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6/5/97 Obedience to God opened doors for her musical gifts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Sarah Jahn didn’t consider herself to be a singer and didn’t think she had the contacts to make it in Christian music.
But God had other plans.
The Wood River, Ill., native and Greenville (Ill.) College graduate just saw her debut album, “Sparkle,” released by Warner Alliance. Her first single, “Crucible,” was at number 12 and climbing on the Christian Hit Radio chart June 2, according to The CCM Update.
Jahn was the winner of the Spotlight competition for new artists at Gospel Music Week in 1995, won the year before by Jars of Clay, Jahn’s classmates at Greenville.
“I started a major in biology, because I wanted to go into physical therapy because I wanted to secure a career,” Jahn said. “God was calling me to go into music, and I knew that before, but I was ignoring that for a long time. It didn’t make any sense to me.”
Jahn struggled with self-esteem and didn’t think she had the looks or the talent to be a successful recording artist. She also didn’t feel comfortable in front of people — she made D’s in speech classes in high school and college.
“It wasn’t until the middle of my sophomore year that I changed my major to music,” she said.
When she did finally change her major, things started happening. “The whole idea of faith is that you have to go beyond the tangible and the visible,” Jahn said. “If you really know that that is what God is calling you to do, it’s painful to do it and it’s really against our nature to do it, but you really just have to be obedient.”
God blessed Jahn’s obedience. She tested out of some beginning music classes and had some chances to record on campus.
“Doors just started opening, and I started taking voice and things like that, and writing more,” Jahn said. She started playing concerts her senior year and had the opportunity to enter, and win, the Spotlight competition.
She signed a recording contract with Warner Alliance, one of her many suitors. After some production and releasing delays, “Sparkle” finally hit stores this spring.
The idea for using the word “sparkle,” Jahn said, came from the way Christians should live their lives — “that the light of Christ would shine through them and that it would be evident to people.”
“It doesn’t say a whole lot to go around preaching at people if your actions don’t line up with that,” she continued. “You have to get people’s respect first before they’re going to listen to what you have to say.”

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth

    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.

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