From addiction and tragedy to newfound faith and a music career, Country/Christian artist Ben Fuller has turned his past struggles into a message of hope for others. A native of Vermont, where he grew up on his family’s dairy farm, Fuller now travels the country with the goal of not only singing his own story, but the stories of those who can no longer tell their own.
Fuller has been singing from a young age, but never in front of people until his first local show in his home state on February 25th, 2017. His career blossomed from there thanks to a friend’s intervention. “It took my best friend, Selena, to call me up one day in the summer of 2017 and really convince me to begin playing and singing more,” he says.
Now he likens his sound to a cross between Steve Earl and Chris Stapleton, “with a lot of influence from a friend of mine, named Jesus.” He also names Randy Travis, Steve Wariner, and Vince Gill as influences. “I grew up listening to my dad’s old cassette tapes, singing along, trying to sound like they did,” he says. Now he hopes to make a name for himself as they did and to be noticed enough to sign with a major record label. He adds, “And then on to the Grand Ole Opry, The Ryman Auditorium, prison auditoriums, recovery centers, and anywhere else I can keep the message of hope alive.”
That message is so important, especially in a time when an atmosphere of uncertainty shrouds our country. When asked how he has maintained a positive attitude in this current state of pandemic and protest, Fuller says he has been remaining extremely calm. He also cites his degree in landscape design and construction for keeping him working steadily through the pandemic. He adds, “I really try to steer clear of politics and race. I just have an incredible love for people no matter how different they may seem. I’m so thankful that I was given the ability to make strangers feel so friendly and welcomed in this time of need. I don’t watch the news, and for that, I feel like I’ve been staying positive and holding myself together surprisingly well.”
He has also used this time to continue his ministry through his music, which includes his current single, “Find My Faith” and the self-produced video that accompanies it. Fuller says the song “came from the idea of using the beautiful things that surrounded me and the idea that they provided comfort and a place to seek the mercy of God for answers I couldn’t come up with on my own.” The video, set against a lush forest backdrop and filmed at Vermont’s Brownsville Community Church, tackles issues of alcoholism, addiction, and abuse. And it helps perpetuate the song’s message of hope and beauty after pain and devastation.
This is an idea Fuller is all too familiar with, having lived it himself. Not only is he a former addict, but he also lost a friend to addiction in 2017. That loss set in motion a life change that led him to music and, more importantly, to God. “I secretly realized I needed help fighting my drug and alcohol addictions,” he confesses. “But until I was invited to church, I realized my own will to change my life was not ever going to be enough.”
His newfound religion was the push he needed to turn his life around, and now he strives to inspire hope and faith in others. “Due to the pandemic and so many cancellations, it’s sure tough on all of us to move around,” he says. “I’ve really set my focus and attention on supporting and showing everyone who’s listening that we are in this together, no matter how far apart.” He also hopes to “join hands” with the organization, Men of Valor, in helping to “re-unite prison inmates with society and the working world all under the name of God.”
And it is God, he believes, who can bring peace in these troubled times. “I want to encourage everyone to find strength in the hardships we face, especially right now,” he says. “Dig deep and find the courage to stand when you’re weak. God has prepared this path that’s sometimes secretly lit up, but I promise you, He leaves the light on.”