Christy Nockles performs at Conn Center Chapel

Christy Nockles performs at Conn Center Chapel

All photos by Taylor Baker.

A founding member of Passion City Church and singer Christy Nockels was a guest at Conn Center Chapel on Thursday at Lee University. Nockels shared more of her story and the inspiration behind her music at the president’s luncheon Thursday afternoon, with Lee students and staff members in attendance.

Nockels began her music career when she was 17, leading worship at her church. She slowly began to grow in her profession. At 19, she met her husband Nathan at the Christian Artists Seminar in Colorado. Later, he would become her producer and business partner.

“[When we got married,] we began to go wherever God would lead. If we had money to eat afterwards and hang out, we were good,” Nockles said. “God was totally just causing our doors to be opened in a way that looking back… if you’re following him, it is so true that the dream follows you.”

The two worked independently creating music in their house for years as they prayed and poured what they believed the Lord was teaching them into their music. Down the road, they formed the duo Watermark and took their music to a new level as they were signed to the record label Rocketown Records.

“During those years, [we] were striving and hustling. However, God laid it on me that I needed to lay that dream down and come back [to Nashville] for three years,” Nockles said.

With a growing family, Nockles believes the Lord “closing the door” of Watermark only opened many other opportunities, while also giving her the chance to share her passion with her children.

“When we stopped the Watermark thing… I look back on that moment with gratitude because I really believe I would have left my [children] behind and not have been able to bring them into moments like [performing at Lee],” Nockles said. “When God calls you to lay something down, trust Him, because he will bring it back to you, and for me he did that a hundred fold.” 

For Nockles, the hundred fold came through when she and her husband took part in helping build Passion City Church. Passion City Church was founded in 2008 by Louie and Shelley Giglio in Atlanta along with the Nockles’ and other well known artists such as Crowder and Matt Redmon.

“[When we all met to build Passion,] it was at this time where the Church was shifting from singing about God, to singing to God,” Nockles said. “For a while [Passion] was very small… and I don’t think any of us could have seen what it would turn out to be.”

In the midst of Passion growing into the megachurch widely recognized today, Nockles holds on to the phrase “made a stir where we were” to recognize that her success within worship music ultimately circles back to where God wanted her.

“When we left Passion, it was time to fly the nest and to turn it over to younger leaders,” Nockles said. “I know now looking back to that, it was just the Holy Spirit stirring in us to let some younger ones just take it.” 

For the future generation of worship leaders and songwriters, Nathan hopes those who are in college actively seek what is next for them, take the time to invest in where they are and recognize the present opportunities and blessings.

“These little minutes you are in, you don’t know what God is doing,” Nathan said. “Don’t jump over them to get to the real thing, you are in the real thing.”

Looking forward beyond Passion, Nockles has returned back to Nashville to create music with her husband. Currently, she co-owns Keeper’s Branch Records and produces the podcast: The Glorious in the Mundane. 

More information on Nockles and her current work can be found at her website.

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