When Mary James writes lyrics like, "Never once felt you were good enough," or "I used to sing with an empty phrase," she is writing from a well-known vantage point. It was in those deep, broken places that she found her voice and her purpose.
Born to a mother who was not ready to be a parent and then faced with unfortunate circumstances in her adoptive home, Mary became convinced that her life on earth was a mistake. Living with the lie that she was unloved and unwanted, she learned something about running away...escaping into drugs and alcohol...and making harmful, painful choices. She also knows about living what you think is your dream, and still feeling unfulfilled.
Though classically trained, Mary initially pursued
a career in country music, performing in clubs and joining
the Nashville Songwriters Association International.
Relishing the opportunity to hone her craft as a
singer and songwriter, in retrospect she admits that her efforts were all "very
At the invitation of two Christian co-workers, Mary, her children and fiance attended a play that shared the truth about sin and salvation, resulting in a life-changing night where they accepted Christ as a family. Mary's daughter remembers it as the moment when they were "washed clean."
For the first time in her thirty-four years, it was clear. All the insecurities, addictions, choices and uncertainties converged with God's love and grace, giving Mary the assurance that had eluded her for so long. He would take her past and transform it into a beautiful platform to reach others; though at the time the details of God's call were still fuzzy. What she did know, was that His plans would be the only plans that would fulfill her.
Realizing that her gifts were from and for God, Mary's
advancement to public ministry began with her serving as a
worship leader at The Rock Church in San Diego. God then
began to open numerous doors for her in churches, at women's retreats and other
When a producer from her country music days reached out to her about recording a Christian album, Mary recognized the Lord's timing; she would renew her dreams as an artist and songwriter, but with a new focus: devotion to God's work. Six CD's later, Mary's efforts have progressed into a full-time ministry using worship, original music, keynote messages and writing to encourage people in their relationship with Christ.
Since entering ministry in 2000, she has led worship and shared special
music at events that featured leading Bible teachers such as
Dr. David Jeremiah, Kay Arthur,
Sheila Walsh, Dr. Voddie Bauchum, Greg Laurie
and many others. She has been recognized on a national
level for both her singing and songwriting, which include:
- 2014, 2013 & 2010 Inspirational Country Music (ICM) Female Vocalist of the Year Awards
- 2014 & 2013 Inspirational Country Music Top 5 Music Evangelist of the Year Nominee
- 3 #1 Singles on the ICM Top 100 Chart for "Strong," "Come to the Well," and "Now That I Know Love."
- 2011 Christian Women in Media President's Award
Mary knows firsthand that transformation cannot happen
without a "before," and the Lord has shown her how to share her
past in a way that glorifies Him. Living out the charge
found in 1 Peter 2:9, that we are "Saved to
Proclaim," Mary continues to sing and speak about the night-and-day
difference the Lord has made and continues to make, with the
hope that people will fully embrace His
love for them.
Mary's insightful delivery of God's Word and timeless Message resonates with those who not only need healing or encouragement, but a new path for life. Her transparent, biblically-centered platform challenges audiences to invite Jesus into the most vulnerable places of the heart-where struggles such as shame, guilt, secret sin, pride, perfectionism and the "I'm too damaged" myths reside-allowing His revelation to transform their personal stories.
"The most amazing part about Christ coming to life in us like
shares, "is how it can then impact the world around us.
I hope to further inspire people to take the strength
within them and share it. We all have an
eternal purpose or means through which God
can make an impact on those He has called us to
reach. As Mother Teresa said, "I cannot change the
world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many
When not traveling and serving in ministry, Mary and her husband Dan enjoy a life filled with family, friends, their two dogs, books, movies and as much laughter as possible. Mary is a "wanna be" interior decorator, but admits that she only has a kitchen because it comes with the house. You can pray for Dan.
Their compassion for the forgotten and vulnerable has extended into an Artist Partnership with Compassion International, who is committed to rescuing children from poverty in Jesus' name. Information about the work of Compassion can be found at: Compassion. The jewelry found on this website and at her table helps support Magpie Madness who contibutes a portion of all proceeds to aiding the homeless in East San Diego County. Mary also works with Fashion & Compassion who gives vulnerable women artisians opportunties to live in diginity through economic opportunity.
If you are planning an event, retreat or worship service and what has been shared here speaks to your heart and ministry vision, please visit the Booking Info page for a full list of topics or connect with Mary through the Contact page.
"We love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).