Sixteen year old Bethany Dillon is passionate about Jesus,
and she has been blessed with the opportunity to share her joy in Christ
with the world through her singing and songwriting. Bethany's heart
is full of love for others, and her story is one that will encourage
believers to show God's grace and love to all those along life's path.
Bethany was born September 22, 1988 in Bellefontaine,
Ohio. Her family had music in their blood, so it was not very surprising
that just as soon as Bethany began to talk, she also began to sing.
Bethany began writing music at the age of ten when she received a guitar
as a gift from her aunt. She played it with the passion of a rock star
and on most occasions broke strings and made her fingers bleed. Jennifer
Knapp is one of her biggest inspirations at this time.
Even more important to Bethany than her guitar, though,
was her relationship with Jesus Christ. That was in her family's blood,
too. She grew up in a Christian home and desired a deep and intimate
relationship with God even at this young of an age. She wanted to follow
Him wherever He led her. Little did Bethany Dillon know then that God
had plans for her to share her passion and love for Him through music.
When Bethany Dillon was 12, she recorded an independent CD in
her home that eventually landed in the hands of EMI exec Brad O'Donnell.
A meeting with the Sparrow Records was scheduled that would change Bethany
and her family's lives forever. From the beginning, both sides felt
completely comfortable with the situation, and were confident that they
were right where God wanted them to be. "I sat down with her family
and listened to her pray," O'Donnell remembers. "I could tell that Bethany
possessed a rare honesty and genuineness as an artist. She had no agenda.
That day, she was just 'being'. I knew that hers was a higher calling,
and [EMI CMG] wanted to be a part of that."
On April 20, 2004, when Bethany was just 15, her self-titled
debut was released to the public by Sparrow Records. The disc contains
11 songs, most of which are written by Bethany and have great meaning
and significance to her life, what is important to her, and what she
struggles with. Bethany Dillon sound is acoustic pop, rock, and folk
and she most closely resembles Jennifer Knapp, Michelle Branch, Sheryl
Crow, Vanessa Carlton, and Amy Grant.
Bethany Dillon is well beyond her age in many ways, surpassing
many of the other teen icons today with her ability to write, play guitar,
and sing. Everything about her - her voice, her writing, her attitude
- is very mature and honest and deeply spiritual. She has a lot on her
heart that she wants to share with the world around her and she is not
going to waste an opportunity.
Just because Bethany lives a little bit of a different
life than most teens her age, does not mean that she does not experience
the same difficulties and temptations that they do. She herself has
struggled with self-esteem issues and as a result has written several
songs on the issue, including "Beautiful" and "For My Love."
Whenever Bethany finds herself struggling in this area,
she tries to remember the story of David in 1 Samuel 16:7. In the story,
David was not treated very well by his family because he was looked
at as sort of the runt. God, though, focused on his heart, not his appearance,
which is what we all should strive to do.
Bethany Dillon says that her her family has been one of
the biggest influences in her life and have shaped her in to the woman
of God that she is today. The Dillons are music lovers, strong believers,
and shining examples of Christ's love in action. Her parents have housed
dozens of foster kids over the years and adopted two of them ten years
ago. Besides these two, Bethany also has an older sister and an older
brother. Her older sister, Kate, often accompanies her on the road and
is a huge support and encouragement to her.
Bethany's parents were involved in social work before
she was even born and worked in a home for troubled teenage girls. Today,
her father works at an agency that provides services for the mentally
handicapped. Bethany is in awe of the heart her father has for others
and says he is the closest thing she has ever seen to Jesus. Being around
this kind of love all her life has given Bethany the desire to work
with special needs kids herself. One of the boys they adopted, Matt,
is a special needs child and will most likely need assisted living someday.
She told her Mom when she was little that she would love to do that
for Matt, and she still has that desire today.
Also available from Bethany Dillon: The Beautiful Sessions
EP, 2004 (Sparrow)
Compilation Contributions: WOW Hits 2005, "All I Need"
As she embarks on such a promising journey, Bethany Dillon
is embracing her story with purpose and vision. "God is teaching me
that it's not about me. I need to be faithful, and He will speak through
me. I'm not going to worry so much about being successful or relevant."
She goes on: "I want to awaken in my generation something that's been
dead. I want to make the Word flesh and blood for my generation, to
show them that living out the Gospel is something greater and more mysterious,
with more adventures than we've learned." She strives to unearth what
has yet to be unearthed.