I wonder if you remember the “swinging 60’s” as it was called. I certainly do, and what an interesting decade it was.
Music was distinctive, and one of the well-known singers of that time was Helen Shapiro, who found stardom at the tender age of 14. By the age of 19, she had sold millions of records, and at one point she was bigger than the Beatles.
She’s probably best remembered for the hit single Walkin’ Back to Happiness. During her long career, Helen Shapiro has made countless appearances, and has become a respected jazz singer.
But something really unusual happened in 1987, when she gave her life to Jesus Christ. She had been bought up in the Jewish faith in a traditional Jewish home in East London. She said there was never a time when she didn’t believe in God. But as a teenage star her life changed.
“All the excitement of making records and touring put spiritual things right out of my mind. I never did drugs, but I was interested in mediums and clairvoyants. I went to some of their meetings” she says.
But at age 40, Helen’s life was empty, and she faced a crisis within herself. She didn’t believe anything.
Giving Up All For Jesus
One day she spent time with her musical director, Bob and his wife. They were active Christians, and shared what Jesus meant to them. She was surprised when Bob told her he was giving up his career in the music business to be a full-time preacher.
“I was impressed by his conviction – I couldn’t get it out of my mind” she said. “I only knew Jesus as an historical figure… could He be more than that?” Helen asked Jesus to show her if He really was the Messiah, and in the next few days she kept bumping into people connect to Jesus, and there were books everywhere she went.
She was given a book to read, and she found verses of Scripture which told of the coming Jesus, and bought a copy of the Bible for herself. She said, “Jesus came out of the pages at me, and I was drawn to Him like a magnet. I was cross referencing the Old and New Testaments and everything pointed to Jesus being the Jewish Messiah”.
By the time she had read all four Gospels, she was certain that Jesus fulfilled every prophesy made about the Messiah.
Helen Shapiro asked Jesus into her life on 26th August 1987 at 10:30pm, and was born again. Some of her friends were sceptical, but her Mother also made a commitment to Jesus about six months later. She maintains the gospel is for everyone.
She spends a lot of her time sharing the gospel in music, and when asked if she missed show business, she says: “I love the music – especially jazz – but not the showbiz way of life.
“This is the Lord’s direction for my life. This is the most satisfying and thrilling thing. I am doing as Jesus commanded, to go and make disciples. To tell people the good news of salvation through the Messiah Jesus. There’s nothing better than that!”