When Amy Grant tried to save Evangelical America

The untold story of a Christian Pop singer

Jonathan Poletti
I blog God.


To become the biggest Christian recording artist in history, you’d start out by hating church. Growing up, she went with her family, but reluctantly.

“They all looked dead to me,” she’d say, “sitting in church with their coats and their ties and their stock answers.”

She got baptized, she recalled, mostly worried about getting her hair wet. She was going to a dance afterward. Amy Grant had priorities, and religion wasn’t one of them.

What Amy Grant liked was boys and music.

Not Christian music—Pop music, like you heard on the radio, and like you didn’t hear in church. She loved Cher, and Bette Midler. She went to see them when they came through Nashville.

She was the youngest of four sisters, and listened to her sisters’ LP collections. She liked a lot of albums but the one that really got her attention was Carole King’s Tapestry. The idea of a young woman singing about her life and thoughts seemed like something Amy herself could do. She started writing songs, like diary entries coming to life.