Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

Lee Greenwood on the Bible, faith and 9/11: ‘We pray for God’s hand’ over us all

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A deep belief in God and the regular practice of faith are critical components of the life of artist, performer and country star Lee Greenwood

Just ahead of this weekend, he shared with Fox News Digital his feelings about those issues — as well as the anniversary of 9/11 — in a phone interview.

He and wife Kim, he said, both keep Bibles on their night tables and read the Bible regularly. 

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“We have a family Bible that actually goes back generations on our living room table,” Greenwood said. 

His wife, he said, “is someone of great faith, as were her parents.”

Lee Greenwood performs during the "Fox and Friends" naturalization ceremony for Veterans Day at Fox News Channel Studios Nov. 11, 2019, in New York City. 

Lee Greenwood performs during the “Fox and Friends” naturalization ceremony for Veterans Day at Fox News Channel Studios Nov. 11, 2019, in New York City. 
(Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Once he met her, he said, “I found myself capturing yet again the emotions, the reverence, that I had for my faith as a teenager. And I knew that I’d missed it so very much.”

It’s no wonder that Greenwood has created a new “God Bless the USA” Bible, in an easy-to-read large print and with a lightweight, slim design (it uses the King James version translation). 

The Bible also contains — within the same binding — important founding documents to America and all Americans: The Pledge of Allegiance, The Constitution, The Declaration of Independence and The Bill of Rights. 

“When we talked about creating yet another Bible, the idea came to us for this — I guess because I’m a constitutionalist, if you will. And I love the country and how we got started,” Greenwood said. 

Having a book — a Bible — that shares not just the word of God but also contains, at the back, the documents detailing how the country got started, buoyed by faith, was important to him, he said. 

He felt it would be appreciated by many others as well. By putting these documents together, “anybody can refer this to someone who wonders how our country got started — and the importance of the word of God to the people who started it.”

“I pray for those things that are bigger than me, bigger than us.”

He added, “And when’s the last time you had the chance to read the Constitution?”

Greenwood explained that, in addition to attending church when he’s home (as opposed to when he’s traveling on the road for his work), he and his family join in with their Brentwood Baptist church services online. 

“And then, I also go to my prayer team — which is every morning, seven days a week — and I pray for those things that are bigger than me and bigger than us,” he said.

Lee Greenwood performs on stage during a music memorial for Jeff Carson at Nashville Palace May 10, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. 

Lee Greenwood performs on stage during a music memorial for Jeff Carson at Nashville Palace May 10, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. 
(Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

Recently, he said, “we added Ukraine to our prayer list as well.”

“We don’t pray for what we want to happen,” Greenwood added. “We pray for God’s hand to be on the situation and for him to take control of it. All things are greater for God.”

There are 16 members of his prayer group, he said — people from all walks of life, from those in entertainment to mechanics to those who drive trucks. 

Favorite Bible passage

What passages in the Bible resonate most strongly with Greenwood?

He said his go-to verse is Psalm 32. 

“Psalm 32 is about forgiveness,” he said. “And many times in my life, I’ve done things that maybe I wasn’t so proud of, and I’ve asked God for forgiveness.”

Lee Greenwood told Fox News Digital, "If God is willing to forgive all that we've done, then we need to forgive others as well."

Lee Greenwood told Fox News Digital, “If God is willing to forgive all that we’ve done, then we need to forgive others as well.”

He added, “And in terms of people who have done me wrong as well — that’s my favorite passage that I always go to. Because if God is willing to forgive all that we’ve done, then we need to forgive others as well.”

He said, “I’ve had to swallow my pride and do that with someone who had done me wrong” — but then, he said, once he forgave that person, he was able to feel a weight lift from his heart once he knew he’d done the right thing.

“I was sent to the Baptist faith,” Greenwood recalled of his years growing up in California. His sharecropper grandparents, he said, knew “that if I didn’t have faith, I wouldn’t survive.”

Lee Greenwood with members of the U.S. Navy during a visit to "FOX and Friends" at Fox News Channel Studios May 27, 2022, in New York City. 

Lee Greenwood with members of the U.S. Navy during a visit to “FOX and Friends” at Fox News Channel Studios May 27, 2022, in New York City. 
(Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

“And so they sent me to the church — and I loved that. Wednesday nights at the church,” said Greenwood, “was rehearsal night, and there was always food available there. And then we would sing on Sundays.”

He said that during those young years — when he was about age 9 to about age 12 or so — “that’s when I was learning to become an entrepreneur.” 

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He said his grandparents would allow him to pick flowers from the farm and then ride down to the market on his bicycle and try to sell those flowers to earn money.

Later in life, he said, once he moved to Nashville, he recaptured the emotion and the reverence for his faith practices that he learned as a young person, he said.

On the 21st anniversary of 9/11

“We have a charity that we work with — a fundraising charity that helps wounded warriors called Helping A Hero,” said Greenwood (helpingahero.org).

He also works closely with Frank Siller’s Tunnel to Towers.

“They go further than those who are just military — they actually help anyone throughout the entire country once they find out there’s a need,” said Greenwood. “We support that every year.”

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Greenwood spoke of a policeman killed in Nashville not long ago. “Frank Siller came to Nashville, and they actually paid off the widow’s house,” he said. “They do a lot of great things for other people.”

“We didn’t know what was coming next. And sometimes — that’s when you drop to your knees and you know that all you can do is pray.” 

Greenwood mentioned that every time he visits New York, he tries to visit the memorial in Lower Manhattan.

This year, Greenwood will be singing at NASCAR on Sunday in Kansas City for 9/11 to kick off race day.

“As people watch from all over the world, I always hope to put my best foot forward,” said Greenwood, “and give the best performance I can, and reflect on those moments when it was so tragic for all of us, on 9/11.”

“Looking back at those events,” said Greenwood, “we didn’t know what was coming next. And sometimes — that’s when you drop to your knees and you know that all you can do is pray.” 

“It’s really important to elect the right people to represent us.”

“Those are the moments that go through my head on 9/11 — and they will, for as long as I live — to remember how America, which I believe represents the freedom of the world, made so many sacrifices for other countries.”

The Statue of Liberty, noted Greenwood, reminds people of that.

“And every time I sing ‘God Bless the USA,’ all of this is what I think of — and I do this at sports events all around the country.”

Lee Greenwood said that this weekend, as he performs for Americans, he'll be reflecting "on those moments when it was so tragic for all of us, on 9/11."

Lee Greenwood said that this weekend, as he performs for Americans, he’ll be reflecting “on those moments when it was so tragic for all of us, on 9/11.”

“And thank God for sports events,” added Greenwood. “As much as the NFL had a little hiccup, all sports events present America at its best,” he said. 

The military, the respect to the flag, the honor for American heroes — all of that is presented and in full view of assembled crowds, he said.

“And if wasn’t for sports events, I don’t know that people would see this all of the time — and they need to,” he said.

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People also need to be cognizant, he added, of all the individuals they elect to office. 

“It’s really important to elect the right people to represent us,” he said.

Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” was named Song of the Year by the Academy of Country Music in 1985 and has won many other honors and awards. He has said it was “the song I always felt the need to write.”

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“I wanted to have something that would unite Americans from coast to coast and to instill pride back in the United States,” said Greenwood. “The song represents my family, my community and those men and women who have paid the price for the freedoms we all love and enjoy.”

Greenwood continues to tour all across the United States. 



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