It’s been twelve years since Julie Branham and the group she founded, known as Soul Choir, walked through the doors of the Mission.
“Our goal is to share the Good News of God’s love to those in need,” shared Julie. “Foundational to our calling is in Matthew 25, where it speaks to visiting those in prison and feeding the homeless.”
After a successful music career singing backup for the likes of Barry Manilow, Julie moved from LA to Nashville for a slower change of pace. A Christ-follower from an early age, she’d always loved singing and found ways to share her hope with others singing at church, prisons, and homeless shelters. This passion followed her to Nashville. “I held auditions for Soul Choir in 2007,” said Julie.
“I’d done something similar in LA, and when friends kept asking me if I was going to do it in Nashville, all it took was a prompting from God to get the ball rolling. We are all volunteers and do this because we have a heart to help those who are hurting.”
Whenever Soul Choir performs at the Mission, the reaction is one of surprise and delight. When asked why their performance garners this type of response, Julie replied, “I think our program resonates with everyone. We blend gospel, soul, and R&B in a way that breaks down cultural and denominational boundaries and allows God to move in powerful ways.”
More than just music, Soul Choir also incorporates the message of God’s ability to change a person from the inside out, into each performance.
“I want those who are listening to hear that they have value, they matter, and God has not forgotten them. God loves them, and He knows exactly where they are.”
You’ll find Julie and Soul Choir singing at the Mission at least once, sometimes twice a month. Regardless of when or where—those listening are usually on their feet, singing along, and praising God.
When asked what keeps them coming back, Julie replied without hesitation, “When someone approaches me to say something we sang or said spoke to them and changed their life, I’m overwhelmed. It’s an incredible experience to see a person’s life change right before my eyes. I thank God for the blessing of this experience.”
The Mission is thankful for Julie, Soul Choir, and volunteers like them who give back in such creative ways.