As a charter member of the powerhouse Christian music group Avalon, Jody McBrayer toured twelve years with the group. During that time they recorded three RIAA certified gold albums, enjoyed twenty-one #1 songs, won six Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, and were nominated for three Grammys. They also won the American Music Award for Pop/Contemporary Inspirational Group of the Year. Then Jody’s life changed.

His health failed, as well as his vision for the future. It was a phone call from longtime friend Roger Breland that would end Jody’s five-year physical and spiritual detour by way of an invitation to fly to Uganda to appear as guest soloist for the Benny Hinn International Crusades. God would use that ministry and the next year to restore Jody’s innate musical passion. Last week, he released his first solo album in years, and its title song, Keep Breathing, reflects the very personal journey of his heart.

Jody lives in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife and daughter.


At what point did you know that music was to be your life’s work?

I’ve always felt like whatever gifts I had were God-given, but it wasn’t until much later in my life that I understood what my calling really was. If I’m being completely transparent, I’m not sure I truly recognized it until about four years ago. Through a series of pretty amazing events, some that you would even consider to be miraculous, I realized that I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I was called to tell the world about the hope and love of Jesus Christ and it’s obvious that’s why He gave me the voice that He did. Now, all other priorities take a backseat to what and who I’m called to be in Christ.

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You’ve experience a number of “divine detours,” both personally and in your career. What has God taught you through them?

That every obstacle you face is not the end. Every roadblock and detour has a purpose. I’ve been in many situations that were painful to me. Unfortunately, I’ve also been in situations where I have caused pain to others in my actions or in my words. I regret those things immensely, but I also know that (through) all of the pain that I’ve suffered there has been a purpose in that pain. I believe with my whole heart that God allows us to walk through the valley so that we can appreciate the mountaintop, so that we can learn from our mistakes, our pain, our trials and use those experiences to help others. That’s my soul’s desire now.

2_Panel_FolderLet’s talk about Keep Breathing (StowTown Records, February 2016). It’s a beautiful album! Please tell us about it.

Thank you! This record is eclectic because there are several styles represented. We wanted to make sure that with each song the message was conveyed clearly and if that meant making a stylistic change we did that. Each song truly expresses my heart and the things that I’m feeling or have felt. I really want it to be a source of encouragement for everyone who listens.

What was the foundation song for the project? Which song is your favorite to perform live?

That’s an interesting question! For me, the foundation song for this record is the tune Me. It really set the tone for what I wanted to say throughout the record. Picking a favorite song is difficult because they all mean something specific to me. However, the song This Is A Son is the first single and very close to my heart. It’s a challenge for all of us to see people for what they truly are … sons and daughters of Christ. The world has gotten so consumed with how people appear on the outside or the mistakes that people have made in their past. We all quickly forget that at our basic core we are all just God’s children. His creation and we are all divinely purposed!

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A few fun questions…

Whether you’re at home or on tour, what is your favorite comfort food and why?

Those that know me well know that I love to eat! I love thin crust pizza. I love cheeseburgers. I’m not all that much into fancy food, as I tend to stick with more of the staples. However, I don’t like chain restaurants. I prefer local places. Oooooo, I like sushi too!

What’s the name of the last GREAT book you read?

A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren. It’s not necessarily a “light read” but it asks important questions, unapologetically. I believe that God has really used it to broaden my thinking regarding reaching the world with His grace and love.

In the story that is your life, are you the tall, dark stranger; the romantic lead; the mythical warrior; the mad scientist; or the child in an adult’s body?

– Tall, dark stranger – BAHAHA! Nope!

– Romantic lead — ask my wife about that one … I’d like to think sometimes??

– Mythical warrior — I love sci-fi and action films and television. I’d like to think I’d rise to the challenge and be that warrior … but let’s just see who we’re fighting against first??

– Mad scientist — no way! I’d blow up something and the story would be over way too early!

– Child in the adult’s body — again, my wife would say, “YEP! That’s him!” To be honest, I’d have to agree. I’m truly a kid at heart and I kind of like that about me.

I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child. 

We have one dog and his name is Henry. He’s a Yorkie-Bichon mix and not quite a year old. He’s my buddy. We had a Bichon for sixteen years whose name was Ella. She passed away last year and it broke our hearts, especially my daughter’s.

Thank you, Jody! It’s an honor to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.

It was my pleasure!

For more information about Jody, visit his website or follow him on Facebook or Twitter

To purchase Keep Breathing, log on to:

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