Esteemed Songwriter Dave Clark Celebrates Five Decades of No. 1 Songs

A veritable who’s who of the Christian music industry gathered at BMI Nashville to celebrate the storied career of revered and multi-award winning songwriter Dave Clark. The reason for the celebration was Dave’s remarkable achievement, recently garnering another chart-topping song—“Child of the King,” recorded by Joseph Habedank—marking his 28th No. 1 across five decades in the CCM, Inspirational and Southern Gospel genres.

Beginning in 1987 with the Larnelle Harris hit “The Father Hath Provided,” Clark achieved unparalleled success throughout the 1990s and 2000s with hits from 4Him, Sandy Patti, Phillips Craig & Dean, Mark Harris, Karen Peck & New River, Greg Long and more. Showing no signs of slowing down, he continues to churn out popular songs. Larnelle, who is a close longtime friend of Dave’s, shared, “Kenaniah, a Levite leader in the Old Testament, was put in charge of music simply because he was good at it. Dave Clark has had five consecutive decades of number one songs on the national charts, because when it comes to songwriting, he’s just good at it.”

Daywind Music Publishing Vice President Rick Shelton was on hand to present Dave with a plaque for his most recent No. 1. “From the first song I heard in the 80s to his current number one and all the hits in between, Dave Clark has painted stories with powerful lyrics that have touched generations. His songs declare God and His love and bring hope, comfort, encouragement and joy to the hearts of all His children. Congratulations, Dave, for five decades of number one hits! I look forward to hearing what you create in the sixth decade,” stated Shelton.

President and Executive Director of the Gospel Music Association Jackie Patillo was in attendance to present Dave with a certificate of achievement from the GMA. Jackie expressed her appreciation for Dave, “The Bible talks about giving us a new song. It’s the power of God in the message that is healing people, inspiring the church and drawing people to Christ. Thank you for all that you do to spread the gospel through music and for your faithfulness to teach and to inspire and pass the torch along. It’s an amazing thing. As the president of the Gospel Music Association, on behalf of our board of directors and all of our members, congratulations on five decades of excellence in gospel music.”

Known among friends for his keen sense of humor and genuine kindness, Dave is always ready to open a door and usher others into the limelight. He has been the catalyst for innumerable successful songwriting and publishing careers through the years. He has the heart of a teacher. That heart, coupled with his ability to tell the stories of those he writes with and about, is what makes him the kind of writer the next generation of tunesmiths hopes to glean from and emulate. Some of those young songwriters, including Emily Ann Roberts and Gabrielle Rose Lovelace, were also in attendance to express their gratitude for his impact on their lives.

Dave’s wife Cindi and their three adult children, Allison, Anna and Sam, were by his side at the event – they are truly his greatest fans. Everyone in attendance was delighted to honor Dave. Overwhelmed by the love and support of those who came to celebrate him, Dave shared, “I know that, for some, to leave home at 17 with no money and a bad car would seem like a pretty big limb to jump off of, and yet for me the greater risk was always if I had stayed. Make no mistake, if it weren’t for a call, we wouldn’t be standing here. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate something like this than in a roomful of people who have written a story. I’ve been overwhelmed today. Yes, we celebrate the decades, but I’m a guy who’s always measured the journey by the moments, and all the moments are in this room. Everybody in this room represents a different season of what God has let us do all these years. There’s so many memories, so many stories. There’s a line in a Larry Gatlin song that says, ‘I’m just standing here trying to matter.’ By your presence here today, I feel like I do. Thank you.”

The Christian music industry is blessed to have benefited in so many ways from the selfless contributions of this great man.


1987 – The Father Hath Provided – Larnelle Harris   (Harris/Koch/Clark)
1989 – I Can Begin Again – Larnelle Harris    (Harris/Clark)

1991 – Didn’t You Know – Larnelle Harris    (Harris/Bunnelle/Clark)
1991 – Couldn’t We Stand – 4HIM    (Harris/Koch/Clark)
1991 – Be the One – Al Denson     (Denson/Koch/Clark)
1991 – Everything You Are – Larnelle Harris     (Harris/Clark)
1992 – Best of Friends – Sandy Patti     (Mauldin/Clark)
1992 – To Forgive – Al Denson    (Denson/Koch/Clark)
1992 – Why – 4HIM     (Harris/Koch/Clark)
1992 – Generation to Generation – Benson Artists     (Koch/Clark)
1993 – There Stands the Cost – Larnelle Harris     (Harris/Koch/Clark)
1994 – For Future Generations – 4HIM    (Harris/Koch/Clark)
1995 – Real Thing – 4HIM     (Harris/Koch/Clark)
1996 – Mercy Came Running – Phillips, Craig & Dean    (Dean/Koch/Clark)
1996 – Crucified With Christ – Phillips, Craig & Dean  (Phillips/Koch/Clark)
1996 – As Long As My Heart Know It’s You – 4HIM     (Harris/Koch/Clark)
1996 – Living on a Ring and A Prayer – Wilcox & Pardoe  (Wilcox/Salley/Clark)
1996 – Land of Mercy – 4HIM     (Harris/Koch/Clark)
1997 – This is How it Feels to Be Free – Phillips, Craig & Dean     (Craig/Koch/Clark)
1998 – Mercy Said No – Greg Long     (Long/Koch/Clark)

2000 – Marks of the Mission – Charles Billingsley  (Billingsley/Koch/Clark)
2000 – I’ve Got You Covered – Phillips, Craig & Dean     (Dean/Clark)
2003 – My Praise – Phillips, Craig & Dean     (Dean/Clark)
2005 – Life To the Living – Allen Asbury     (Asbury/Koch/Clark)
2009 – One True God – Mark Harris     (Harris/Clark)

2015 – Pray Now – Karen Peck & New River     (Peck/Farren/Clark)
2019 – I Know I’ll Be There – Karen Peck & New River     (Peck/Haun/Clark)

2022 – Child of the King – Joseph Habedank   (Habedank/Koch/Clark)

About Dave Clark
Multi-Dove award winning songwriter and Grammy-nominated producer, Dave Clark, began his journey in the music industry at age 17. With a 1974 Martin guitar and a whole lot of determination, Dave made his way from his hometown of Jackson, MI, to Nashville, TN, in pursuit of his dream of becoming a songwriter. That decisive move laid the foundation for his distinctive career as a songwriter, producer and author. His credits include songs recorded by Rascal Flatts, Larnelle Harris, Glen Campbell, CeCe Winans, Sandi Patty, Steve Green, 4HIM, Point of Grace, Al Denson, Phillips Craig & Dean, Donny Osmond, Michael Crawford, The Martins, and many others. He is the producer of numerous records, including two Grammy-nominated projects for J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet. He is the  author of Worship Where You’re Planted and Living in the Power of My Weakness from Beacon Hill Press and has written more than 50 Christmas and Easter musicals. Dave currently serves as the Creative Director for Lillenas Publishing and is still, in his words, “chasing the song.”