Southern Gospel Times Feature Article
Editor, Evie Hawkins talks with international Christian recording artist, Tane' Miller. Tane' travels worldwide to minister in song and is part of the Impact Records family. Past Impact artists also include Sandi Patty, Larnelle Harris, and the Gaither Trio.
Evie: Tane', what is the history of your ministry? Where did you begin?
In 1990, I was sent out of my home church to work and train with an older established missionary, Nancy Kirchhoff, in Scotland. I was just 27, and had a lot to learn!
We spent much time in prayer and fasting and formed a ministry team to the Nations. We left Scotland to be sent into Eastern Europe after the wall came down, traveling to Germany, Hungary and Romania. We were just two unassuming little women, but we were prayer warriors, praying throughout these troubled nations. We ministered in churches where the Pastors were just being let out of communist prison. We met some who had been beaten daily in the prison for their faith! I learned "How Great Thou Art" in their language and sang it everywhere! Most of the people there had never met Americans, so I can tell you, it was a very special time! We had little or no money, but God miraculously provided each step of the way. It changed my life! So Nancy and I have continued to travel and minister as a team, working in churches and Bible-schools, full time for 22 years.
Where did you begin with music?
What many people do not know about me is that back before I was saved, I sang in bars and nightclubs as young as 16 years old, and had my own country band at 17 and 18. We were quite successful at the time. As a child, I loved to sing with my Mom and my aunt. Five teachers discovered I could sing at the age of 12 and had me singing in school assemblies all over the city of El Paso, TX.
How did you come to know Christ?
I didn't grow up in the church. Coming from a broken, abusive home, and a worldly background, I knew nothing about the saving, forgiving, love of Jesus. Although I always talked to God, I didn't know who He was. My mother married several times, and I had a little brother who was hooked on Heroine at the age of 12 and sentenced to juvenile prison until he was 18. Needless to say, life was not normal growing up. I desperately wanted to be loved and accepted, and felt that singing would fill the void within my heart. It didn't... I was so hungry to find God, and with no Christian foundation, I got involved in a cult at 19. Later, after step-fathers and family members helped me get out of the cult, I ended up in Montgomery, Alabama, not singing, but working as a waitress. I was very alone and confused, and I still didn't know about Jesus.
One day I found a radio station playing Christian music, which was new to me, and it softened my heart to the Gospel. It brought me to the place of crying out to God in my car with a loud voice. "God!!! I'm tired of the way I'm living; if there is such a thing as a real Christian, I want to know, and if you're real God, prove it to me!!"
God heard my cry and within 30 minutes of that prayer, a customer turned to me and said,"do you know Jesus"? He explained to me that Jesus loved me, and died for me to pay the price for all my guilt and sin. This man was a Pastor who prayed with me to receive Jesus into my heart! Right there in my waitress uniform, I was gloriously saved!
This was in 1984, and 5 days after I was saved, the Lord spoke to me that I would go to Nations.
I believe my salvation experience has given me a passion to reach souls around the world with the love of Jesus, using music as a tool for the Gospel.
The first six years after accepting Christ, the Lord was busy healing and restoring my broken life. I think He had to work overtime in my case! I love the scripture in Joel 2:25 that says," I will restore unto you the years that the locust has eaten....." He is a loving and faithful God!!
After I was saved, I helped lead worship in my home church for 6 years, was active in street ministry, and sang at local outreaches. One day, I had the opportunity to audition at one of the top ten liberal arts colleges. After singing one song, I recieved a full scholarship for voice performance. There I received wonderful training in classical music and opera. I went for 3 years; the 4th year I left college to be in full time missions overseas. OH, did I mention that I was terrible in theory, and therefore I could not continue with the scholorship program. The Lord has His way of training us! What I learned there was very valuable for singing in many countries and languages.
Who were some of your major musical influences?
I loved hearing Steve Green, Larnelle Harris, Andre' Crouch, The Imperials, and of course, Sandi Patty. We sang in the same key, and I loved to hit the high notes like she did!
I wanted so much to record an album and sing on the radio, but the Lord spoke to me that if I would put missions first, He would bless me with the music, and He has! We serve a faithful God! I have been honored to sing in churches and teach on worship in many countries and isolated places around the world. We work in 17 countries including Scotland England, Ireland, Europe, Haiti and the Caribbean, Mexico, Africa, and the Arctic of Canada, to the Inuit Eskimo, where the average temprature is -60 degrees.
I have been traveling with Rev. Nancy Kirchhoff for 22 years, averaging 3 to 6 countries a year, along with U.S. travel.
The Lord has been directing me to spend more time with concert ministry in the U.S.. So, I am excited about my third CD Release "Healer of My Heart"!
How many dates do you minister in a year?
Last year, I did 50 concerts and events in churches and conferences in such places as Ohio, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky,Tennessee, and Nevada.
We usually have 3 or 4 international trips in a year, but the Lord has directed me to concentrate on U.S. concert ministry in order to bring in more funds for our missions work, and to promote the release of my new CD, "Healer of My Heart," which has been added to the Impact Records roster. I'm so thankful for all the music industry professionals who have kindly helped me in this project. I learned early on that there is a difference between the music ministry and the music industry, and both are needed to bring forth quality music with excellence to glorify our Lord and minister to souls.
I'm excited about this new CD because it is so unique, and sounds a bit like a female Josh Groban style, but with Christian music! It includes songs like, "Be Still my Soul," " Great is thy Faithfulness," "It is Well," and a beautiful new song called, "Healer of my Heart!"
This project is a collection of sacred songs with a contemporary operatic style, which is so different from my other inspirational/Southern Gospel CD's. It's very soothing, and each song portrays a sense of Gods' peace and comfort.
Where do you see your ministry in 10 years?
My concerts incorporate a strong sense of triumphant Praise with familiar classics & original songs, then into worship with spontaneous healing songs of the Lord, along with a strong evangelistic emphasis.
If the Lord tarries, I hope to continue to minister in song in the U.S. and Internationally, as far as my feet will take me! There are so many people in the world who have never heard about Jesus! We've all got to do our part to reach souls, whether we go, pray, or send folks like us! We all have a part in the Great Comission,(Mark 16:15) There is so much to do before Jesus returns!
Bill Traylor of Impact Records notes, "Tane' Miller is unique to Gospel Music. Classically trained, Tane' has the incredible vocal ability to sing heaven's heights, and then to bring her listeners into a peaceful calm, as in her beautiful rendition of "I Surrender All." You will be blessed, comforted, and encouraged by the music of Tane' Miller and her new recording, "Healer of My Heart."
As Tane' Miller stays busy with her music ministry, she checks in with her friends in and around the South, including her hometown of Chapel Hill, TN. From coast to coast and sea to sea, Tane' is about God's work...spreading the Good News, not to just one culture; but to many...many blessed people that have the privilege of knowing and hearing this inspirational lady sing and lift Him up!
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