December 17, 2017

Jamie Grace and Morgan Harper Nichols – As Light Shines….

JamieAndMorgan

(original photography by Cat Harper)

At the beginning of May, Jamie Grace and her sister, Morgan Harper Nichols, recently played their music at The Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit hosted at Brentwood Baptist Church, a world conference meant to advocate for orphans and foster care children.

While their performance touched the hearts of those who feel called to adopt, their personal journey captivates any child in distress or any parent who faces the challenges of a traumatized war-torn orphan from another country, recently brought home to the United States.

Over a lifetime, their father and mother, James and Mona Harper, have taken in approximately thirty-six children into their home – street kids, children of families who suffered from addiction, or really anyone lacking the love of parents who were absent, an environment that many take for granted. Bills were often tight with so many under one roof, but love resounded for those without anywhere to go, who otherwise might be homeless. Known as “Papa J” and “Mama Mona,” they are the founders and leaders of Kingdom City Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Beginning at just nineteen years of age, Jamie experienced many successes with her music career, including nominations for a Grammy, Billboard Award, and multiple Dove Awards, including her winning the Dove Award’s New Artist of the Year. No one will deny that Jamie is known and talented with millions of Youtube views and four number one singles, however a deeper story of adversity lies behind the scenes of this picturesque career.

At a young age, Jamie was diagnosed with Torette Syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, severe anxiety, among other mental hardships. Upon meeting Jamie face-to-face, one could not observe any such severe behaviors behind a beautiful face. With the loving home before mentioned, Jamie overcame what some considered uncontrollable behaviors to become a breakthrough artist, inspiring many and bringing awareness to mental illness on a national scale, especially in Christian communities. She was able to control her involuntary words and body movements that Torettes is often known for. Of course, Morgan served as part of her support system as sisters presently combine talents in joint performances.

Jamie formed an organization known as the I’m a Fighter campaign, which provides stable support and reassurance to those facing negative health complications and misfortunes, among other rendered services. Christian music was just what the sisters “listened to,” described as “music that was meant to uplift those who could relate to real life worldly problems.” Their soulful tunes were often influenced by the likes of Third Day, Switchfoot, Superchick, and ZOEgirl.  Both Jamie and Morgan were raised by their family to help others through inspirational words of original songs and poetry, meant to liven the distressed spirit.

Many fans and observers see the fame and television glamour of artists without knowing the true backdrop of a musician’s journey. Reality often reveals that the rise to success is rarely an easy road. Perils plague various artists around the world; however it is in those valleys where individuals transform into forces that change the lives of fans everywhere. Along with Morgan, Papa J., and Mama Mona, Jamie’s light shines to give hope to those in bleak circumstances where a song reaches beyond the soul.

One may find more information about these artists, their tour dates, discography, storytelling, and other interests at jamiegrace.com and morganharpernichols.com.

-James L. Cartee, III

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