- July 7, 2014
- By Leann Callaway / Special to the Baptist Standard
ARLINGTON—Whether Jagee Melton leads worship for hundreds of children during a week at summer camp or provides music for a women’s luncheon, her goal remains the same—to connect all ages to biblical truths through songs.
Fielder Road Baptist Church in Arlington, where her husband serves as the children’s minister.Melton is a member of
Throughout the year, she leads worship at a variety of events, such as church camps, Vacation Bible School, outreach activities, women’s conferences, Mothers of Preschoolers groups, retreats and mother/daughter events.
In addition to leading worship, Melton has created events for young girls and teens focusing on modesty, relationships and “guarding their hearts.”
“I’m very diverse in the way that I’m able to minister to people,” she said. “A lot of times, people see that I do children’s events and don’t think that I can come and minister to the women of their church or vice-versa. They think, ‘Oh, she does women’s events, so she can’t put on neon shoes and have fun with the kids.’ During this season of my life, I am very fortunate that God has allowed me opportunities to minister to both groups. It’s my passion to sing and share God’s truths in a way that will lead people closer to Jesus.”
Leading worship at children's camps
This summer, Melton is leading worship for children’s camps around the state, including Mount Lebanon Baptist Encampment in Cedar Hill, Latham Springs Baptist Encampment in Aquilla and Circle Six Ranch Baptist Camp at Stanton.
Following the events, Melton enjoys interacting with audiences and hearing stories about how lives are being influenced for God’s glory.
“The sweetest parts of these events happen in the quiet moments afterwards, when people share their stories and ask you to pray with them,” she noted. “It’s always a meaningful time when little girls in the third or fourth grade come up and ask, ‘How do I know when I’m hearing God’s voice?’ or they will say, ‘I think God is calling me into ministry.’
“It’s those special moments that make my job really great. It means so much that they took the time to come up and share their heart. A lot of times, people will share about dealing with the loss of a family member. It is so meaningful when people share what their family is going through, because I can relate to so much of it.”
Melton began to use music as an outlet to express her feelings and emotions following the deaths of her father and brother.
“Within a period of three years, my family really went through a valley,” Melton said. “My father was killed in a car wreck, and then three years later, my brother also died in a wreck. During this time, I really went through a season of difficulty and depression.
Beginning a music ministry
“As my husband was trying to encourage and pray for me, he asked what I would like to be involved in and what I was passionate about. I told him about my desire to sing and minister to women. We began reading Scriptures together, praying about it and brainstorming different ideas. A month later, someone left a donation at the church for me to begin a music ministry, which was so surprising because we were still in the initial phases and just brainstorming ideas.
“About that time, my husband was scheduled to attend a children’s conference in Florida, and I was able to attend with him. It was at this conference that I was introduced to Charlie Bancroft, a children’s worship leader whose stage name was Uncle Charlie. The girl who had traveled with him for years was retiring to go on and do other things in life. When Charlie asked if I would be interested in doing children’s events and camps with him, I remember thinking that God was leading me to pursue women’s ministry and I had my hands full raising four boys.”
Importance of reaching all ages
However, as God continued working in Melton’s life and opening doors to lead worship, she realized the importance of reaching out to all ages.
“Within a year’s time, my perspective began to change as the Lord reminded me about the importance of being willing to minister to any age group,” Melton said. “Sure enough, I started performing children’s events with Charlie and had so much fun. It’s funny how I had forgotten the little girl in me until I got on stage and it was time to sing songs like, ‘I Like Bananas’ and ‘Making Melodies.’ It was like God revived this little kid in me, who still wanted to play and have fun. At the same time, these wonderful opportunities were placed before us to teach kids about God’s love and faithfulness through these songs.
“When I found myself ministering to children, it made me reflect on many of the verses that I learned growing up and helped me to realize that there will come a time when God will use these verses and special moments for these children to reflect on throughout their lives.
“Through these opportunities, I began to realize the Lord would equip me for whatever situation that he placed before me. I recognized that my responsibility was to be available and ready to go, wherever the doors open and the Lord leads—regardless of whether the audience is 8 years old or 80 years old.”