Christian Faith of The Voice’s Jordan Smith
[update 12/26/15] Plus, on December 22, Jordan Smith was invited to Saddleback Church (Lake Forest) and was interviewed by Pastor Rick Warren! Watch video>>
And other write-ups since: The Voice From Above: The Messiah has arrived, and he’s on the increasingly religious reality singing show The Voice (Salon), Jordan Smith Could Be ‘The Voice’ but Faith Is First (CBN News), Now that ‘The Voice’ season is over, can Jordan Smith actually become a star? (Washington Post), ‘The Voice’ Winner Jordan Smith Opens Up About Fame, His First Record and Adam Levine (Xfinity)
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Jordan Smith has captured the attention of millions with his gifted voice on The Voice (NBC television show) and singing the Christian hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” that’s topped the charts on Billboard and iTunes.
With that voice, Jordan’s life is enriched with a Christian heritage and testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness. According to Wikipedia:
Smith was born, Jordan Mackenzie Smith, on November 4, 1993, in Whitley County, Kentucky, to Kelley and Geri Smith (née, Saylor), who are musicians, and they raised him in the church choir at a young age, in the congregation of House of Mercy in the town of Wallins Creek, Kentucky. Smith graduated from Harlan County High School. He attends Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, where he is a member of the Lee University Campus Choir.
Exclusive: Jordan Smith Has Faith in “The Voice” Journey (DeepestDream.com) —
As far as the outpouring of love and support, how was Harlan shaped you as a person?
Harlan is a really small town in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. …
The people are so loving. And I appreciate that heritage and their support and love. It’s grown me into the young man I’ve become now. I really appreciate the value for Christians and for God there. My faith was cultivated (in Harlan). I’m a man of faith because of my upbringing there and because I’m constantly surrounded by people who love God and who encourage each other.
The faith that they have there – it’s just ingrained in the mountains. It’s such a good heritage of God loving people and that’s the biggest thing for me. I have them to thank for my faith.
Does your faith also help you through the joys and hardships that you experience in life?
Oh absolutely. My faith is the thing that gives me strength and that I find joy in. At the end of the day with my problems and concerns, I can turn to God and I can have peace in my situation. That’s been the main thing that’s carried me through this. My relationship with God has kept me grounded and has been my foundation through all of it.
Smith Makes It To Top 11 On ‘The Voice’ (Lee University News)—
“We are all very proud of Jordan’s success,” said Dr. Brad Moffett, director of Lee Singers and one of Jordan’s mentors. “It is remarkable that Jordan’s performance of ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ has touched the world in such a time of turmoil. The timing of this performance demonstrates the hand of God is on Jordan’s life. I believe that this particular performance had such a powerful response because of Jordan’s consistency on and off the stage.”
… “Literally, there’s nothing to say, but that it’s totally true that God has signed your voice,” said judge Pharrell Williams of Smith’s rendition of “Halo.”
Smith’s talent for singing started at a young age. He describes his parents as being musically inclined and says that some of his fondest memories are of them harmonizing together and singing all the time.
His decision to attend Lee followed his love of music. When Smith was in middle school, his grandfather told him about a concert featuring Lee Singers. A few years later, he visited campus and according to Smith, he immediately fell in love with Lee.
Growing up, Smith participated in a choir, led by director Jeanne Anne Lee, from fifth grade until his high school graduation.
… “This platform has opened so many doors for me and has allowed me so many opportunities to make music in lots of different ways,” said Smith. “At this time, I’m just waiting prayerfully and doing my best. Whatever happens, I know I will continue to make music and lead worship wherever I go. While my future is unsure at this moment, I know who holds the future, and I will continue to move and trust in God’s plan for me.”
Kentuckian Jordan Smith credits his hometown of Harlan with his success on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ (Lexington Herald Leader)—
His parents, Kelley and Geri Smith, are both musicians, and his Aunt Amy Cottrell is also an accomplished musician who was extremely influential for Smith. He started singing and playing drums at church, House of Mercy in Wallins Creek, at an early age.
“I think our family’s love of music and how musical our home was — we would sing in the car together, sing in the shower and when I went to bed at night — it was just kind of like a very important part of our life as family.”
His first public performance was a piano recital, and then singing His Eye is on the Sparrow as a solo at a choir festival, all when he was “very young,” Smith recalls. “I still have people come up to me and tell me they remember me singing that song, which I appreciate.” Smith says the high-flying spiritual is still among his favorites.
At Harlan County High School, Smith joined band and choir, and pursued any other projects he could to help develop as a musician. His grandfather, who lives in Augusta, Ga., heard the choir from Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., when it was on a tour through Georgia, and recommended Smith take a look at the school.
“He knew that I was becoming really interested in music … and he knew that it was a Church of God school, and I’m a Christian, so that is something I was interested in too,” Smith recalls.
He did look at a few other colleges. But Lee won Smith and his family over with its programs, Christian focus and the immaculate campus — Kelley Smith recalls visiting in the fall, and “there wasn’t a leaf on the ground.”
… Smith is a fan of The Voice, and had watched it and fantasized about what he would do if he got on the show. He has a message that he wants to get out about being true to yourself, even if you are perceived as different from others.
“On the show, they really highlighted the fact that I don’t look like I sound, which is OK with me, because that’s the message that I want to get across, that it’s OK to be different than people expect you to be and not fit the mold,” Smith says. “We live in a world that is hurting, where people disagree over things that don’t matter and things that are on the outside.
“There are a lot of people struggling with who they are and finding acceptance. I am only secure in who I am because I know my identity lies in Christ and in my faith. While it took me a long time to accept that, I am very secure in that now.
“I want other people to be able to find security in knowing they can accept themselves, and they can break the mold and be different, and that your success can be measured in the joy that you have in who you are.”
His journey toward the NBC stage started more than 2,000 miles away in the small town of Harlan, Ky.
… His love of singing actually started in his hometown church.
“I love to lead worship and my parents really encouraged me to sing in church,” said Smith, “My faith is who I am and I wanted to share that with the world.”
Jordan Smith wins ‘Voice’ battle, advances (WBIR 9 News)
Family along with an entire community are backing him on this journey.
“I think from the first time I heard Jordan sing, I knew there was something special,” said his girlfriend, Kristen Denny.”This is a God-given opportunity and God has big plans for Jordan.”
She joined the many other supporters and childhood mentors who are still by his side.
“He is such a huge talent from the time he walked into our little room,” said choir teacher, Jeanne Ann Lee, “When we were having our children’s choir practice years ago.”
“Such an inspiration to all of us even in second grade, even as a 7 year old,” said elementary teacher Marilyn Williamson.
While his voice captivates a room, it’s his character which shines even brighter.
“His ability to connect with people on a human level is just as powerful as his talent,” said Coach Adam Levine.
The Christian Post also noted—
“The Voice” has always granted the contestants the liberty to perform whatever they want and the show has been known to have contestants showcase Christians songs.
5 Times ‘The Voice’ Contestants Showcased Classic Christian Hymns and Blew Away Audiences. And with Jordan Smith’s Great is Thy Faithfulness, that’s number 6.