Rebecca St. James Honored with 2009 Arvella Schuller Award

Christian songstress Rebecca St. James was recently honored with an Arvella Schuller Award for Promoting Positive Christian Values in the Arts.

"I'm very humbled," St. James said after she was presented the award. "It's affirming both of the personal dedication I feel to honor God in all I do creatively, and my belief that His presence in the creative arts should be upheld at the highest levels."

The award was presented during the Arvella Schuller Scholarship evening held last Saturday at Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif., where St. James also performed.

Recipients of the annual award are selected by a committee that looks at the events of the past year and evaluates who has made a notable stand in the media for Christ, who has made a notable stand in the media for positive family values, or who has overcome incredible difficulties and stood strong in their walk with Christ.

Though St. James was notably missing from the music scene for much of last year after she took an extended sabbatical, the award-winning artist became increasingly active in the book and film industries, putting out a bestselling book last year and fully engrossing in Hollywood over the past six months.

Last month, St. James wrapped up filming for the upcoming movie, "Sarah's Choice," in which she stars in her first leading role.

"I feel it's an important film with a Godly message that I am praying will profoundly touch lives," she says.

Also honored this year with an Arvella Schuller award was Hollywood film composer Mark McKenzie, who has composed award-winning scores for movies such as "The Ultimate Gift," "The Last Sin Eater," and numerous Hallmark Hall of Fame movies. Outside of film, McKenzie's music has also been utilized for the Olympics, the Academy Awards, Disney World, California Adventures, Wimbledon, and Crystal Cathedral, where McKenzie is a member.

"Mark is honored to receive the 2009 Arvella Schuller Performing Arts Award along with singer song writer Rebecca St. James," his publicist says.

Past winners of the Arvella Schuller award include supermodel-turned-CEO Kathy Ireland, former American Idol contestant Chris Sligh, and Backstreet Boys member Brian Littrell.

Arvella Schuller is the "first lady" of Crystal Cathedral, wife to the megachurch's founding pastor, Robert H. Schuller.