Smith credits his missionary background for his singing career.
“I've been singing in front of people since I was 3,” he said. “My parents are missionaries … When we came back to the (United) States, we had to visit each church that sponsored us. …That was a good training ground.”
Smith said Selah has performed in Fort Wayne several times, and admitted he was on track to attend Grace College in Winona Lake. However, he contracted malaria in Africa, and when he returned to the States to attend a soccer camp at Grace College, Smith became terribly sick. He had to leave to recuperate. Afterward, he discovered Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Smith has called Nashville home ever since.
“I performed with Third Day at Grace College years later. Two women remembered me from camp. The rumor was I had died. I'm waiting to hear if they have a memorial,” he said with a chuckle.
The father of three girls, Smith also spoke about the song “I Will Carry You,” written by his wife, Angie, about their fourth daughter, Audrey, who was born April 4, 2008, and lived for about 2 1/2 hours. Smith and friend Christa Wells also worked on the song, and it is featured on “You Deliver Me.”
During the pregnancy, the Smiths were told by their doctor at 18 weeks gestation that their daughter would not survive because she had kidney failure.
“Doctors thought she would die in the womb. We decided to experience things with her. Two weeks later Angie said, ‘I want to write a song about all the things that God is caring for her in this lifetime. While I have her, I will take care of her.'” Angie Smith then created the blog, Bring the Rain, and described her daily experiences with Audrey while in utero. The blog, receiving up to 500,000 hits a month, is still active and also focuses on women who miscarry.
Smith said of his wife's blog, “She's really sincere and doesn't try to paint over things. She … has this strength and knows God is in control. Because she's authentic, it really draws people in to what she has to say.”
“I Will Carry You” made the album while Selah was working on sound mixing in the studio one day. Smith approached Perry and Hall to record with him his wife's song for the memorial service they would later hold for Audrey. As they recorded the song, Audrey kicked the whole time as Angie Smith held the headphones to her abdomen. Perry and Hall were so moved by the song they asked if the song could be added to album. Smith said the song is not performed at every concert, but if the Lord leads them to perform it, they will.
“There are so many women who miscarry,” he said. “To many, the loss is insignificant, but devastating to them. Sometimes I'll ask them to stand. There's always a hesitation, then one woman will stand, then a couple more, then a couple more. Then about 40 percent are standing. The suffering is real, and their child has value,” he said.
Angie Smith also has written a book, “I Will Carry You,” and the Smiths will have speaking engagements in the fall. Smith also works with Compassion International, which focuses on helping pregnant women learn how to take care of and clothe their babies in impoverished nations.
Selah to performWhat: Selah's “You Deliver Me” tour
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: First Assembly of God Christian Center, 1400 W. Washington Center Road.
Cost: $20 artist circle, $15 adults advance, $20 adults at the door, $12 each groups of 10-19, $10 each groups of 20 or more, $5 ages 6-12.
Contact: Tickets available at Chick-fil-A locations and Trinity Communications at 484-1029 or www.trinitycommunications.org.