Michele Wagner's New CD-Miracle of Hope

Former Benson recording artist from Northeast Ohio, produces new CD after 9 year hiatus.
by Karen Karhan

Michele and Son

"Sometimes a book or a sermon won't touch a heart like a song can," says Christian contemporary singer/songwriter Michele Wagner. Michele's music has touched the lives of countless individuals since the release of her first self-titled album, Michele Wagner, in 1989. Although she seemingly disappeared from the music scene in the mid-1990s, her music and ministry continued. Michele returned to the studio last year to start recording her newest album, Miracle of Hope, a collection of fourteen songs filled with a message of the hope, healing, forgiveness, only found in God's unconditional love.

Like many individuals, Michele did not have the privilege of growing up in a God-centered home. She struggled with issues of self worth and acceptance for years, but was radically changed upon recommitting her life to the Lord as a senior in high school. "It was from that point in 1978 that I fell in love with the Lord," says Michele.

Although she never envisioned herself making music a career, through the encouragement of others and promptings of the Lord, that's exactly what she did. Inspired by her relationship with the Lord, songs and melodies naturally began to overflow from her.

After graduating with a degree in music from Ohio State University and moving to Nashville to begin her career, Michele started as a songwriter for Meadowgreen Music, and later signed with Benson Records. She recorded four albums with Benson, including Michele Wagner (1989), A Heart That's Free (1990), Safe Place (1992), and Heart of The Journey (1993).

Michele wrote four number one songs, including "Psalm One," "Whatever You Ask," "Simple, Devoted and True," and "Jesus Answers," songs that she and other artists recorded, in addition to having recorded many other top five songs. Michele was also recognized as a top female Christian music artist by various magazines and polls, and even had the honor of leading music for the country's largest National Day of Prayer in 1993, held in Cleveland.

Although she has enjoyed much recognition and fame as a performer, Michele makes it clear that making a name for herself is not her goal. Her attitude toward her music is uncommon and refreshing: "It's not about me and getting my fame and glory, it's all about the Lord and for His love to flow down on every child."

Her music was played nationally on radio stations such as Moody, but more importantly, it touched many lives in a profound way. Many listeners reported that her songs "cut through [their] defenses," "comforted and encouraged," and "worked hope and healing" in their lives.

At what would have been considered the peak of her career, Michele stopped producing records to start a family with husband Gregg Jacobson. Three years later after getting married their son Christopher was born. Even while raising a child, Michele still continued to minister through music at her church, Salvation Armies, assisted care living facilities, and the Lorain County Jail.

Michele explains that her relationship with the Lord has been taken to a different level as a result of entering the new chapter of her life: marriage and motherhood. "Having a child has shown me such an incredible connection to the Lord?It has brought [me] a much greater realization of the Lord's love for me," Michele told Connection Magazine.

The growth and changes that took place in Michele's life are evident in her music and her new CD, Miracle of Hope. "These songs?have so touched my heart and overflowed from my renewed love relationship with the Lord."

Miracle of Hope conveys a powerful message: hope in a world full of depression, desperation, and devastation. "These songs are very special, as I believe that the Lord has a specific purpose of touching wounded hearts with His healing love," says Michele. "[These are] songs of hope to those with broken, wounded hearts; they're healed and freed forever only through the love of Christ."

In contrast to her previous albums, the style and tone of Miracle of Hope is more intimate, reflective, and prayerful. A few small string sessions are also included in some selections, adding to and complementing the message of the songs. Featured tracks include "You're the Only One," which was inspired by Psalm 139, "Miracle of Hope," an overflow of Jeremiah 29:11, "Light in the Valley," and "My Intercessor." Miracle of Hope was produced and arranged by Blair Masters.

The goal and calling of Michele's ministry, Only One Ministries, a non-profit organization, is to communicate through music the Lord's healing love and message of hope. To carry out this God-appointed task, Michele has been praying and waiting for opportunities for her to share her music and the message the Lord has laid on her heart.

While she plans on continuing to share at women's retreats, conferences, and churches, she also plans on doing more national events and scheduling performances at concerts, ministry events, and colleges. She hopes music from Miracle of Hope will be broadcast on independent radio stations such as Moody and other Northwestern college stations.

"It is my hope that these songs will become people's personal prayers to the Lord, drawing the listener into a deeper, more intimate loving relationship with their heavenly Father."

-Michele Wagner C

Michele's music, including Miracle of Hope and Michele Wagner: A Collection, is available on her website www.michelewagner.com and in Christian bookstores.

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