At Fletcher Seminary, we teach people how to think and not what to think. Fletcher Seminary’s Faith Innovation Blog explores the intersections of intellectual curiosity, Christian leadership, and spiritual growth. Dr. Jonathan Davis of Fletcher Seminary recently had the opportunity for a captivating interview with a remarkable figure in the world of Christian music – Flamy Grant. Flamy’s recent achievement of topping the Christian charts on iTunes, Amazon, and even Billboard has sparked conversations that are reshaping the landscape of faith-based music
The course of the conversation spans from Flamy growing up in a fundamentalist Christian sect in rural Appalachia to recently achieving national notoriety in Christian music. Flamy’s album, Bible Belt Baby, features clear and crisp vocals with acoustic Appalachian influences, and is full of honesty, wit, and storytelling. Songs like Holy Ground are full of imagery that fills the imagination, and the album even includes collaborations with other chart topping and award winning artists like Jeniffer Knapp and Semler. Flamy also recently collaborated with Derek Webb (formerly a frontman of the critically acclaimed group, Caedman’s Call) for a viral music video.
In one segment of the interview, Flamy shares that she wishes all seminarians and people entering ministry would realize just how easy it is to manipulate people, speaking to the great responsibilities associated with spiritual leadership. She states “I think that’s really critical to be aware of both people’s willingness to be manipulated, and also the power that leaders, specifically in the church, have to be manipulative.” With the rise of people leaving the Church in North America, this is a particularly important insight. We hope you’ll listen to the full interview below.
Fletcher seminary hosts conversations like this one to help ministers prepare themselves and others to serve Christ in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic world. Conversations highlighting diversity in the Church and in society at large help us to live better with our neighbors and make safe space for all who need a spiritual home. When conversations are entered into with a sense of curiosity and openness rather than fear and trepidation, the Church can learn valuable lessons about faith, including that all people are made in God’s image and equally loved by the Divine.
Join us in experiencing this enlightening conversation between Dr. Jonathan Davis and Flamy Grant. As you listen, reflect on the insights that resonate with you, and let this exchange inspire constructive conversations that contribute to your own growth and the growth of those around you.
Interview Roadmap and Highlights
2:38 – Flamy Grant’s story and background – From Appalachian Fundamentalism to “Here and Queer”
5:40 – The journey of faith deconstruction toward freedom and new growth.
9:50 – How Flamy’s success impacts conversations around faith based music within the church
13:40 – The mantle and burden of being thrust into a national spotlight
18:58 – Flamy’s one wish for those preparing for ministry
24:50 – How churches can create more welcoming environments for marginalized people
32:50 – How churches can help (and not harm) people on personal journeys of self discovery
37:10 – Flamy’s message of hope for individuals struggling to reconcile their faith with their God-given identities
To stay connected with our enriching discussions, remember to subscribe to the “Faith Innovation Blog.” Together, let’s embrace the power of diverse perspectives and the profound transformations that arise from genuine, open-minded dialogue.
Fletcher Seminary’s core values include authentic community, engagement, and inclusivity, as well as our values of empathy and critical thinking. We believe that exposure to a wide range of voices and perspectives is integral to a holistic education that fosters personal growth and societal understanding.
Jesse C. Fletcher Seminary is an equal opportunity entity that is committed to diversity and inclusion, and offers complete equality of opportunity to all qualified students without discrimination on the the basis of race, ethnic background or color, creed or religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other basis as protected by federal, state, or local law.