have a wonderful choir and music programs. We love it when we have a chance to be home on a Sunday and get to go to our own church. That doesn’t happen very often. When we get to go, it is usually on a Wednesday night. Our whole life, we’ve never been able to attend Sunday School class or get involved on a personal level in our own churches, because we’ve always been gone. When we do get a chance to come home, it’s refreshing. We need that. We need the Word, too, to be able to sit down and not have to worry about singing, but just soak it up."
One of her favorite songs is "Under His Wings," which her mother sang to her own mother as she lay dying. "My favorite hymn is "Great is Thy Faithfulness." I love that song, because it talks about the faithfulness of the Lord. He is so faithful in everything."
In addition to Jeremiah 29:11, her favorite verses from Scripture are I Peter 5:6-7: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. "That is my life Scripture," she said. "It helps me to remember that, in God’s time, we’ll see that what we do matters and that we’ll get rewarded. He’ll exalt you in due time—and that’s His time. Just keep trusting. He said that we could always cast our care on Him."