Perhaps music is in Jasmine Brady’s blood. It’s certainly in her heritage, including her mother Candy Hemphill Christmas; her grandparents, Joel and LaBreeska Hemphill; and her maternal great aunt and uncle, Vestal and Howard Goodman of the Happy Goodmans. However, as Jasmine experienced, having such a robust musical heritage does not mean automatic entry into musical success.
Jasmine retells the story she has often heard: “Soon after I was born, I was part of the group traveling on the bus with my mother and family and grew up singing such songs as ‘He’s Still Working on Me.’” As a child, Jasmine began singing and writing songs while appearing on several Gaither Homecoming videos and in the Gaither Homecoming Kids’ video series. As a young teenager, she started writing songs and leading her youth group in worship, and later, leading worship around the country.
Jasmine advances her story: “Worship leading became a vital part of my life as I began to feel the call of God. After graduating from high school, I went to Lee University and became part of the A Cappella Ensemble—the Voices of Lee—a world-renowned vocal ensemble. During this time my parents started a church, Regeneration Nashville; the call to worship grew strong in my heart. After two years, I left the Voices of Lee and began traveling home on the weekends to lead worship for my parents’ church.”
In her late teens and early twenties and while leading worship, Jasmine pursued a solo career. She was writing more than ever and knocking on every door that could possibly offer entry. No matter how hard she tried to advance her personal career, every door stayed bolted. Jasmine couldn’t understand. She knew God had called her to music, so why wouldn’t He want her to use the gifts He’d given her? Why wouldn’t He want her to carry on the family’s legacy?
Jasmine was on the precipice of an incredible life lesson arranged by God. She continues, “What I didn’t realize is that everything must come in God’s way and His time. God wasn’t interested in how good I could sing or write; He was after my worship.”
When every prospect for her music resulted in a definite no, Jasmine learned she “had to lay every gift that God had given me at the foot of the cross and submit my life to His will.”
God’s greatest lessons often come through His word when individuals slow down enough to listen. “The Lord spoke two scriptures quietly to my heart: but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you(Matthew 6:33) and trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
JonMichael Brady, also from a Gospel music family—Dad Keith Brady of “The Bradys”— started playing drums on the worship team at Regeneration Nashville. In due time on June 7, 2009, Jasmine married that wonderful man, and the couple now has two of God’s greatest gifts, children Cooper and Adele (ages 9 and 5, respectively). Jasmine beams: “Cooper loves to sing, and he plays a drum called the cajon next to his dad in our worship band every Sunday. Adele loves to sing and worship the Lord, too. She’s always singing and writing songs. Music is in both of them for sure!” Could their music legacy be shooting out another branch?
When Jasmine was sixteen, her mom, Candy Christmas, founded the Bridge Ministry, a non-profit homeless outreach. Shortly after she married JonMichael, Jasmine went to work for the Ministry and is now a staff member of The Bridge, Inc. Almost every Tuesday night she is under Jefferson Street Bridge leading Nashville’s homeless and poor in worship to Jesus. She continues to lead worship for Regeneration Church Nashville, pastored by her father Rev. Kent Christmas. Jasmine continues, “Although I was leading worship weekly, I had completely stopped writing songs and pursing a personal music career. I decided that if that kind of career were God’s will, He would do it His way in His time.”
Over the last several years, the Lord has emphasized to Jasmine that “worshipping Him is what we people were created to do. We should worship Him in our jobs, in cleaning our houses, in raising our kids, in driving our cars, and in personal prayer. I think that if my career had taken off when I wanted it to, my life might have become about fame, money, writing ability, and success.” She recalls, “one time when I was praying, the Lord spoke to my heart, saying, ‘If you never sing professionally, will I still be enough for you?’ I sat praying on the floor, stunned, and through tears and anguish told the Lord, ‘Yes.’ Honestly, I never planned on singing or writing professionally again. I had to learn to worship Him under the Bridge with the homeless and in our little church, and that had to be enough—because He is enough.”
Jasmine recalls three more painful experiences: “In March of 2020, a tornado hit Nashville and ripped through the middle of our city. The place under the Jefferson Street Bridge where we serve on Tuesdays was hit directly, and we weren’t sure how to move forward. The following week “stay at home orders” were issued, and the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing. Our world felt more uncertain than ever before. Then, a few days later, we got a call that JonMichael had lost his job of fifteen years in the music industry, and we were shaken to our very core.
“The only thing I knew to do was worship. As He had reminded me years ago, I knew to seek Him and all other things would fall into place (Matthew 6:30). I knew to trust Him and He would direct my path (Proverbs 3:5-6). So, I sat down at the beautiful baby grand piano that my grandmother had given me before she passed away. It was the piano that she and my grandfather sat at and wrote so many inspiring songs. I didn’t know what to say, but I touched the keys and the Holy Spirit gave me the words “Peace, peace, be still and know that I am God. Peace, peace, Shalom.” For the first time in almost nine years, I wrote a song. God began giving me worship music which I introduced to our church.
“Over the last year, while walking through the pandemic and my husband’s joblessness, I’ve stayed at Jesus’s feet in worship while songs like ‘Faith Arise’ and ‘God is in Control’ have come pouring out of my soul. Soon, our church and online viewers asked where they could purchase my music. We decided to do a project so these precious people could sing these songs over their situations as well. My latest album, ‘Shalom,’ came into being.”
Today Jasmine stands back and looks at the goodness of God. The Bible says, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:24). “Everything from the Lord must come to a place where it dies so He can bless it, break it, then multiply it. What I see now is that my ambition, pride, and self-centered mentality is what had to die. My dreams of fame died—His glory rose up in its place! My music died and His worship resurrected—to God be the Glory; great things He has done.”
Jasmine is grateful for every step of her journey. She is grateful that she is able to lead God’s people in worship to their King and that He loves her enough to change her into the image of His Son, not leaving her in selfishness and sin. She is grateful that God has given her opportunities to speak and sing to the body of Christ in many different churches and at ladies’ events across the country.
Jasmine Brady testifies that she has “learned that everything is possible when I seek Him first and His Kingdom; then, everything else falls into place.”
It’s a cooperative relationship with her Savior. Truly, it’s worship. Sheila E. Moss: author of Living to Matter: Mothers, Singles, and the Weary and Broken; Interrupting Women: Ten Conversations with Jesus; and international publications from teaching Bible and Christian ethics in Africa, Ukraine, and Venezuela; teacher of Bible classes for over 35 years; mother of three daughters and two sons; and grandmother of eleven grandchildren