GWU Alum Scott Johnson Shares a Voice Set Free by Song

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Music Graduate Thrives on Vulnerabilities to Connect with God, Listeners

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Scott Johnson stutters when he talks. When he sings, there’s no evidence of stumble in his words or his faith in God.

On his recent album “Hemmed In and Set Free,” the ’03 sacred music alumnus showcases a mix of contemporary Christian, Americana, and rhythm and blues sounds he’s crafted in the 10 years since earning his bachelor’s degree at Gardner-Webb.

“I think that the album really showcases my vulnerability a lot of times,” said Johnson. “(God) gave me a stutter, but at the same time He allows me to sing for His glory. I think that can resonate with the audience of Christ.”

Johnson’s music draws from the influences of bands like dcTalk, Audio Adrenaline and the Newsboys. He also draws inspiration from Christian artists that include Derek Webb and Matthew West.

The title of Johnson’s album, released by Oklahoma-based Christian label Tate Music Group, comes from scripture, as do many of his lyrics. “Hemmed In and Set Free” references Psalm 139:5, in which the book’s writer David says God surrounds us and places his hand on us. “David goes on to talk about all the things that God is and all the things He can do if we surrender to Him,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he works to surround himself with people who encourage him both spiritually and professionally. “Kind of like iron sharpens iron in the body of Christ,” he related. “I want to encourage everybody in these tunes to be able to open up and break down a wall and be honest with God at all times.”

“Hemmed In and Set Free” is available for purchase on iTunes and


Click here to hear the full interview with Scott Johnson:


Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University is home to more than 4,300 students from 37 states and 21 foreign countries. Founded in 1905, Gardner-Webb provides exceptional educational opportunities within a Christian environment.