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Country Star Walker Hayes Talks Sobriety, Finding Jesus: ‘Worth Sharing’

Photo from Walker Hayes’ Instagram

Country Star Walker Hayes Talks Sobriety, Finding Jesus: ‘Worth Sharing’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Country star Walker Hayes is sharing his faith journey from “alcoholic atheist” to a sober Christian and the impact one man had on his life. 

“I’m eight years sober this October,” he shared. “I woke up one day when I was working at Costco. I was working at Costco from 4 to 11 and then writing and then playing shows. And man, it caught up to me. And honestly, I had been drinking since I was probably like 13.”

He continued, “I woke up one Saturday, and I just felt like I was going to die. I felt like physically if I did one more day, something was wrong. And so I stopped, and then one day turned into two and then two turned into a week. And then a week turned into a month. And then I did the whole high on sobriety thing and got into working out and stuff. Kind of traded a bad addiction for some good ones.”

Hayes was also called to Christianity after meeting Craig Allen Cooper. While Hayes was initially unsure of Cooper’s efforts to be friends, his mind changed after the minivan his family used for their six children was repossessed. They were left with a sedan that didn’t fit the whole family, so Cooper gave them his own minivan. 

“I have nothing going on musically. I’m an alcoholic. I’m great at pushing people away,” Hayes remembered. “So here comes this guy named Craig, who was drawn nearer to me. And it was quite confusing. You know, there were a lot of times when I was like, ‘What’s this dude’s deal? Like, why does he love us so much? Like, why does he keep feeding us food? Why is he giving me a minivan? Why is he encouraging me? Why isn’t he like everybody else?'” 

Hayes continued, “In the long run, I honestly found out he’s just as broken as me, but he just knows Jesus. He needs Jesus. Every morning he wakes up, he needs Jesus, and Jesus is a light through him. And then, it was an awareness. I began to look in the mirror and just look at simple things.”

The pair’s friendship grew, and they wrote a book together, “Glad You’re Here: Two Unlikely Friends Breaking Bread and Fences.” Movieguide® previously reported:

Singer Walker Hayes and author Craig Allen Cooper recently dropped their new co-written book “Glad You’re Here: Two Unlikely Friends Breaking Bread and Fences.”

In a new interview, the country music star and the pastor discussed how the book came to be and how they became friends. 

“Nashville beat me up, I was an alcoholic, Laney and I had lost a kid. It was tough, and Craig’s — the unconditional love (from) Craig and his family truly changed my life,” Hayes said. “We saw Jesus in them so clearly. And that’s coming from an atheist….so that’s wild. And again, it’s just wild that we’re sharing a book about Jesus.”

“Faith has taken me by surprise. But it is overwhelming. How well it just fits [with] what I do,” Hayes told 25 News Now. 

The country star also wants to share that faith with his audience. 

“I don’t think there’s anything [more] worth sharing than what Jesus has done with me and the redemption I’ve experienced here on earth and will continue to experience from knowing Him,” he told Taste of Country. “That’s it. That’s why I wanna share my story.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Hayes’ and Cooper’s friendship:

This is not the first time Hayes turned his relationship with Cooper into art. In 2017, he released “Craig,” a song that described Cooper’s kindness and friendship. 

“A lot of people have heard the song and can think of it as a one-sided thing. The truth is, Walker and Laney and their family have been with us in our hardest times, and they have lifted us up,” Cooper shared. “It’s just been a friendship, I think that is from heaven.”

“It’s all about Jesus, honestly now. Which it wasn’t at all,” the singer added. “When I wrote this song for Craig, I was very intentional about not saying Jesus’ name. I didn’t want to say his name. I didn’t believe in him. But I said, ’man, this dude might actually know him.’ That’s what the song says, and that was kind of my rebuttal to their unconditional love.

“I truly feel like I’ve been given this platform, this stage to share this message,” he continued. “The timing of it has been all Lord-orchestrated. We just have a great platform to share this message of vulnerability, friendship, and just strangers becoming neighbors.”

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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