(Photo Credit: Edward Wright Photography)
Janet Paschal is a native of Reidsville, North Carolina. She grew up in a musical family where her father and his brothers played bluegrass instruments and toured neighboring states, while her sister Kay played piano. Paschal and her sister soon formed their own gospel group, The Gospel Classics. After graduating from high school, she moved to Atlanta to begin her professional career as a featured vocalist with a gospel singing family, The LeFevres. After two years, the group changed its name to The Rex Nelon Singers and became music’s most sought after mixed singing groups.
A few years later, Janet starred as a soloist for televangelist Jimmy Swaggart’s International Crusades, leading her to move to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for five and a half years. During this time, Paschal was given the opportunity to be featured weekly before 100 million TV viewers, by performing and singing in arenas and stadiums around the world. Making her one of the most recognized faces and voices of any music genre.
Paschal began her solo career when she released her first album, I Give You Jesus under Shiloh Records. In 1986 she moved to Nashville and signed with Word Records composing songs such as “Another Soldier’s Coming Home”, ”God Will Make a Way”, “The Body and Blood”, and “If I’d Had My Way.”
With great combined experience prior to and during her solo career, Janet was able to tour with Bill and Gloria Gaither, who positioned her as a featured artist when launching their Gaither Homecoming videos and subsequent tours. Janet toured and performed in renowned venues, such as The Kennedy Center, The Sydney Opera House, London’s Royal Opera House, and outdoor stadiums around the world.
Paschal’s self-titled debut album was nominated for a Dove Award for Inspirational Album of the Year in 1990. Her Simple Trust album featured a number one radio hit “Take These Burdens”. Her single “Hide Me Sweet Rock of Ages” was number one on The Singing News Top 80 chart. Paschal’s work included more than twenty recordings including her Christmas CD, which was nominated by the Gospel Music Association as the Inspirational Album of the Year. These projects spun off numerous songbooks, soundtracks, as well as earned Paschal multiple Diamond Awards, Singing News Fan Awards, and Grammy nominations. Janet is also consistently voted among gospel music’s favorite soloists by the genre’s top trade magazines.
Her career has not only consisted of chart-topping music, but service and other artistic endeavors as well. In 1992 she became the spokesperson for “Mission of Mercy”, an international Christian relief organization in Colorado and Calcutta, India. For seven years she traveled extensively throughout India and raised funds for children’s homes and beneficent programs by sponsoring hundreds of children every year at her concerts.
In 1998, Janet performed her song, “Another Soldier’s Coming Home” at a national ceremony celebrating the life of Lt. Michael Blassie, who was the first Unknown Soldier to be exhumed and positively identified by DNA.
Paschal created a radio show in 2009 entitled Walking The Good Road, which brought awareness to breast cancer following Paschal’s own diagnosis in 2005. She became the author of two books, The Good Road (1997) which is a collection of her own reflections based on the book of Jeremiah, and Treasures of the Snow (2008) which chronicled her battle with cancer and stories from her life in gospel music.
In addition to her successful career in gospel and Christian music, Janet realized a life long dream by earning a Master’s degree with honors in accounting from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro in 2017.
In May 2019, Janet was inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame, which is the association’s highest award that recognizes trail blazers who have made an impact on gospel music.
Janet’s journey has come full circle, as have the hopes of the young girl in rural North Carolina who formed mud pies from red clay and musical harmonies with her beloved sister; and who dreamed of a life filled with faith and music. She will be quick to tell you that her dreams were not met – they were surpassed.