Author & Composer
(Zschech pronounced ‘Check’), b Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 1965. Sang, spoke and danced on a weekly TV show from the age of ten and began songwriting at 15, including commercial advertising jingles. At the same age, following the example of her father, she committed her life to Christ. With husband Mark she has shared in leadership of the Hillsong Church, Sydney since the mid-1980s; this was formerly The Hills Christian Life Centre, from Pentecostal Assemblies of God origins, and by c2000 was reportedly Australia’s largest congregation. From the 1990s she has been its ‘Worship Pastor’, overseeing the Worship and Creative Arts Dept at 2 sites and involved in extensive film and TV work. Her first album from Integrity Music used the 1993 ‘Shout to the Lord’ (‘My Jesus…’) as its title track, and this song has often been voted as a top favourite. Many other recordings of her work (written, composed and sung) and the church’s music are available; among her writings are the foundational Extravagant Worship and Kiss of heaven. In the former she writes that ‘Emotional walls prevent people from entering into the richness of worship…As we lift up [Jesus’] name…we will see confining walls in our lives come tumbling down’. Several of her compositions appeared in the annual Spring Harvest books in the 1990s, while these and other Hillsong compositions dominated Australia’s ‘Top 25’ lists of Christian songs in the early years of the 21st c. DZ aims to teach some 35 new songs each year, seeing them as the Lord’s gifts for prophecy, praise, unity, intimacy, compassion, justice and spiritual battle. Their ambition is global, ‘changing the heart of every worshipper in every church on the planet.’ Echoing British 1970s charismatics, she adds that ‘The sound of worship is being restored to its rightful place…’ She features in numerous Hillsong CDs and DVDs etc. Darlene and Mark have 3 daughters and live in Sydney. See also C Michael Hawn in The Hymn 57.2, Spring 2006; Tony Payne and Gordon Cheung in The Briefing no.340, Jan 2007. No.319.