Caitie Hurst, 23-year-old worship leader from Hendersonville, Tennessee has a voice that can stop traffic. She grew up in a musical family; Her father was part of a touring Christian band. She looked up to female CCM singers and she loved singing, but her audience of choice? Her pillow. She never wanted to sing in front of anybody. Caitie’s family and friends saw and heard something special that she didn’t recognize in herself.
It was not long before leaders from her youth group at Long Hollow Church signed her up to lead worship. She tired get out of it, but still found herself up front, leading worship for the first time. You might expect this to be the turning point for her, the breakthrough moment when she shed her fears and let her talent flow freely... But, she just stood there like a stick and barely opened her mouth. It wasn’t a classic case of stage fright, she was so ruled by all these stupid little worries and anxieties.
Her family and friends were persistent though that she keep trying. It wasn’t until about a year later and conversation with her voice teacher and mentor that finally allowed Caitie to see things with different perspective. She told Caitie, “This is a gift that God has given you. This isn’t about you. Your job is to point people to God, not to yourself.”
While that didn’t change her hesitancy overnight, it did impact a change-of-heart. Caitie continued to lead worship and grow in her talents throughout high school. She wrote songs and dreamed of pursuing a music career. Then she attended a Passion worship conference. There, she felt direction from the Lord that musical ministry was where she was meant to carry out her gifts.
Caitie attended Liberty University, pursuing a path of worship-leading. After a couple years she found herself interning at a Christian music label in Nashville. With one year left of college, Caitie already had a clearcut, good-looking path for her future. But she felt ‘I could never be an artist…’ but she prayed ‘God, if this is of you, what does it look like? If this is it, I’ll do it.’”
Caitie moved back to Hendersonville. She worked on songs, endured moments of doubt, trusted a calling that felt crazy. She got a job at Long Hollow leading youth ministry and traveling with the student worship band. This became an incredibly formative experience, as it was an opportunity to mentor and support students the way she had been cared for.
These relationships also inspired Caitie in regards to the music she knew she needed to make. She realized that people, young people especially, could use more music with positive messaging that is also catchy and full of infectious beats.
With her heart grounded in this mission, Caitie found her sound. She wrote and recorded new songs, often inspired by experiences with the youth she mentored. Including her first single, “Nothing To Hide,” which came from a conversation she had with one of her students, about this idea that we worry we can never come to God with the mess of who we are and the things we’ve done.
In fall of 2017, as a result of her yes to writing songs and worship-leading, Caitie was offered recording and publishing deals with Centricity Music. Since then, she’s continued to create songs with magnetic melodies and rhythm that come from the journeys she’s walked and how she’s found Christ in all of them. Journeys all of us can relate to, but too often are afraid to speak about. Caitie Hurst is done hiding. She’s singing loud.