Soul Choir | Nashville Christian Family Magazine September 2023 issue - free Christian magazine


“What is it that You really want us to be doing?” was a question I asked the Lord after decades of music ministry and becoming dismayed at what I was seeing in churches around the country.

It wasn’t that I was burnt out. My desire for ministry was just as strong as it ever was. I began to see church services starting to look like rock concerts with lasers and smoke machines and scripted services, and I was caught up in it. I knew that this was not what God had in mind for me. I had to re-evaluate my calling and what God’s will for my life was.

When I was younger in ministry, I heard someone say, “We are called to be fishers of men, not keepers of the aquarium.” I realized that I had in a sense been “preaching to the choir.”

So, I searched the scriptures and God led me to Matthew 25:31-46 where the Lord explains the criteria He will use when separating the righteous from the unrighteous. He says in verses 35 and 36:

36“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

I then read in James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

And finally, what has become our defining scripture, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound,”
Isaiah 61:1. Interestingly enough, this was the scripture that Jesus chose to read when he entered the synagogue in His own home town towards the beginning of His ministry. He made it his “mission statement.”

I realized that I was being called outside the walls of the church. So, after much prayer, counsel, and insight from God’s Word, I was inspired to start a music ministry group that would not only provide opportunities for people to use their gifts for the Kingdom but also share their faith through the powerful catalyst of excellent music.

So, in 2002, I started a music ministry group called the Heart & Soul Gospel Choir in Los Angeles. The group was hugely successful in staying true to its mission of bringing the Good News of God’s unconditional love and our hope of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Then in 2007, after moving to Nashville, Tennessee, I started a similar group and shortened the name to “Soul Choir.” This group developed into a high-energy, elite music ministry group of 12 professional-level singers whose unique blend of gospel, soul, and R&B music, helps to create an atmosphere that breaks down cultural and denominational boundaries and allows God to move in powerful ways. Soul Choir’s core ministry is to prison/jail inmates, the homeless, the military, and those who are hurting and feel they have no hope.

We want to restore, revive, and recruit souls for the Kingdom. We want everyone to know that no matter how marginalized they may feel, they have value, God has not forgotten them, and He has a plan for them.

Since its debut at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in October 2007, Soul Choir has shared the bill with, or sung behind many well-known Christian, Pop, and Country artists and has worked with countless ministry organizations throughout middle Tennessee, as well as other states and countries. They have also received “Volunteer of the Year” awards from the Nashville Rescue Mission and United Brotherhood Ministries.

Now in its 16th year in Nashville, Soul Choir is still going strong and continues its commitment to sharing the message of God’s great love. They have been blessed to see so many lives changed before their very eyes. The more the group experiences evangelism like this, they grow in their own faith and come closer to knowing the heart of God.

It continues to be an honor for me to have the privilege of giving singers an outlet to use their gifts for God through Soul Choir, and I hope and pray the group will continue for many years to come.

If you would like to support Soul Choir through prayer or financial support, please visit for more information.

Special Announcement: Soul Choir will be having Open Auditions on Saturday, September 30, 2023, at the historic Belmont Church located at 68 Music Square E in Nashville beginning at 10 a.m. Please visit for more information

Julie Branham, Founder and Director – Soul Choir

Similar Posts
Latest Posts from Nashville Christian Family Magazine