If the eyes are the windows of the soul, than perhaps music is the door to the heart. The melody and lyrics speak the truth, treasure, and tragedy that lie within. Sometimes the music is gentle, a light tapping on the shoulder. Other times, it’s more direct, with power and conviction. Much like life, there are themes of exuberant celebration, quiet introspection, searing anguish, and humble gratitude. But, when the music is especially sweet, it comes like a soothing balm to the weary soul, renewing the mind, refreshing the spirit, and rendering the heart forever changed. If music is the door to the heart, than there’s no secret to Whom Cheri Keaggy’s heart belongs.
Beginning as a worship leader at a small church in Southern California, veteran CCM artist Cheri Keaggy has ministered through music and testimony for over twenty years. Her debut album, Child of the Father, released to rave reviews in 1994, earning her a Dove Award nomination for New Artist of the Year. Nine albums, nine number one songs, three Dove Award nominations and a Dove Award win later, Keaggy continues to be a mainstay on Adult Contemporary and Inspirational radio, while congregations the world over sing her songs, including “There is Joy in the Lord” and “In Remembrance of Me,” during church services. Songs she wrote for her children have emerged as favorites at women’s events through the years (MOPS, Hearts at Home, Proverbs 31 Ministries, Family Life Ministries).
Often with her Bible and journal close at hand, Keaggy takes a teachable approach to life as she shares her experiences through various avenues: speaking, singing, songwriting, blogging, and one-on-one encounters on the road. With a heart of compassion towards others, she has partnered with organizations such as Food for the Hungry, Lifesong for Orphans, and the Nashville Rescue Mission.
“Most recently, after the end of her twenty-two year marriage to her high school sweetheart, Cheri has remarried and I can only imagine that she will be writing new songs of joy.”
“I’ve often said when we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of Jesus,” Keaggy says. “And He’s so faithful to meet us. Jesus is everything to me. And it has been a joy to tell my ‘God stories’ wherever He opens the door. If He can use my struggles to grow me in the faith and make me more effective for the Kingdom, then that’s what I want. I give Him my life to use however He sees fit.”
Through TV appearances such as Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Praise the Lord and LeSEA Broadcasting’s The Harvest Show or radio interviews like Moody Broadcasting’s Chris Fabry Live and Midday Connection, Keaggy never misses an opportunity to testify to Christ’s work and healing in her life. Her love for Him and passion for God’s Word is evident to all who meet her. In spite of life’s difficulties, she chooses God’s truths over and over again and seeks to inspire others to do the same.
“I’ve learned a lot in the last several years. It’s always been helpful to write from a place of experience, knowing God meets us in the middle of it all. There may be a lot of unknowns in my future, but one thing I know for sure, I have everything I need in Christ. He has loved me well and for that I am eternally grateful.”
Defining her music as “for the edification of the body of Christ,” she has always felt a calling to convey her faith through melody and lyric. But, more and more, audiences have affirmed that the stories and scriptures shared in between songs have as much impact as the songs themselves. Consequently, God has opened doors in the speaking arena and Cheri has been obedient to walk through them with a greater dependency than ever before.
Whether through music or speech, in spite of life’s difficulties, she repeatedly chooses joy. Pointing us toward what matters most, an encounter with Cheri Keaggy is an encounter with the God of her heart.
Cheri lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband, Steven, and their dogs, Daisy and Sadie. She has two adult children, Cameron and Sarah, and enjoys reading, writing, zumba, and a good movie.