Melissa Lawson at GFC Oct. 3rd

We are so excited to have Melissa Lawson at GFC this coming Sunday, Oct. 3rd.  Melissa was the 2008 Nashville Star Winner and is an amazing person. 

Here’s what some great leaders have said about her:  

“When I listen to Melissa Lawson sing my toe taps, my head shakes in amazement, my heart leaps, and my soul is stirred – everytime.”    Randy Frazee, Senior Minister Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, Texas

“Melissa Lawson blends a power voice with a pure heart. The result? Passionate worship.”  Max Lucado 

Here’s a little about her journey from Melissa’s personal blog:

Ok, so I’m sitting here trying to write the first blog for and I’m thinking “where do I start?  There is so much to talk about?” All of the questions people have asked since the show, all of the things that have happened, good and bad.  Not to mention all the great things happening now.   I have decided if I filled you in on all the juicy details, this blog would be a book. So instead, I’ll give you the abbreviated version and a little taste of what to expect from me in the future.   If you don’t’ know me, My name is Melissa Lawson. Of course, you probably figured that out since you’re here on the site. =)  

First, a little about me professionally……. you can read my bio, or I can tell you that I have been singing since I was 5, although my grandma would’ve said I’ve been singing since day one.  At around 13, I decided to start singing on the opry circuit in Texas and fell in love with performing with a live band.  I attended the Performing arts High School in Fort worth (Sadly, they closed down my senior year) and went on to perform at fairs and festivals here in Texas and Oklahoma.  I met my husband when I was 17 and as a musician himself, (he plays, keys, guitar, trombone, and just about anything else he can get his hands on) he understood my passion to pursue this dream.  

In 1999, we started having kids.  I had settled into a pretty good life, singing at church, loving CCM music as well, and just being a mom, but I also let my dream dissipate. I allowed myself to get up to 300 lbs, and I knew that I would never have a chance at making it in any music genre at that weight.   It was my “excuse” for not making it. I knew I had the talent, I had been told by many amazing people, but I also knew I was holding myself back.  During my pregnancy with my 5th son, I decided that I would NOT allow anything else to get in the way of my dreams. NO More excuses.  After all, what was I teaching my kids by giving up on the gift God had given me.

I made a 2 year plan to lose the weight, and then try to take my shot at the music business in Nashville.  About 2 months into that 2 year plan, the audition for Nashville Star came up.  I didn’t want to go…. I was only down 25 lbs, and didn’t feel prepared for this audition…..But I was convinced to go just to “see what would happen”.  After several auditions, I found myself at the finals appearing on NBC LIVE.  The fans were awesome, they were so supportive, it was a dream come true for me.  I was on National TV with my husband and kids cheering me on.

After winning the show, I sang in Beijing @ the Olympics on the Today show, and then at the Grand Ole Opry in the old and new locations.  These were things I couldn’t have even imagined putting on my “bucket list”. The single “What if it all goes right”  went to #1 for country downloads on iTunes and top 10 of all genres of music  It was unbelievable!  

Then everything stopped in its tracks when the record label decided not to release an album.  But that’s ok!  God has a plan and reason for everything, I am not sure why it happened this way, but I do know and have confidence that it’s HIS plan.  After the loss of the record deal, things were really rough at home, we had all surrendered to this life, and it was suddenly ended for us.  

We spent several months picking up the pieces, and now we are in a new place of freedom!  I recently recorded and released a Worship CD called Constant.  You can get it here on my website or through Reverbnation, Amazon, and on iTunes.  This was a project of the heart and by request.  I had been leading worship the last year at different churches and everyone kept asking for something they could take home.  So we put this worship project together.  I have led worship at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and Max Lucado even gave me an endorsement (how exciting!)  I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the top writers in Nashville, as well as meeting Tony Robbins, Loretta Lynn, and working with John Rich (who produced the first half of the country CD we will have out this summer), Jeffrey Steele, Ray Benson, and countless other artists and becoming friends with Gary Chapman,  Brian White, and other amazing people in Nashville.  These are things I will have forever, things that can never be taken away from me.  I am Grateful for the opportunity to even have had any of these blessings, much less the chance to be an artist in my own right thanks to the fans who voted for me to win Nashville Star on NBC.   

As far as me personally,  I am hoping you’ll love my absolutely crazy life as a mom to 5 boys ages 10,9,6,4,2 and a wife to my husband Rick of 13 years.  While trying to juggle mom-hood, I am chasing a nationally recognized music career, fighting a life-long weight loss journey (I have lost 85 lbs and kept it off for a year…..but recently decided I need to get the final 40 off for good….(I’ll be writing about my struggles) and doing my best to keep my head above water.

Like any other mom out there, life is tough!  You take it one day at a time, it’s all we have. Obstacles will be thrown your way that’s the way Satan likes to work it.  To keep you from achieving anything for God’s glory!  So I stay on my toes, day by day, meanwhile doing my best to attack the daily grind of laundry, dishes, kids, school, and tattling for the amazing reward of loving, tickling, honesty, singing, performing and praying.   I pray you will enjoy this blog as I keep you posted on this journey we all call life.  If you have a dream… will never be able to catch it unless you chase it.  So GO FOR IT! don’t let ANYTHING stop you!  As my good friend Ray says, “The only thing standing in your way is YOU!!!” xoxoMelissa

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have five grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Legacy Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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