Fans and friends of Point of Grace noticed two letters posted Friday on the Christian pop group's official website that confirmed what some had already been speculating – that one of them was leaving the group.
Heather Payne, 38, had made the final decision to leave the group last month, after what the members described as a "journey called 'Point of Grace.'" The decision, according to Payne, was difficult but the right one.
In her letter, Payne said she felt uncomfortable whenever a particular verse in Deuteronomy came up to her mind. The verse states: "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children…" (Deut. 6:6-7, ESV)
"I haven't been diligently teaching my children, I have been getting by," Payne confessed in her letter.
Between Payne and her husband, the couple has four children with their youngest Ava born last November.
"I am incredibly blessed with a husband that has supported my ministry," she added, "Now, my role is to support him in his ministry." Payne's husband, Brian, is working on his Ph.D. in Louisville, Ky.
In comforting her fans, Payne promised to sing again. "Not in this capacity, but by the grace of God I will continue singing," she said.
Point of Grace, which has been a quartet for 17 years, decided not to replace Payne and to continue as a trio.
"Some would say that no one is irreplaceable, but we would have to respectfully disagree," they expressed in their letter. The first project of POG as a trio is expansion of their album "How You Live," in which they will be adding three new songs in September, according to the letter.
First formed in 1991 by Heather Payne, Shelly Breen, Denise Jones, and Terry Jones, the group was originally called Say So, taken from Psalm 107:2 – "Let the redeemed of the LORD say so." After realizing another group had been already active with the same name, they agreed to change their name to Point of Grace. In 2003, Leigh Cappillino replaced Jones, who left the group to take better care of her family.
Point of Grace has sold more than five million copies of their albums under Word Records – two of their albums were awarded Platinum, and five received Gold. They received eight Dove awards and were nominated for a Grammy twice. They currently hold the record of having 24 consecutive No. 1 singles in Christian Radio.
In addition to the music, Point of Grace started the Girls of Grace conference, which encourages teenage girls to live Christian lives.