Mission Statement: "The listener
will get a sense of all that is wrapped up in what it means
to have faith, to doubt, to persevere and ultimately, to come
out with God's blessing. One of my greatest hopes is that the
listener will feel understood." -- Kelly Minter
About Kelly Minter.....
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - "Be joyful
always, Pray continually, Give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." NIV
1 Thess. 5:18 is a very important verse
to Kelly Minter, for its meaning has brought comfort and encouragement
during various disappointments, and her periods of struggle
with the Lord. Kelly Minter is an excellent example of the practical
observation which says, "Life is what happens when you
are busy making other plans." Kelly Minter has realized
that unfortunately what we think our goals, dreams, and plans
are, may not jell with the Lord's plans for us, for our developing
character and heart attitude, for a deeper relationship with
Him and or our service to Him. Doors can be shut, but new, better
ones do open in the Lord's time, in His way, for His glory,
always in our best interests.
Kelly Minter has expressed in both her
music found on WRESTLING THE ANGELS and her newly released,
inspiring book, WATER INTO WINE, what she has discovered about
surrender and obedience and true, loving servanthood to God,
through her struggles with God, which she relates to as a tug
of war, or wrestling with Angels, like Jacob did in Genesis.
In the process and as a result of her personal struggles with
God, she has deepened her relationship with the Lord, the most
important thing of all.
Kelly relates, "I have endured my
own periods of struggle, but feel like I have walked out so
much richer because God cut away the branches that were not
bearing fruit and bolstered the ones that were."
About Her Life....
Kelly Minter grew up in a Christian family,
the daughter of Pastor Mike Minter, who hosts a Salem XM radio
show, "Compelling Truth" in Oregon. She was taught
God's word from an early age and was involved in church activities,
developing her faith in God.
Kelly shares with ChristianMusic.com
about her childhood and youth, being a Pastor's daughter, (PK),
in Reston, VA. "Being a PK was a great experience for me,
but I know such is not the case for everyone. My parents are
very authentic people. What my Dad preached from the pulpit
is how he lived outside the church. Our church, Reston Bible
Church has always been very supportive of me. Of course, there
are challenges that come along with being a PK, but for me it
was almost entirely positive."
Growing up, Kelly loved sports and became
quite good in basketball during her high school years. Music
wasn't nearly as important to her as physical activity. Kelly,
being very goal-oriented, strove to get an atheletic scholarship
in basketball for college. She was thrilled to receive by verbal
agreement an offer for a scholarship to a South Carolina College,
a personal dream of Kelly's come true, one that her family couldn't
afford on a pastor's salary.
However, the Lord had other plans for
Kelly. Instead of going away to college, the Lord wanted her
to study locally, develop other talents, give to others and
start the long process of learning to really trust Him with
the events and goals of her life, truly surrendering to His
will, doing things His way, depending on Him and learning the
joy of servanthood, areas that were true struggles for Kelly
that would take time, which is ok, because the Lord is really
patient with us all.
After making plans to attend this South
Carolina College, Kelly received a devastating phone call from
the South Carolina basketball coach, who told her that all the
scholarship money had been given out and there was no money
left for her. Suddenly, the bottom fell out of her goal of attending
For 17 year old Kelly, this was one
of those hurtful, disappointing low points of life, but she
found hope and comfort from a verse she stumbled upon in her
Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:18: "In everything give thanks,
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
She was able to let go of her hurt and bitterness because she
knew this verse was from God, a message of comfort and hope."
This experience among many other disappointments
in her life helped prepare her for what happened to her when
she arrived in Nashville, and had gotten involved with WORD
Kelly shared with ChristianMusic.com,
"This disappointment taught me that God is so much more
interested in our hearts than He is with so many things we set
our sights on. He wants to truly fulfill us, and only He knows
what will do that for us."
Stepping out in her faith, the goal-oriented
Kelly regrouped her future plans. Kelly decided to take classes
at a local college and shared her knowledge about basketball
with youth, becoming a high school basketball coach. She also
turned to her guitar and began to express in music her struggles
and experiences, which was the beginning of her music ministry
for the Lord, a possibility that she hadn't even considered.
ChristianMusic.com asked Kelly Minter,
"Did you study music as a child/ young person? Do any performing
in church or school? We know your main interest was in sports,
but was music in the background?"
Kelly shared, "Music was definitely
mixed in there someplace. I always loved listening to CD's or
tapes (back then). I enjoyed concerts and was always taken with
that type of thing, but never really considered it a possibility
for me until college."
During her college years, Kelly continued
to develop her musical gifts, as the Lord continued to mold
her thinking, her heart attitude and her character, and build
her faith, to enable her to serve Him more effectively, which
is not always an easy process.
Kelly explains, "The Lord used my
college years to strip me of all I had ever trusted in and brought
me to the lowest, most confusing point of my life. Little did
I know that it was His unfailing kindness that was keeping me
on my knees."
It began to dawn on Kelly that the Lord
wanted her to share her musical gifts of singing and song writing,
expressing what she had learned about her faith and the character
of the Lord and her love for Jesus Christ. After some friendly
"nudging of family and friends" and a chance meeting
with Christian music artist, Kathy Troccoli, while baby-sitting
for a dear friend of Kathy's, Kelly became excited and eager
to begin this music ministry for the Lord.
Kelly explained to ChristianMusic.com,
"Kathy would come in and visit and I would have some time
to talk with her. I think she really symbolized what I wanted
to do. Meeting her in person made it all seem more tangible
So, Kelly became excited and inspired
by this new goal of not only serving the Lord by sharing her
Christian music with the world, but to shoot for the moon and
become a successful, mainstream Christian Music Artist, and songwriter.
In 1999, Kelly hit the road in her mechanically challenged "gun-metal-gray
jeep", arriving in Nashville, Tennessee.
In chapter one of her book, WATER INTO
WINE, Kelly said, "I had come to this town with eyes as
wide as the ocean, dreams bigger than Dorthy's, and on a road
I was certain was paved with yellow bricks. I was well aware
that the competition was steep and the slots for rising stars
were fewer than winning lottery numbers. But I also had very
deep desires to sing and to write and to have an impact; so
no matter how daunting, I had to come. I had no reason to believe
that things would not go exactly as I had planned."
KELLY MINTER - GOOD DAY
A door to the mainstream Christian music
ministry industry opened to her when Word Records first released
her debut album, GOOD DAY, and then gave her a development deal,
two years before she actually was signed. It seemed that another
one of her dreams coming true. There was a hitch though. WORD
Records was in the process of merging into Myrrh Records, who
was then negotiating a sell out deal with Time Warner, during
the whole time she was there, while she worked on her second
album. Just when her 2nd album was ready to be released, another
heartbreaking detour plopped down into the middle of her current
goal. Word Records dropped her as one of their artists after
being bought out by Time-Warner. Another door abruptly shuts
tight, but the Lord had once again other plans for Kelly.
Kelly relates, "Basically, the record
I had worked so long for never really got out. It was so deeply
disappointing, especially after working with the label for three
years - so difficult to have such high expectations, and then
have something so out of your control happen."
The Lord used this huge pot hole in Kelly's
plans and dreams to once again mold her, prune her character,
develop her patience, and draw her into "a deeper and more
authentic relationship" with Himself, as she endured through
the long and difficult journey she found herself in, as she
strived to get another recording deal, which proved to be very
difficult, frustrating process.
Kelly described this time period as "a
season which seemed to rub against every grain of my being."
She describes this growth / changing period as if the Lord had
lured her into the wilderness, in order "to turn a painful
valley into a door of hope; to show His love for me."
Being without a record deal felt like
being in a wilderness, a painful place with only the Lord to
Kelly further shares,"The drought
in between record deals was long and arduous. I wasn't always
sure how I would make ends meet, and suffered from the pain
of watching other artists succeed and live their dream. I had
seasons of feeling abandoned by God, wondering if I had done
something out of His will to deserve what I was going through.
It seemed that He was blessing those around me, though I couldn't
seem to force an opportunity into existence, regardless of how
hard I tried. It was as if God was holding every door shut for
Looking back at this time in the wilderness,
however, Kelly Minter now sees it as a time when she was "engulfed
in a lot of song writing and journaling." These inspired
creative endeavors and writings became a rich source for later
songs, found on her new CD, WRESTLING THE ANGELS and a book,
WATER INTO WINE, inspired by the servants in the water into
wine story found in John 2:1-11, where Jesus told the servants
to fill the empty wine vessels. Because there was no record
deal or any business obligations looming, she was able to compose
and write from her heart, expressing her struggles, as she strove
to submit to the journey that the Lord was leading her on, stretching
her thin patience as she learned to wait on the Lord, depending
on Him to lead her through whatever was next.
ChristianMusic.com asked Kelly, "What
helped you let go and let Him lead you to the next step in your
Kelly readily shared what she learned
in her struggles. "Sometimes you let go because you feel
you are supposed to, and other times things are ripped from
your clutches. I've had both happen. But even when something
is taken from you I think it is so important to release it to
God in your HEART that is an important step that we all must
take. I believe that we have to do this almost everyday in many
cases, keep releasing things to God."
"After a while, we learn to trust
Him, we learn that bleak things do turn out for good things.
Sometimes we see them in this lifetime. Other instances, I don't
think we'll understand until heaven." (Romans 8:28)
"In addition to these things, I
also had different people who God brought along in my life who
helped encourage and lead me through some of these difficult
times. They were most helpful!"
While Kelly endured and struggled in
this time in her life where she composed and wrote in her journal.
Some opportunities to perform did come her way. Her first album,
GOOD DAY, received "very good critical acclaim" and
Kelly was invited to tour with Sonicflood, Bebo Norman, and Watermark,
which must of been very encouraging for a struggling young Christian
Finally, on the Lord's time table, Kelly's
music was discovered by Cross Driven Records, because her music
was noticed by people in the industry, through her tour with
the Christian bands mentioned above and her first album, GOOD
DAY. After Cross Driven Records signed her up on a contract,
they connected her to Christian music legend, Margaret Becker
and songwriter Paul Buono who co-produced her new album, WRESTLING
Dennis Disney, Margaret
Becker, Kelly and Shane, the Music Engineer
The Spiritual Truths that are illustrated
through her Music .....
Her newly released book, WATER INTO WINE,
all of which is based on her journaling, gives insight into
Kelly's spiritual growth and revelations, which are so well
expressed in her songs found on WRESTLING THE ANGELS. She discusses
areas which trouble many Christians, where we all engage in
"hopeful struggles;" Surrender, Obedience, Servanthood
to the Lord and having a deeper relationship with Him. The title
of her book was inspired by the wedding story found in John
2:1-11, where Jesus turned the water into wine, after the servants
obediently poured water into the wine vessels TO THE BRIM. Being
able to give to the brim depends on how much we are willing
to surrender our will, able to obey the Lord's leading, and serve
him with the right heart attitude, all areas that He is happy
to help us with, even if we get into a wrestling match with
About Surrender and Obedience.... Quote
from Chapter One of her Book: "To say that I have had difficulty
with surrender and obedience would be a profound understatement.
There is nothing easy about it, despite the "Trust and
Obey" childlike melody, which could lead you to believe
that it's a walk in the park. Because my own desires rarely
point in the direction of surrender, I find myself pondering
over and over again the obedience fork-in-the-road: Do I go
right - my way, or left-God's way? Or, of course, there's always
the ever-popular option of forging down the middle where there
is no road, thinking that somehow this will satisfy both God
and me. It's just that it never works out that way. I end up
pleasing neither, and then realize that on top of everything
else I have missed out on having the luxury of a paved road
under my feet. This is all part of the obedience dilemma; there
is no middle road."
About Servanthood...Quote from Chapter
One: "It seems our contemporary Christian culture has narrowly
promoted the definition of a servant as someone who faithfully
teaches the first grade Sunday School class, cooks for the homeless
once a month, volunteers for this or that, or assumes another's
unwanted chores. I have often latched onto some unappealing
task - for which I had no gifting - and proceeded to hunker
down under the burden of what I perceived to be the 'servant
thing to do.' I quickly burnt out in my misguided attempts to
serve at the altar of obligation rather than love. I am thrilled
to be learning that it's not supposed to work this way."
"Over the past several years, I
have been discovering a picture of servanthood that looks exceedingly
different from what I had formally perceived. I had missed the
very personal aspect of servanthood. I had fallen into the trap
of serving a system, not a person. Servanthood is about people,
and ultimately about God, because God desperately loves people."
As a Christian music artist, Kelly Minter has become involved
with World Vision Tours to Africa, a ministry where she can use
her gifts to spread the gospel to Africa, a place very hungry
for the message of Jesus Christ. She has been blessed by her "servanthood"
in Africa, and the experiences have broadened her understanding
even more about serving the Lord. (If you want to sponsor a child,
go to wvi.org)
Kelly Minter shares, "As God continues
to mend my negative feelings and misconceptions about what the
essence of being a servant is really all about. I'm finding
it's a lot less about doing, and more about being. It's a spirit
by which you live. It's a posture. Serving God or a person in
the truest manner requires far more than volunteering..... It
demands our heart. It asks for everything we are. It is a great
deal more costly than I ever imagined - and much more rewarding
As we grow spiritually in these three
areas, surrender, obedience, and servanthood, our relationship
with the Lord becomes stronger and deeper as a result of our
dependence and trust in the Lord to be in control, bring about
what is best for us and make us more like Christ.