When he was 22 years old, the day after his college graduation Charles Billingsley packed up his red two-door Ford Explorer, attached a little trailer behind it and headed to a church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to perform his first professional concert.
Two years after graduating from Samford University, Billingsley joined Christian music group NewSong as their lead vocalist. In 1996 he moved on to begin his solo career and traveled the country, performing an average of 200 concerts a year. In 2000 and 2001 he and Shae were blessed with the births of their sons Caleb and Cooper, and when the boys were just babies the family decided to take a step of faith and move to Lynchburg, Virginia where Billingsley became worship pastor at Thomas Road Church and artist-in-residence at Liberty University.
In 2005 the family moved across the country to serve alongside Dr. David Jeremiah at Shadow Mountain Community Church and Turning Point Ministries in San Diego, California. Two years later the Billingsleys felt God’s call to return to Lynchburg where the family has been residing ever since. In addition to his roles as worship leader at Thomas Road and his involvement in the worship department at Liberty University, Billingsley has also taken on Red Tie Music, a music publishing company, and several small businesses on the side. Billingsley still makes time to minister to an average of 100,000 people each year by leading worship at conferences all over the country.
In 2009 the future of Charles Billingsley’s music ministry looked uncertain. An aggravated blood vessel burst on his vocal cords leaving the singer with a sizable polyp. Billingsley was told he would have to undergo surgery to remove it and no other options existed. With many fearful questions arising about his voice, questioning if he’d ever be able to sing again, the night before his surgery friends gathered to pray over him. The last man to pray put his hand on Billingsley’s throat and said, “If you never sing again, will you still love God? Will you still serve God? Will you still worship God?” Billingsley replied, in a moment of pure transparency, “I think so.” After surgery and five days of silence Billingsley’s vocal cords healed. Two weeks later he did a concert. Through that faith-trying experience he was reminded that the source of his song is God alone.“God used that polyp on my voice to refocus me,” Billingsley said. “Before that polyp, I used my voice for success. Now I want to use it for significance.”