Actor and musician Dennis Quaid appeared yesterday at Pastor Greg Laurie’s Harvest Christian Fellowship church, where he performed two songs from his new album, “Fallen: A Gospel Record for Sinners.” Quaid said that the first song he performed, “On My Way to Heaven,” was written for his mother to let her know that he was okay after he got out of rehab.
“I was always a Christian, grew up in the Baptist church but this was really the beginning of my personal relationship with Jesus, which started after that,” Quaid told the Harvest congregation. “Up until then I’d been trying to do it my way all my life, and that didn’t work out so well.”
Dennis Quaid: ‘Jesus Is There’
Harvest Christian Fellowship is a church with multiple locations based in Riverside, California. Its pastor, Greg Laurie, is the subject of the recent movie, “Jesus Revolution,” set during the Jesus Movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
“We have a very special guest with us here today at church,” said Laurie as he introduced Quaid, an actor who has made over 70 films spanning a 50-year career. The pastor noted that Quaid is “outspoken about his faith in Jesus Christ” and mentioned several films that Quaid has made, including “The Parent Trap” and “Great Balls of Fire!” However, Laurie said he thought the actor’s “greatest performance” was playing the father of Christian artist Bart Millard in “I Can Only Imagine.”
After Laurie welcomed him to the stage, Quaid greeted the congregation and introduced “On My Way to Heaven,” explaining, “I wrote it for my mother after I got out of rehab, what I called ‘cocaine school’ back in 1990, to let her know that I was ok.” In an interview with People magazine, Quaid said that when he returned to his faith after rehab, he began rereading the Bible, as well as other religious texts, such as the Quran and the Bhagavad Gita.
“I grew up at the Baptist church; I love the hymns that I remember from being a kid,” Quaid told People. “The songs are self-reflective and self-examining, not churchy. All of us have a relationship with God, whether you’re a Christian or not.”
The lyrics to “On My Way to Heaven” read in part:
My life may not be roses
But still I’m gonna be alright
Long as I got my Savior by my side
He freed me from the heavy chains
That had bound my broken heart
Picked me up, gave me a brand new start
Now I’m on my way to heaven
On my way to heaven
I’m on my way to heaven
So I can’t be stayin’ long
As the song neared its end, Quaid invited the congregation to sing along with him. Afterward, Laurie joined Quaid onstage and interviewed him about his spiritual journey, asking him to share more about that particular song.