TULSA, Okla. — Nichole Nordeman talks about faith, fame, and when fans might get that next album.
"I'm always writing. Sometimes I'm writing for things here congregationally, and sometimes I'm just writing for maybe a future project of my own," says singer-songwriter Nichole Nordeman.
The Christian music star topped the charts, toured the country, and is now writing a new chapter leading the Modern Worship Service at First United Methodist Church Tulsa. So how did this celebrated singer-songwriter land here? Let's start at the beginning because, as Nichole tells us, every mile mattered.
Nordeman grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in a musical family.
"Music is just part of my DNA, really," Nordeman says. "As a kid, I was not really into athletics as much as I tried to be an athlete. Music was just something that kept pulling me back to itself. So I think in retrospect now, I can see pretty clearly that was God's hand."
Her passion for songwriting started in 7th grade. She still has the first song she ever wrote. "It was a song about a gymnasium, and it was terrible."
Her big break came in her 20s when she reluctantly entered a songwriting contest.
"I entered with my little song without any expectations or dreams, and I won that and then went on to win the regional and national, and that just put me in this position. I didn't ask for any of this; I didn't even dream about this or chase this. I asked myself if this is the right thing for me. After a lot of prayer and discernment and advice, I decided to take a leap of faith and step into the world of being an artist," she said.
That leap and lots of hard work landed Nordeman at the top.
"I'm really blessed to work with people who said, just talk and sing about whatever God gives you. Because life is not always pretty, the Christian life is not always pretty. Ministry is not always pretty. And there has to be space for authenticity," she said.
Nordeman's honest storytelling turned into five studio albums and numerous compilations. Chart-topping hits like "Brave, "Holy," and "Legacy" landed her 9 Dove awards. The artist with the heavenly voice was so down to earth when 2 News Oklahoma asked her about that night.
"I was six months pregnant with my son; he's a senior in high school now. So I don't remember much about the words; I just remember thinking, how soon can I take these heels off, and how quickly can I get a burger from Wendy's. I truly felt so honored and blown away, but I was really at the point just like in full mom mode, and I was ready to begin this journey of being a mom."
It's the pathway of parenthood that led Nordeman to Tulsa.
"We lived in Dallas for about ten years," she said. "At that point, we had Charlie, and my daughter Pepper was two, I think at the time. We just wanted to raise our kids in a place that was like where we grew up."
She decided to slow down, stepping away from touring to focus on family while still finding ways to use her gifts.
She started an online songwriting coaching business called Song School. She also launched her "Living Room Tours" — private concerts performed in people's homes.
"Those could be ten people or a backyard of 100 people. A night just telling stories and singing songs. It's been pretty awesome," she said.
A friend told Nordeman about the Minister of Worship Arts job at First United Methodist Church in downtown Tulsa. Before she even applied, one Sunday, Nordeman snuck in the back row to check the church out.
"It just felt like home," Nordeman said. "I just felt like I just walked into a home where there was kindness, and there was openness, and there was genuine, authentic concern about people's lives and hearts. And I hadn't even introduced myself to a soul."
Now, you'll find her at home at the altar at FUMC-Tulsa Sunday mornings at 11. It's here she sings old favorites and sometimes debuts new material.
"Our senior pastor here, Jessica Moffatt, has been incredibly gracious and given me so much freedom if you know at 11 o'clock on a Saturday night if I feel God's given me something to write about that's in tandem with her sermon then they just trust me to get up and sing it the next morning and that's it's not going to be terrible, and um most of the time it's when it's a God moment like that, it's a pretty wonderful partnership."
Nordeman says God continues to gift her with some. She says she's hopeful to have a new album in the new year. To learn more about Nordeman's music, click here, and to learn more about the church service, click here.
- Coweta Police searching for suspect in armed robbery
- DOWNLOAD the 2 News Oklahoma app for alerts
- 5 dead, more than 40 hurt after motorist drives through Wisconsin Christmas parade
- FOLLOW 2 News Oklahoma on Facebook
- Tulsa attorney weighs in on what's next for Julius Jones
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere --