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>> Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Over Half of Remaining American Idol Finalists have
Sung in Church,
and Three have Led Worship
by Aimee Herd : Mar 18, 2009

"Lord, I will go as far as You want me to go."

An AP article on Tuesday highlights the fact that singers with a background in the Church make up a significant part of this season's American Idol (AI) contestants. In fact, prior to the Tuesday, March 17th show, "more than half of the remaining 11 finalists have regularly performed at places of worship" and "three of those 6 contestants have worked as worship leaders at their…churches back home."

Zeroing in on finalist Kris Allen, of Conway, Arkansas, Derrik J. Lang—AP Entertainment Writer—notes that being on stage was not a new experience for the 23-year-old, but that "seeing the eager audience looking up at him reminded him of…going to church."

"Kristopher was in a position where he was singing on a weekly basis in front of a large number of people," explained Brandon Shatswell, the executive worship pastor at Kris' church, adding that learning new songs quickly to use during a service helped to ready him for the competition.

Danny GokeyAnother Christian on the show—28-year-old Danny Gokey—lost his wife when she died just a month before his AI audition. Gokey, who stands out with his stylish eyeglasses and husky voice, has reportedly worked for Faith Builders International in Milwaukee, and in Beloit, Wisconsin for 8 years. (Photo: AmericanIdol.com)

Stating that Gokey's fate on AI was in God's hands, Jeff Pruitt, Gokey's pastor described the music director's faith as he competes on the show. "Danny is in a place in his life that he is trusting the Lord with everything that's placed in front of him... He prays, [and] says, 'Lord, I will go as far as you want me to go.'"

Another worship leader/finalist is Michael Sarver, who also works as a "roughneck" in the oilfield. Sarver leads worship at the Harvest Church in Jasper, Texas.

To read the full AP article, click here - Derrik J. Lang - AP

Blessings on your day!

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