Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago Heights, IL, Ricky began not only singing in, but also directing the junior choir at the tender age of 5.
“I believe I was called from my mother’s womb to do
music ministry”, says Ricky. It has now been 30 years since Ricky has been a part of the gospel music ministry. Ricky loves his passion and call of God, which is music ministry. “I am a simple kind of guy”, says Ricky, but I say no…. simple, he is not.
Ricky started the very first gospel choir at his high school in 1981. One of the first gospel albums that Ricky’s mother bought for him when he was little was an album by the late and great James Cleveland, which sparked the choir sound in Ricky’s soul.
I asked Ricky that given his vocal gifts why he chose to stick to gospel music as opposed to doing mainstream music. He stated that when the Lord calls you, you come to know Him and have a
relationship with Him. Ricky continued and said that there is nothing that can detour you from that call when you fall in love with God and you fall in love with the call and you give in to Him and He says make your calling…..it was a passion, and there really was no other choice that I could be comfortable with.
Dr. Charles Hayes planted the first seed in Ricky’s life to do gospel music. Dr. Mattie Moss Clark was Ricky’s second influence. Dr. Clark taught Ricky how to teach choirs, and she trained and
nurtured Ricky. The late Rev. Milton Brunson, as Ricky sang with Thompson Community Singers, was Ricky’s other influence. Rev. Brunson taught Ricky how to be a leader.
Bringing forth a service of the Lord that when the song is sang, it is sung in a worship experience that will lift that worship experience to the next level so that the power of God is able to move in the
service and the people can get everything they need, whether it’s healing, or deliverance, or salvation, a blessing, or whatever is needed, in the atmosphere as the songs are sung to the glory of God, He comes in the room and He hands out all the blessings…..that is the objective of Ricky’s ministry.
The “Keep Living” project is to encourage, empower, enlighten, and inspire the listener to know that whatever is going on in their life, life is going to deal you ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and things that you just will not understand why they are happening to you. Yet, while you are going through those things, the word of the Lord is there for your comfort and it comes to say that God is
going to give us the victory, regardless of what we are faced with. “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord, for greater is He that is within us than he that is in the world”, says Ricky.; in other words, because you are in this and you have decided to stay, you deal with, you fight and in the end there is victory, so keep living that you can see the victory”.
Ricky says if you give up, you are not going to see the victory; if you die, you are not going to see the victory, so you’ve got to live so you can declare the word that God has promised in your life. This is what Ricky wants the world to know and to believe; that you have victory by hanging in there with God and knowing that the trial is not going to destroy or kill you, it is only to strengthen you so that God can get the glory.
With all the energy that Ricky gives in his Kingdom building efforts, I wanted to know if he ever gets tired and weary. Ricky stated that sometimes you just ain’t feeling it and sometimes you just don’t want to, sometimes you’re just not on point with it, but there is still a small voice that speaks to your heart and to your mind that says hang on in there and be not weary in well doing, for in due season you will reap if you faint not. Ricky continued saying that God starts whispering in your ear and then you get a little ump in your step and you say I think I can go a little further.
When Ricky is going through his trials and tribulations he has a few friends that he can lean on, but he really tries to deal with his issues himself. Ricky also tries to remember the word of the Lord and what it says. Ricky tries to square his shoulders and lift his head and go forward. Ricky also prays a lot and allows the word of God to reprove and correct him and bring him back to life.
Happy is Ricky as he is starting to see his call and his assignment being fulfilled. It is very important to Ricky that he is obedient to the Lord and completes the assignment that He gives. Ricky loves seeing souls come to the Lord, and he loves seeing people encouraged and inspired. Receiving tweets like, “man you just don’t know what your song did for me today”, are the best parts of being an artist and a servant in the Kingdom, says Ricky.
If the Lord were to call on Ricky tomorrow he feels that the Lord felt that his time here was done, and Ricky would believe that he has done all that God has called him to do. However, Ricky wants to be here as long as God will allow him to serve; “I want Him to use me
until He uses me completely up”, says Ricky.
I asked Ricky if he had any advise for those trying to break into the gospel music industry. Profound was his answer as he replied that promotion does not come from man, it comes from the Lord, and if the Lord does not choose you, don’t be upset, just take hold to the assignment that He has already given you; if you are faithful to the Lord, then He will be faithful to you, says Ricky.
There is a promise to every condition that He gives; The condition is to deny yourself in the Lord, and the promise is that He will give you the desires of your heart. The closer you draw to Him, the more you communicate with Him, He will give you the desires of your heart. There is a collaboration of things that artists who are trying to break in, you can not break in, you have to speak a word, says Ricky.
Ricky continued and stated that everybody can not be a gospel artist or a frontline artist; whose going to be at the churches? Who will be playing on Sunday morning? Who is going to be in the choir? There are a lot of things in Kingdom building that have to be done, and everybody seems to want to be on the frontline, on TV, on records, on radio, and they want to be famous, but it does not come like that. It Comes out of your faithfulness to God and delighting yourself in Him; then you will see if He promotes you. A lot of people want to be famous and wonderful when they come into this industry, but you have to handle the agenda of God first. If it is about you and your agenda, then you will have some issues trying to get into the business, says Ricky.
More importantly, Ricky really wants the people of God to be encouraged and to fall inline with what the Lord wants from you.
To learn more about Ricky Dillard and how to purchase his latest CD, go to http://www.lightrecords.com/artists/ricky-dillard. ■■■