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?
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 Gods hand of favor on my life.
Evangel: What were your growing up years like?
Grant: Im 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 dont really have
a testimony, because theres no dirt in my past. But Im
learning thats the greatest testimony. I tell young people,
"Its OK to be one of the good kids. Its OK if you dont
think you have a testimony. I used to feel like I dont have
anything exciting to tell, but Im 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. Im 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 Gods purpose
for our lives. No score sheet can take away what God has destined
Evangel: Who was the greatest spiritual influence in
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
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.