Q&A with Point of Grace
We caught up with the three amazing ladies of Point of Grace who, together with their families, are celebrating 25 years of music ministry in 2017. Instead of traveling for the occasion (they’ve already done a lot of that while touring!), they’ve decided to throw a big party in their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee…and you’re invited. As the singers prepare for the jam-packed October weekend, we asked them about the joys of travel and the comforts of home.
There’s no place like Nashville
The first “behind-the-scenes” thing to know about Point of Grace is that they are Nashville fanatics, but not Nashville natives. None of the three are originally from “Music City.” After graduating from Ouachita Baptist University, they went on to win a prominent music competition in which they met a director from Word records who invited them to record a few songs in Nashville and eventually signed them. All these years later, they’re happy to have based not only their careers but also their lives in Nashville…developing friendships and raising their children.
When asked what they love most about Nashville, there is a chorus of enthusiastic replies:
DENISE: “All types of music…all four seasons… great restaurants.”
SHELLEY: “It’s a “little big town” that offers people both a cosmopolitan and a charming small town feel. And the people—always ready to help one another out—are what makes it such a wonderful home.”
LEIGH: “The backdrop of the rolling hills and mountains never gets old. I live near historic Franklin and always enjoy the leisure walk to the shops, delicious Ivey cupcakes and an occasional show at the Franklin Theatre. We love that friends and family come and visit quite often, which allows us to explore and stay current on new adventures.”
What do you hope your guests will take away from their visit to your hometown this fall?
DENISE: “Aside from celebrating the faithfulness of God over 25 years, they’ll get to go behind the curtain of the stage and glimpse into our lives…They’ll get a chance to see the Opry and sing in a Nashville studio on our actual record. How cool is that?”
“We also enjoy educating our friends/fans a bit more on what the music industry entails and how it’s changed from years ago to now,” adds Leigh.
It sounds like attendees may just become music aficionados while hanging out with these three gems.
On a deeper level, the women go on to share their heart for hospitality in welcoming fans into their lives. “The key to hospitality is making guests feel special and comfortable,”Leigh states. “We have biblical references of Christ Himself sharing some of His most intimate and powerful lessons in the others’ homes and around the table.” She goes on to share about some hospitality she received that she’s never forgotten. Arriving late to the distant home of a friend, the woman graciously prepared food for Leigh and her companions. It didn’t matter that the dinner consisted of a can of Progresso soup and saltine crackers! “The meal was outstanding because the fellowship was genuine and extremely caring! Our host reminded me of the importance of people instead of presentation and performance.”
For Denise, the hospitality precedent was set growing up nearby both sets of grandparents and extended family who always invited newcomers home for a meal after church. “They didn’t stress over whether the house was clean that morning before church; they somehow always had enough food. We would pull up the piano bench to fit everyone around the table. I remember those times so fondly—just laughing and telling stories. Not one guest ever left hungry or feeling unloved. I suppose that’s my desire for those coming to Nashville to spend the weekend with us.”
When asked where in the world they would like to live besides Nashville, Denise doesn’t have to think long. “I can’t think of anywhere else I’d want to be.” Leigh would enjoy living on any kind of oceanfront. “I find so much peace there.” Shelley shares she might like to live either in her childhood home of Little Rock, Arkansas, or along the Michigan lakeshore close to her husband’s family. “The only thing missing for me here is the presence of family. I’m always wishing I could drop in on my mom and dad or sister, or bring dinner to David’s grandma. It’s those little things people might take for granted, but when you don’t have it, you really feel it.”
In addition to loving home, the ladies also have a fondness for travel. They have traveled together many places, including South Africa. Singing at a women’s conference there is the farthest they’ve ever performed away from home. Shelley jokes of the “little taste of safari” they experienced, “We are dying to go back and commune with the elephants and lions!”
Their touring career has been a blessing all around. Even when the weeks would add up and they would miss family and all things familiar, the kindness of their fans would keep them going. It sounds like the group is a source of strength unto itself. It seems impossible to get through a conversation with them without it erupting into laughter several times. This kind of light-hearted fellowship can make everything worthwhile. Leigh sums it up, “The people we travel with are a hoot!…Never a dull moment with Shelley around.”
What is the most memorable experience you’ve had overseas?
SHELLEY: “In Peru, when I met the little girl (Margie) that I sponsor through Compassion International, it was really life-changing for me. So intimate to be invited into her home and really take in how they lived. Spending time in her small and very sparse living quarters really made me reevaluate what was important to me and make significant changes in the way we spend our money. I had always known the importance of family and experiences over material possessions, but I became much more aware that our time on earth is short and we have to put time into what is truly important.”
Denise shares about her 25th wedding anniversary trip to Israel. “Everything was in bloom and it was the most gorgeous place I’ve ever seen. Where there was water, there were trees, flowers, fruits and vegetables and where there was none, it was complete desert. I saw firsthand what it meant when Jesus says ‘I am the living water. Apart from me there is no life.’ He used this tiny place to come into the world and change it forever. The Bible became more real to me than ever before—with a new desire for the world to know Him.”
An Ever-Expanding Circle
Since their self-titled debut in 1993, these talented women have been fixtures on the Contemporary Christian Music charts. They’ve amassed multiple Dove Awards for their powerful harmonies and encouraging songs like “Steady On” and “Circle of Friends.”
But for Denise Jones, Shelley Breen and Leigh Cappillino, “Circle of Friends” is more than a song title; It’s a way of life. The circle is a real one that’s been formed with thousands of fans over the years as they toured the world.
DENISE: “Those we’ve had the chance to know a little more intimately have truly become friends. Introducing friends to other friends just makes the circle bigger. I hope when they leave this weekend they will have new friends to go visit and stay in touch with.”
Leigh comments how much they each have been blessed by the “encouragement and steadfast commitment” of their fans. Denise adds, “Hearing their life stories—how God spoke to them through a particular song—keeps us wanting to find more songs to inspire them and remind them that following Jesus is everything.