Taking the backroads...Sometimes, we take them intentionally; other times, unknowingly. Either way, we end up avoiding the hyperactivity and hustle of the highway. It takes a little longer, but the "road less traveled" is more scenic and well worth the detour.
The backroads are a great metaphor for how Tori Gay found her calling to music ministry. "I took a back way to ministry," says Tori. "I initially started with a desire to 'make it' in the music industry. Out of that came the making of a CD. Eventually, out of that, came the call to a true ministry." Tori started her journey toward a music ministry in 2004, but it took a few years of wandering on those backroads to end up at a point where she finally started to identify the specific mission God had for her.
Tori's love for Southern Gospel music and a powerhouse voice make a great combination on the musical front. Audiences are captivated by her strong performance skills, authentic personality, and natural humor...one pastor referred to her ministry as one of "music and joy". On a deeper level, Tori desires to help others remove stumbling blocks that hinder their Christian walk. Tori admits, "I'm a recovering people-pleaser. I always wanted to keep others happy and be who they wanted me to be. In doing so, I tied God's hands from turning me into who HE wanted me to be! Now, I want to help others remove some of their own obstacles."
As she meandered down the backroads, Tori discovered new territories. "I've been dabbling in songwriting since childhood, but a few years ago, I realized the Lord had developed that interest into a vital part of my ministry." In addition, she also expresses her overflowing ideas in articles and various non-written formats.
Tori wants to use her experiences to edify the Church, so that non-Believers will find hope and help in God's people. Her program incorporates music, humor, and testimony to leave the audience with both a smile and the desire to be stronger spiritual warriors as they journey down their own backroads.
Tori has performed at numerous churches and festivals. She also had radio success with "The Church will Prevail", a release from her "All in His Time" project - a song that made its way to the Christian Music Perspective charts. She is a contributing writer to "My Journey of Faith Devotions", and she served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Knoxville Songwriters Association. During the 2016 Christmas season, she was part of the original cast of Dollywood's Parade of Many Colors; she resumed that role for the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Christmas seasons. She has shared the stage with hit-writers Jerry Salley, Carl Jackson, and Larry Cordle, and has also been a performer in the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival. Television is on her resume, too - she and Lula Bell have each appeared on two episodes of the Ciderville Farm and Home Show. Tori is also a 2018 graduate of Ben Speer's Stamps-Baxter School of Music.