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The best testimony

Natalie Grant, contemporary Christian music newcomer, is making waves in Nashville with her first release, Heavenly. Natalie has an Assemblies of God heritage and a deep love for Jesus Christ. She spoke recently with Loralie Crabtree.

Evangel: Tell our readers about your musical journey. How did it all start?

Grant: My musical experience started at Shoreline Community Church (Assemblies of God) in Seattle. I sang my first solo when I was 3 or 4 years old, and in my teen years I sang in the youth choir. Really, that platform was the greatest opportunity for me to develop my God-given talents.

Then I went to Northwest College (Assemblies of God) and later auditioned to sing with a traveling music group called Truth. When I traveled with Truth, the Lord birthed a vision in me that He had more for me than just my own little comfortable corner of the world. After Truth, I moved to Nashville and got a record deal in 12 months. It was God’s hand of favor on my life.

Evangel: What were your growing up years like?

Grant: I’m the youngest of five kids, and I came from a really wonderful home. My parents have been married for 42 years. I was blessed to be in a home where Jesus was emphasized from the time I was a baby. I remember thinking, I don’t really have a testimony, because there’s no dirt in my past. But I’m learning that’s the greatest testimony. I tell young people, "It’s OK to be one of the good kids. It’s OK if you don’t think you have a testimony. I used to feel like I don’t have anything exciting to tell, but I’m realizing that is the greatest testimony you can have."

Evangel: How did your upbringing in the church affect your musical pursuits?

Grant: The church has had a huge influence on me. Being so grounded and rooted in the church has made me realize we all have a call to reach the lost. I’m totally a church girl at heart. I still attend a local church. We all have to have accountability and we need spiritual authority in our lives.

In 1989, I did Fine Arts at the district level and advanced to nationals. I got a superior rating, but there was only one winner. The Fine Arts Festival program is wonderful because it encourages talent and pursuing the arts. But nobody can hinder God’s purpose for our lives. No score sheet can take away what God has destined for us.

Evangel: Who was the greatest spiritual influence in your life?

Grant: My parents. We had family worship every day. My dad is still my biggest supporter. I know I have a mom and a dad who are on their knees for me.

Evangel: Tell me about your encounter with the Holy Spirit.

Grant: I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit when I was 12 — at a Missionettes camp. I remember being there with a couple of my girlfriends and experiencing that for the first time. It makes such a difference when you really seek the Lord for His anointing.

Evangel: Tell us about Missionettes.

Grant: Missionettes was a wonderful experience. I loved going to the Wednesday evening club meetings because I had a sponsor who took time to speak into my life and make me feel important. You learn wonderful things; but, when somebody takes the time to love you, you remember that forever.

Reprinted with permission from Club Connection, Spring 2000.

 

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