Selah Exclusive: Jesus 'Makes Our Ugly Beautiful;' Trio Recounts 'Humbling' Encounter With Billy Graham

Acclaimed singing group Selah
Acclaimed singing group Selah | (PHOTO) Courtesy: Turning Point Media

Dove award-winning group Selah recently spoke about why there is power in leaning on Jesus in the midst of pain and "brokenness." The trio also shared why they believe millions of people around the world are still drawn to their music after nearly two decades in ministry.

Todd Smith, Allan Hall, and Amy Perry dropped their ninth studio album "You Amaze Us" on August 19, weeks after making Christian radio history when their title track debuted at #1 on Billboard's Christian Soft AC chart.

In the song, which has been #1 for nine weeks, the acclaimed contemporary Christian trio sings about God's grace and the remarkable power of faith during dark times. The song was written as a "reminder," according to Smith, for those in need "wondering if God really does care."

"I think it's usually during your darkest times that's when you lean on Jesus. I think when you've got nowhere else to go. You've got several different choices as to what you can do," Smith told The Christian Post exclusively.

"But typically when I'm humbled, when everything has just been pulled out from underneath – that's when I'm most open to 'Lord I need you' and so [the] lyrics are just reminders to people who are in a dark place and who are wondering if God is there and if he really does care," he explained. "He knows who you are and you need to lean on Him while you're walking through this horrible situation."

Selah has spent 17 years in ministry and has sold more than 4 million album and single units combined worldwide.

Acclaimed singing group Selah
Acclaimed singing group Selah | (PHOTO) Courtesy: Turning Point Media

Their spine-tingling vocals and beautiful harmonies have won the trio praises from fans, including Billy Graham, who they once performed for live. Their ballad "Nearing Home" was later written as a tribute to the Evangelist.

"I co-wrote ["Nearing Home"] with our producer, Jason Kyle, whose produced all of our albums since day 1," Hall said of what the trio described as a "country-flavored ballad."

Selah once sang at a conference hosted by Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, and it was there that they were invited to perform for him.

"[Anne] said 'would ya'll like to come up and sing and meet daddy' … we spent about an hour with [Graham] and we sang to him and we all chatted," Hall recalled.

"Amy had not had her little boy yet and when we were leaving, Rev. Graham prayed over us and prayed over [her unborn] Josiah and it was so humbling just because of what [Graham's] meant to the world ... what he's done for so many people around the world and what he's done for the kingdom," he continued. "We thanked him for everything he's done for so many people and he said 'everything I am and everything I have - it's all Jesus.' A few weeks later I said I really want to write a song about this."

"You Amaze Us" is a collection of classic hymns and worship anthems and it features a "cover of Andraé Crouch's "Soon And Very Soon.'" The song was inspired by Smith's fascinating upbringing in The Congo and amazingly, they sing it in both English and Kituba

The album also features the revived church hymn "Just As I Am," which Perry adores.

"I actually love 'Just As I Am' which is an old hymn that we did. I've always thought it was a boring hymn, it was done very slowly in church and I feel like young people think hymns are boring, but it's oftentimes because of how they're performed," she said. "So I just thought ... let's spice it up a little bit and make it something we can sing Sunday morning in church and actually worship together with it."

The song is a testament to God's love and grace and Perry said it is a reminder for folks that it is necessary that when one turns to Christ, they come just as they are.

"Jesus doesn't say 'hey get yourself pretty, put some makeup on, fix your life up and come to me.' He says 'come to me, you who are weary and heavy laden' and so I took those lyrics ... and just kind of made a bridge that says 'you know I come to you wretched and blind, in need of healing in my mind, I come to you broken and poor, I'm empty I have nothing more. I come,'" she shared. "And that's how we need to come to Jesus, even if everything is destroyed, that's ok because he's going to make our ugly beautiful ... I love listening to it!"

Both on and off stage the nine-time Dove award-winning group is always composed, chirpy and downright lovable but they acknowledged that like most close friends, they don't always get along.

"We're like brother and sister and brother so we get on each other's nerves," Smith said. "So there's definitely times, but we do [for the most part] get along very well."

In fact, it is perhaps this very same relatability and their humility and sense of groundedness, which is apparent even in their music, that has captivated audiences and won them loyalty from fans for nearly two decades.

"I hope people sense the sincerity. We really believe the songs that we sing. We always do the best of our ability so maybe it's that sincerity factor that people see and has carried through this long. We're so grateful that we get to do what we love to do," Hall said.

"I think we always try to put songs on the album that we love ourselves ... When we finish an album we always pray over it in the studio. We love when people write us and tell us their stories about how songs help them through difficult times but we know we may not be able to hear everyone's stories so we always just pray that the Lord will get the songs to the people that need it and touch their hearts."


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