Monday, September 2, 2019

Interview With Brandi Stewart | Southern Gospel Gazette

Over the years we've had the pleasure of meeting some "extra special" people in southern gospel music. Brandi Stewart is without a doubt one of those people.  One of the most encouraging, kind and talented ladies in this industry; it was our pleasure getting the opportunity to interview her.



Mercy: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Brandi: I am 33 and married to Terry Stewart (Product/Road Mngr, LQ). Terry and I will celebrate 11 years of marriage this October. When we first met, our friendship was based strongly on our love for gospel music (and professional wrestling…lol). Originally, I am from Esto, FL and relocated to Flowery Branch, GA in 2016. I work for Northeast Georgia Health System, where I am an Administrative Assistant for two Executive Directors. I love photography, book page crafts, the mountains, card games, and just having a great time with friends.  

Mercy: When did you get saved?            
Brandi: In the summer of 1993. I was at a VBS in our rural town. My family life was a bit in shambles, and that was tough for my 8-year-old self to process. The pastor of the church was giving our lesson for the day, and he made the statement that the Lord would never leave us, nor forsake us. That hit me like a ton of bricks. As he was exiting our classroom, I raised my hand and asked if I could talk to him. He and the teacher sat with me in the corner of the room. I told him that if Jesus would never leave me, I needed Him RIGHT THEN. I understood what sin was, and that I needed the blood of Jesus to take my sins away. I knew that I needed Him in my life, holding me through that very difficult time. I prayed that day, and though I have definitely failed the Lord many times, He has NEVER failed me.  

Mercy: What is something most people don't know about you?              
Brandi: Well, let’s see… Oh, I love the Gilmore Girls and Snow White! I mean really, I am not exaggerating. A couple of years ago, we started keeping a count of how many times I have watched all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls, and we are almost at 61. It is just a comfort show. Then, there is Snow White, the original Disney Princess. She is my favorite, and completely underrated. If you came into our living room, my feelings for both of these are evident in some of the d├ęcor. I have a Luke’s Diner sign, and a watercolor silhouette of Snow White (and Alice in Wonderland). Our house is very… colorful and different…lol. Terry is a good sport and has come to appreciate it over the years.  

Mercy: What do you like to do in your free time?              
Brandi: It seems as I get older, there is less and less of this “free time”. During the week, I spend the evenings with Terry, until he has to leave out on the bus. After he leaves, there are a few things that keep me busy. I am part of a gospel group called Reflections of Grace (with Tracy Byrd), and we have concerts at least a couple of weekends out of the month. If possible, I try and go back to Florida to visit my family every few months. If it is just a regular weekend at home alone, I like to wander around Ross or TJMaxx.  


Reflections Of Grace


Mercy: Do you prefer driving or flying?              
Brandi: It depends! If it is an 8 hour or more drive, unless I am driving through some amazing scenery, I would much rather fly! But, anything 3-6 hours, I am usually good with driving. It takes me 5 hours to go back home to Florida, so I am used to that timeframe.  

Mercy: What's the last song you listened to on your iPhone/cd player?                
Brandi: This morning I listened to “Lord Of My Heart” by the Isaacs (Nature’s Symphony in 432). That entire recording is phenomenal, but that song will take you to church. If you, for whatever reason, have not purchased that album from 2016, do it!  

Mercy: Who is someone that has inspired your singing?                
Brandi: Well, see my previous answer… lol. I have been singing since I was 2. But, as far as inspiration, that came later in life for me. Over the last 10-12 years or so, I have developed such a love for Becky (Isaacs) Bowman. She has such a rich tone, incredible range, and sings with a powerful anointing. She is so genuine.  The first time I ever saw The Isaacs live, I think cried for the first 3 songs. Not to mention, that entire family is full of amazing songwriters!  

Mercy: Do you remember what album/recording, concert, or group you heard first?              
Brandi: Like I said, I began singing at 2. The first song I ever sang was “Homeland” by The Cathedrals. My family didn’t have many gospel albums, so that soundtrack my parents bought me in 1987 was really the first professional gospel music I had ever heard. It had The Cathedrals demoing the song on one side, and the soundtrack on the other. I still have it… one of my most prized possessions.

Mercy: Out of all the concerts/events you’ve attended, is there one in particular that sticks out to you as a favorite?                
Brandi: That would probably have to be the 2008 All Night Sing in Bonifay, Florida. Terry and I were engaged, soon to be married. He was finally able to go with me to that concert. That year Gold City, The Perrys, Dixie Echoes, Jeff & Sheri Easter, The Kingsmen… so many were there. It was the first time he had seen them all live. That was a defining moment in both of our lives. We had enjoyed gospel music from the time we were kids, but that placed a new love for it in our hearts… Terry’s in particular. He was like a kid at Christmas, meeting so many of the heroes he had listened to. That lit a fire in him, and ultimately help set him on the path to be where he is today. It is a great memory that we look back on often.  


Brandi & Terry


Mercy: What SG song do you turn on for a pick-me-up?                
Brandi: Oh, I really love “I Have It All” off of the latest LeFevre Quartet album, Ascending. It is the first track, and I have loved it since I heard the opening lick. It is upbeat and reminds me that even when life is tough, I truly have it all inside the love of Jesus.  

Mercy: If you could choose one SG song as a life song, what would it be?                
Brandi: Waiting in the Water by the Isaacs. The first time I ever heard it, I just cried and cried. It spoke so much to me. Through the years, like most people, I have experienced awful situations and terrible loss. But, the last few lines of the second verse say, “I know along the way I may stumble, and I may fall, but I’ll make it to the water, even if I have to crawl!” Man, that just wrecks me every time I hear it or sing it. Through all those trials filled with pain, or the times I have fallen short… no matter what I have to do, I will make it to the Lord, even if it means crawling through the mess that I find myself in. That’s where the miracle is, waiting in the water. Yep, I am crying just talking about it…lol.


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2 comments:

  1. What a treat this was! You ladies are some of my favorites! It is so wonderful that you have such a love for southern gospel music. I am truly thankful that our paths crossed and that I am honored to be able to call you friends. Love all of you!

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  2. Y'all couldn't have interviewed a finer person, unless of course you interviewed her husband Terry lol. Kinda cool seeing my old morning cashier at the Piggly Wiggly grow in life. Great interview, I think I learned a few things I didn't know. Two fine people.

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