by J Raleigh Jones
The Mona Faith Story - Living In Texas And Loving Jesus and Nashville!
I had to think awhile about an introduction for my guest's story this time. Her life experience and story is so unique. She has experienced "Nashville The Hardway" and the struggles of getting started as well as the challenges to ‘keep on going’ in her long career. I didn’t know ‘til later, that the day I emailed and invited her to share her story was also, the day she and her husband, Reverend Gene Fant, Sr. were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary! Yes, she’s a preacher’s wife that still ‘wheels and deals’ in Nashville.
Mona Faith is an award-winning singer/songwriter whose songs are heard worldwide and included in record albums, videos, sheet music, stage shows, choir presentations, TV and radio shows, and translated into other languages. She is a member of BMI, a lifetime member of NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International), charter member of USAGEM (United States Association for Gospel Entertainers and Musicians) , and a longtime, active member of MCCF (Music City Christian Fellowship).
Mona has received the MCCF Candlelight Award in 2016 at the Grand Ole Opry House and served on the MCCF Board of Directors. Mona has sung as featured artist and in the Country Chorale on the Sunday Mornin’ Country show during CMA Music Fest. She has performed at the famous Bluebird Café and throughout the USA, in Argentina, Croatia, Philippines, Germany, in schools, churches, colleges, conventions, revivals, Outdoor Festivals and on radio/TV.
Mona Faith's latest album, 'Loving God, Life, and Country' is available on CD Baby, Amazon, Spotify, iTunes & others. She currently hosts and produces her radio show "Faith for Living with Mona Faith" that airs on WSM Radio, Home of the Grand Ole Opry, every Sunday morning from 7:30 AM to 8 AM CT and worldwide on WSMonline.com.
MONA FAITH, MY STORY
Growing up in Arkansas and Mississippi , I was surrounded by music, with my Mom playing the fiddle and guitar, Daddy on a saxophone, brothers on trumpet and trombone and sisters singing. So I, baby sister, was on stage singing by the 4th grade and have never stopped.
My trips to Nashville for music business began after attending William Carey University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, marriage and becoming Mom to our two sons, Gene, Jr and Stephen. I knew Nashville was THE PLACE TO BE for recording, learning and networking. I, also, knew it had it’s share of liars, crooks, and thieves. And it still does.
In my long career, I’ve dealt with the Good, the Bad and the Great in Music City. I’ve spent hours in prayer trying to decide what and when I should say yes or no to Nashville deals and opportunities. And dealing with rejection and/or no response from Record labels and Music Publishers. After all this time, I still love Nashville and feel my heart beating faster when I’m there working with musicians, leaders, and old and new friends!
I have been doubly blessed because all my family members have encouraged and helped me. So many who come to Nashville never have that kind of support and love. I pray for them. God can help them through the Hardway of Nashville just like He has helped me! My first years in Nashville for business were from a distance, making trips from the various places we lived including Fredonia, NY, Hampton, VA, and Jackson, MS. We moved to Nashville and lived there from 2003-2015.
Living in Nashville, I learned even more about the music industry. This time in Nashville was invaluable! I was writing new songs, being in the recording studios more, signing autographs and meeting fans during Fan Fair and CMA Music Fest, singing in live shows to raise monies for Charities and my own Ministries, helping and serving on the Boards for Music City Christian Fellowship and the United States Association for Gospel Entertainers and Musicians, singing at the famous Bluebird Café, attending workshops at BMI and NSAI and so many other events. I was as extra actor on several episodes of the TV show, “Nashville”. It was while we lived in Nashville on March 12, 2006, that God opened the door for my radio show, “Faith For Living With Mona Faith” to begin airing on WSM 650 AM Radio, Home of the Grand Ole Opry, every Sunday morning. We celebrate our 14th year on WSM in 2020!
So many outstanding leaders in Nashville have helped me through the years and shared their expert advice and help including: Thomas Cain with BMI, The Johnson Sisters with the International Fan Club Organization, David McCormick with Ernest Tubb Record Shops, Texas Troubador Theater and Midnight Jamboree, Gene and Brenda Higgins with the Inspirational Country Music Association, Cowboy Joe Babcock (of Hee Haw fame) with Sunday Morning Country show and Music City Christian Fellowship, Lisa Harless with Regions Bank Sports and Entertainment Division, Gregg Hutchins with Soundcrest Studios and Singing News Radio , Chris Kulick, Manager of WSM 650 AM and many others. I am thankful for all of them.
We moved to Boerne, Texas near San Antonio in December, 2015 to be closer to family. We love living in Texas. As you already know, Texas is full of country music and country music stars! Now we have added little ‘ole me, Mona Faith.
My latest album, “Loving God, Life and Country was released in 2017. The idea for one of the songs on this album came from a trip to New Orleans where we stayed in a fancy hotel near the Super Dome. I was standing, looking out the window from our room on the 15th floor and seeing all the traffic, ambulances and hurting people on the busy streets below. Gene came over to me and quietly whispered in my ear, “You and I are looking on these busy, hurting people from way up here but God is THERE WITH THEM! “ That’s when I began writing the song, THERE WITH THEM.
As always, I’m traveling to Nashville for business but now I’m including some shopping and visiting my Nashville friends. I was a recent guest songwriter in Nashville and taped a TV episode of “Writers Of The Light”, a USAGEM TV show. Keep updated on air dates on Mona Faith Facebook. I have a great time on the TV show singing some new Praise and Worship songs with Lynn Fox on keyboard, Tom Campbell on fiddle and Mike Dunbar on guitar (in picture below). Nashville musicians and friends are great!
Yes, I’m living in Texas and still loving Jesus and Nashville!!