LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Gospel soloist Marlana VanHoose will sing at the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Louisville next month.
VanHoose, an eastern Kentucky resident, has sung on stage at New York’s Carnegie Hall, belted out the national anthem in sports stadiums across the country, and moved First Lady Melania Trump to tears with her rendition of “How Great Thou Art” at a presidential inauguration service earlier this year.
The KBC annual meeting is set for Nov. 14 at Highview Baptist Church’s east campus in Louisville. VanHoose is scheduled to take the stage shortly after 11 a.m.
She has jammed with the Beach Boys, hobnobbed with President Donald Trump, been interviewed by the likes of NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie, and posed for photos with sports legends like Shaquielle O’Neal and Charles Barkley, an exercise in contrasts considering her 4-foot, 3-inch stature.
“Marlana is blind, but can play the piano as good as anyone with sight,” said VanHoose’s pastor, Clay Wheeler, from Liberty Baptist Church outside Paintsville. “She has cerebral palsy but is very mobile. Every time Marlana plays or sings, it is a testament to her faith and to the God that has blessed her and continues to bless her so the world will hear the name of Jesus and know the love He has for all of us.”
Despite her diminutive stature, Marlana has a powerful voice and a massive repertoire of songs. Just how many she isn’t even sure. YouTube shows her singing everything from gospel to country to rock. With the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, she belted out “My Town” and with the Beach Boys, taking the lead on “Help Me, Rhonda,” leaving singer Mike Love repeating one word: “Amazing.” But her real passion is for gospel.
“Marlana tells people about Jesus wherever she goes, whether it is on a stage in a stadium, at a church, on TV in front of millions, or just out in town,” her pastor said. “Her faith in Jesus is the driving force in her life. It is so amazing how God uses her to bring glory to Himself. I do have to say it was pretty cool that God gave her the national platform of the presidential inauguration to sing about Him. She did such a great job singing that day. It was good to see that her singing, and the Holy Spirit, moved people in such a visible way."