When gospel great Fred Hammond posted a harmless photo of clouds adorned with the lyrics to his hit song "I Believe" this weekend, the post was removed and Hammond's Facebook account was blocked.
"I attempted to post some lyrics to I Believe," Hammond posted to his 1.3 million Facebook fans on Saturday following the other post's removal. "It was removed and then I received this when I tried to repost. I guess Facebook has a problem with expressing our love for Jesus? Huuummmmm!" Hammond then showed a message received from Facebook warning him that the photo was blocked "because it violates a Facebook policy."
The song in question is off of Hammond's 1993 album, Deliverance, and talks about his faith in the Lord.
"I believe that His loving arms
Are waiting to hold them forever
I believe that His faithful heart
Is calling them out of the cold
In a dark, cold world
There's a lonely girl whose heart is breaking
There's a boy who seeks
And his mind is ripe just for the taking."
The 54-year-old Grammy-Award-winning singer took to his other social media account on Twitter to tell his fans about the unexpected suspension of his Facebook page. "Interesting event. I posted lyrics to my song I believe on expressing my faith on my fb page and got shut down," he wrote. "If it means I get cut off of social media BC I express my faith... So be it!"
Luckily, Facebook soon restored Hammond's page as the singer happily told his Facebook followers a bit later. "Well Family fb sent me a message that after there investigation they've restored my page," he said.
"There is nothing in our policies that prevents someone from sharing his or her faith," Facebook's Privacy Communications Manager, Matt Steinfeld, said to The Christian Post.
Unfortunately, a reason wasn't given for the temporary suspension, but it's clear from the photos that it may have stemmed from Hammond's posting of the "I Believe" lyrics. Whether through a glitch in the system or something else, Hammond says that he wasn't told the reason.
"Thanks Fam for all your comments concerning the post that was blocked by Facebook. We still do not know why. It made me think though. What if every Christian around the world posted something that reflected that they loved the Lord? I'm posting now. Share this or post something on your own," Hammond said, encouraging his Facebook friends to express their love for Jesus even more loudly. "Use hashtag #ILoveJesus and let's see what happens. Let's GO!"
Hammond is best known for his solo career, but he has also worked as a bass player and songwriter for gospel groups like Commissioned, The Winans, and many collaborations, including one with Sean "P-Diddy" Combs on the album "Thank You."
In addition to numerous Grammy Awards, Hammond has also won numerous Dove and Stellar Awards from 1992 until 2008.