"He just really met us where we were hopeless and sad and like, 'What are we going to do? He just came down and the thing is, He totally took our focus off of us and the Lord just showed me, 'It's just so not about you. It's about Me.'"
Out of Eden's Lisa Bragg




Perhaps he felt the Spirit move, or maybe he just got carried away. Could be this anonymous fan was inspired by the "Soy Bomb" guy who interrupted Bob Dylan's performance at the Grammy Awards a few years ago.

Or possibly it was just seeing those three women looking so fine, sounding so smooth, and dancing so well only a few feet in front of him that made him lose control. Whatever the reason, he jumped up onto the stage and found himself suddenly in the spotlight with sibling trio, {{Out of Eden}}, swaying and grooving to the beat, trying to choose which group member would be his next partner.

Dancing from one lady to the next, he acted like he belonged, but (to be honest) he looked like a fool, interfering with the song, the performance, and the ministry taking place from the stage. After a few moments, he was ushered offstage and the show went on without missing a beat-a testament to Out of Eden's professionalism. Still, that kind of overly-exuberant fan response to the streaming R&B/hip-hop music of this talented threesome isn't uncommon.

Made up of the sisters, Lisa (Kimmey) Bragg, Andrea (Kimmey) Baca, and Danielle Kimmey, Out of Eden has learned to "expect the unexpected" while on the road.

"There are crazy things happening all the time," says vocalist and middle sister, Andrea. "I think the weirder things we get are when people just jump up on stage and start dancing with you in the middle of your songIt's usually some guy You try not to be rude, but you're kind of like, 'Excuse me. We are performing here.'"

Then she shrugs, "It probably happens probably once every four months. I mean, it happens to us all the time."

Still, these young ladies believe the impact their music is having far outweighs the occasional oddball who "joins the band." And it outweighs the sometimes subtle discrimination they face as three young, black women working in an industry dominated by middle-aged, white males. Not to mention the off-the-wall "Bible quizzes" they must sometimes pass to prove to a promoter or youth pastor they're worthy of performing. And Well, you get the idea.

Danielle, the youngest sister of the threesome, reveals what keeps these ladies singing. "I read most of the fan letters," she says, "so I hear a lot of responses. But I think my favorite happened maybe about two or three years ago. This girl wrote us and she goes, 'My boyfriend was pressuring me to sleep with him and I really wanted to.' But then she heard one of our songs (There Is a Love') and she decided instead to join the True Love Waits movement. And I thought that was just such a blessing!"

She continues, "A lot of people, we've heard, have gotten saved by one of our songs; have gotten ministered to, have completely surrendered their lives to God and decided not to live passive, casual, Christian lives."

For lead vocalist, and oldest sister, Lisa, those kinds of stories help keep {{Out of Eden}}'s ministry/career in perspective. She says, "That gives us that validation that sometimes you need, to know we're reaching people. [It's] unbelievable that a song can be greater than what we perceived it to be. God can take anything and use it if it's available."

Lisa is also quick to point out that she sometimes struggles with being available like that. She recalls the late summer of 1998 when frustrations and disappointments loomed large in the group's eyes. "I began to be discontented with the way things were going," she says of that time, "and focusing more on the exterior, on the things that we've had to struggle against as a group-whether it's discrimination or perception or whatever. And in doing that, I began to take my eyes off of the ultimate reason that we're doing this. It's not to get [magazine] covers. It's to reach the people that we go out and sing to."

That point was driven home when an entire fall tour for 1998 was canceled at the last minute. Worried about the financial impact of that cancellation and discouraged about losing the opportunity, Lisa felt like giving up. Instead, she prayed.

Gathering her sisters, Lisa admits now they intended just to pray a quick "Bless this, bless that" kind of prayer. But everything changed because God clearly showed up.

"He just really met us where we were hopeless and sad and like, 'What are we going to do?'" Lisa describes their attitude. "He just came down and totally took our focus off of us! The Lord just showed me, 'It's just so not about you. It's about Me.'"

She laughs, "And then you're just left like, 'Well, dang. What am I supposed to do with that?' It's kind of like He shows you the greater purpose and the greater reason for your life. And when you have that kind of vision and hope in knowing that God wants to use you it just reawakens you."

"It's just a blessing like to be used by God like this. There are so many people that are out there that are talented and gifted and have a heart to do what we're doing. And for some reason, God has chosen us." She smiles and shakes her head in wonder.

And suddenly you know why {{Out of Eden}} has titled their latest album, ==No Turning Back==. Because, in spite of all the hassles of a Christian music career, nothing in this world can compare to the joy of leading just one more person into Jesus' caring arms.


Behind the Music with Lisa Bragg

The final cut on {{Out of Eden}}'s latest album, ==No Turning Back==, is a haunting melody entitled, "Sarah Jane." Principal songwriter, Lisa Bragg, reveals the inspiration behind that song:

I was in a grocery store and I saw somebody with a black eye. A young girl, maybe fifteen or sixteen, something like that. And the whole time I was thinking, 'Dang, I wonder why that girl has a black eye?' And I'm sure every single person that was with me was thinking the same thing. But I walked out of the grocery store. I left. I thought about it and then it was pretty much gone

Later I realized that sometimes we get in our comfort zone and we don't notice pain. And when we do notice, we don't take the time to look deeper into it or say or do anything.

And I was guilty of it too.