"How can I not be changed when Your Spirit is in this place? How can I not be moved when You're all around me?" - Anna Golden, "Changing Me"
This rhetorical question reflects the passion and pursuit of emerging worship leader and songwriter Anna Golden, who caught a glimpse of her calling as a young girl serving in the church and has been running hard after God's presence ever since.
Before Golden releases her first EP later this year, the global Church is being introduced to this St. Louis, Mo. artist through the two singles she's released: "Take Me There" (a Top 10 song on the iTunes Christian chart) and "Changing Me." These songs--which find a home with fans of Amanda Cook, Lauren Daigle and the like--reflect strong, passionate vocals, reverent lyrics and a laser-focused vertical orientation.
On the heels of her "Changing Me" release, I asked Golden to tell her story as a worshipper--a story that's clearly still being written.
Tell us about you! Where you grew up, were raised, family, pets, friends.
I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, about 30 minutes from the city in Chesterfield. I have an extremely musical family, so I was very fortunate to be able to travel quite a bit! I have two older brothers and an older sister that all do music; we were practically a traveling family band.
I now live in Nashville with my sister, Liz. and our two cats that we rescued, Edna and Vern. Vern is my cat and I try to take him with me everywhere he is a little traveler.
Got any interesting hobbies, collections, fandoms, fun side jobs you've done?
I love interior design--making something out of nothing. And anything cats! I absolutely love my cat, Vern.
How did you get your start musically?
My parents got us loving music at a very young age. They were both worship leaders. That is actually how they met, leading worship together! So I remember being in musicals and church choirs since I could talk. When I was about ten years old, the worship leader at the children's church told me he could hear me singing in our class during worship and asked me to sing with him every week. I have been singing in church ever since!
So how did you get started as a worship leader?
So yeah, I have been singing in church since I could talk. My parents always showed my siblings and me the importance of serving in the local church. I started leading when I was 14 years old in a prayer room in St. Louis. Basically it was just two hours of me on a piano, with a couple of people in the room worshipping. I really feel like in that time God was placing dreams and a passion in my heart for worship and the local church. From there I started volunteering at Faith Church in St. Louis. After about six months there I became an intern, shortly after that was on their full-time worship staff, and ended up being the head of the worship department.
Worship music is exploding, with so many artists out there making albums and even getting on the radio. Why do you think this is happening? What's God up to, as you can tell?
I am so excited for what the Lord Is doing in worship music now. There are so many songs being written about the Holy Spirit and miracles. Worship brings you into the presence of God, and I truly believe the people of God just want more of Him.
When you're writing a worship song, what goes into it? What's most important to you? What are non-negotiables in your process?
I would say that almost every worship song I write comes out of a place of worship. If I can worship with it personally, I know others can as well. Almost every song I have written has come from me worshiping at the piano and the Lord puts a song in my heart.
Your music expresses shades of Amanda Cook, Lauren Daigle and other powerhouse worship vocalists. Who are some of the worship leaders who inspire you?
There are so many worship leaders that inspire me. I absolutely love Amanda Cook, Nicole Binion, Kari Jobe, Tasha Cobbs, and so, so many more. I would say Michael W. Smith has influenced me the most. I was raised listening to all of his live in concert DVD's.
Have you been touring lots? Leading for churches? How have you been sharing your music?
I have been very fortunate to be able to lead worship at different churches across the U.S. Since the release of "Take Me There," I have been traveling quite a bit more.
At what point did you determine God was leading you to Nashville?
I have always loved Nashville and had dreamed of moving there since I was a little kid. A lot of doors started to open the as I felt the Lord moving me there. God truly does give you the desires of your heart, and I am so thankful to be in Nashville and to be apart of such an amazing church, The Belonging Co.
You attended Bethel Music's first-ever conference, the Heaven Come conference in L.A. What was that experience like? What did you take away from it?
It was incredible. I love attending conferences that encourage you in the Lord and worship leading. I am so inspired by Brian and Jenn Johnson and all they do for worship music.
What's your calling as best you can tell?
I don't know the extent of this calling, but God loves to keep me on my toes, that is for sure. I know He has placed this passion for worship and the local church in my heart. I'm not sure all that the Lord has in store, but am just learning to wait on Him and His voice for every step.
What's next for you, and how can people be praying for you, Anna?
I am currently working on a six-song EP that I will be releasing in the summer!
Marcus Hathcock is the Executive Editor of NewReleaseToday.com, a husband to Savannah, father of three and a worship leader living in Boise. He just released his first EP, Songs For Tomorrow, and occasionally blogs at mheternal.com.
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