When performing in concert, Kansas native and Dove Award-winning singer-songwriter Mark Schultz likes to tell the stories behind the songs he has written nearly as much as he likes to sing the songs themselves.
“People will come up to me after the shows and say, ‘We love the songs, but we didn’t know how much we’d love the stories behind the songs,’” Schultz said earlier this week in a phone chat from his Nashville home.
With nearly 20 years in contemporary Christian music and 10 No. 1 hits to draw from, Schultz has plenty of songs — and stories — to share with his audiences.
Topeka-area fans will get the chance to hear Schultz in concert when he appears at 7 p.m. Friday, June 16, at Fellowship Bible Church, 6800 S.W. 10th.
Schultz promises an evening that his audience fill find “very intimate, very relational,” as he performs songs from his vast catalogue including “He’s My Son,” “I Am the Way,” “Remember Me,” “I Have Been There,” “He Will Carry Me” and “He Is.”
Schultz, a Colby native and 1994 graduate of Kansas State University, said he was looking forward to coming back to Kansas.
“It’s special for me to come back, because it’s Kansas,” he said. “It’s where I grew up.”
Schultz, 46, was born at The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. When he was 2 weeks old, he said, he was adopted from Topeka.
He grew up in Colby, where he was a star athlete in high school on the baseball, football, basketball and track teams.
Schultz moved to Nashville in hopes of launching a career in music, but it took several years for him to realize those dreams.
He made his first national splash in 2000, with his self-titled album on the Word Entertainment label.
Schultz then turned out a number of other albums and videos with songs he penned. In 2014, he recorded an album titled “Hymns,” which featured such songs as “Blessed Assurance,” “Holy, Holy, Holy” and “It is Well.”
Throughout his music career, Schultz has supported adoption and efforts to assist orphans in various parts of the world.
He and his wife, Kate, an obstetrics-gynecology doctor in Nashville, have two children, sons Ryan, 5, and Gus, 3.
A few days after he performs in Topeka, Schultz and his wife plan to go to China, where they will adopt a 9-month-old baby girl named Maia Mae.
Schultz said one of his wife’s favorite things is to visit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the hospital where she works.
Knowing his background as having been adopted as a child, Schultz said, his wife encouraged the idea of adopting a baby from China.
“She’s got a real heart for kids,” Schultz said of his wife. “She really wants a girl, especially because there’s a lot of male influence running around the house.”
Schultz said he and his wife, along with their sons and newly adopted daughter, plan to be back in the Kansas City area in July for the 55th wedding anniversary of his parents, Gary and Ronita Schultz.
“We’re going to go to a Royals game,” Schultz said, “sitting up in one of the boxes.”
Schultz said he has been back to Kansas several times for concerts, including sold-out shows in Colby. He previously appeared in Topeka in August 2005.
Appearing with Schultz this time around will be author Randy Carlson, president of Tucson, Ariz.-based Family Life Communications, which is sponsoring the concert.
Carlson is host of “Intentional Living,” a live, daily call-in radio program. His latest book is titled “The Power of One Thing.”
Family Life Communications owns Christian radio station KJTY-FM at 88.1 on the dial in Topeka. The station is celebrating its newly expanded signal, which the station says will help it reach 800,000 listeners in the northeast Kansas area.
Tickets for Friday night’s concert are $15 general admission and $12 for groups of eight or more. VIP tickets, including a question-and-answer session with Schultz, are $25.
For more information, visit www.myFLR.org/topeka.