WILDWOOD – Contemporary Christian music artist, songwriter, and worship leader, Meredith Andrews is a North Carolina native who has won two Dove Awards and has had her music featured in the top 20 songs of 2013. She is best known for her piano tunes and is associated with the Vertical Church Band at Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago. Andrews is ecstatic to be performing at the 2017 IGNITE Youth Conference in Wildwood, NJ.
She started singing at the age of six, and hasn’t stopped since. We asked her to tell us about her music and how she got started.
Meredith: I grew up in a small Assemblies of God church in Wilson, NC, and sang my first solo as a six year old. I wanted to follow in my mom’s footsteps as she was one of the praise team leaders at our church. When I was 12, I wrote my first song which had six verses and no chorus. I guess I thought I was a modern day hymn writer. I made my first album when I was 16 and began traveling to churches in Eastern NC to share my original songs with whoever would listen. I was super involved with my youth group, and we had a worship service every Saturday night called Potter’s House. That’s where I began playing keys and leading worship on a regular basis. When I was 17, I went to a Rebecca St. James concert and as I fully surrendered my desire to use my giftings, the Lord spoke to my heart and clearly said, “Be faithful where I have you.” That has been my mantra my whole life. After leading worship at Liberty University, I moved to Chicago to join the staff of Harvest Bible Chapel where I served for over ten years, and signed a record deal with Word around the same time.
Relay: Could you give us a glimpse into your faith journey and how it began?
Meredith: I was basically raised under a pew, but more than going to church a few times a week, I had a deep longing to know God even as a kid. When I was five, I responded to an invitation my pastor had given, and I proceeded to do the same the following weeks. After the third time I went forward for an altar call, my mom explained that I didn’t have to ask Jesus into my heart every week, but that He had come to stay the first time I asked. When I was 12 I began really seeking the Lord for myself. I would turn on my worship CDs and sing, pray, and get into God’s Word, and He met me in the sweetest, most tangible ways every time.
Relay: What message will you try to spread at IGNITE?
Meredith: I hope to bring a message that encourages students and leaders alike that knowing and walking with God is the most exhilarating adventure we could ever have. And I want to bring a message of hope and faith, that no matter what someone is battling or struggling with, no matter what their circumstances, Jesus is who He says He is and He is longing to bring each of us deeper into His Word and His presence and closer to His heart. We find everything we need in Him.
Relay: What do you hope kids and youth leaders come away with from the experience as a whole, as well as from your personal performance?
Meredith: I want them to encounter the Living God. Many people can sing, many people can teach, but it is the Holy Spirit that changes lives. I am praying that the Lord will reveal Himself in fresh ways to each of His children that weekend, for when we see and understand the very nature of God, it draws us in and transforms us on the inside.
Relay: Why do you think youth events like IGNITE are important?
Meredith: My junior high and high school years were some of the most significant for me spiritually, especially the conferences and camps I attended when I was a student. There’s nothing quite like getting away from the craziness and distractions of daily life and spending intentional, focused time seeking Jesus together. I believe that IGNITE will be an event that marks many of us for the rest of our lives. It will be an experience where many put a stake in the ground and say, I am living to know, love, and honor Jesus, no matter the cost.
Relay: What would you tell pastors, youth leaders, and church members as to why they should participate in IGNITE, whether that’s through funding scholarships or encouraging their youth to go to the event and bring their friends?
Meredith: We must pour into the next generation. The chance to reach young people with the power of the Gospel is right in front of us, and this will be an event that has the potential to impact thousands of students for eternity.
To see Meredith Andrews and other amazing performers at IGNITE 2017, visit www.ignitenj.org for more information and registration