Looking for You
Songs of praise and a life of worship began for Sonya Merritt in her hometown, Greenville, N.C. This wife and mother of two lovely daughters says music became a part of her environment before she can remember. Her mom was a church pianist and choir member for many years. Sonya recalls her mom's love for playing the piano and singing. Sonya accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior at age 16 and from that day forth, life has never been the same for her. Bishop Paul A. Thomas, pastor of Victory Christian Fellowship, Greenville, NC, is her spiritual father and taught her the fundamentals of the gospel of Christ. She says, "There was a song years ago that expressed what I have experienced. The lyrics were... I looked at my hands and they looked new, I looked at my feet and they did too. Look what the Lord has done! There has been a melody in my hear since I accepted Jesus into my life. I recall often weeping and singing, as a new Christian." Sonya met her college sweetheart and now husband, Rios, while serving as the director of a gospel choir at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro, NC. "Rios joined the United Christian Fellowship choir and the rest is history," Sonya says. Rios later became a ROTC grad and was commissioned as an officer in the U. S. Air Force. For the next 20 years they traveled extensively along the East Coast. From upstate New York, through the Nation's capital, and through the panhandle of Florida, to the Coast of Mississippi, over to Illinois, and across the waters to Japan and South Korea, the path of purpose in ministry seemed to lead Sonya to a microphone. Over the years, Sonya was privileged to be mentored and ministered to by some of the Gospel giants in the Kingdom: Bishop Paul A. Thomas, Bishop August Stovall, Evangelist Barbara Stovall, Bishop T. L. Lowery, Pastor Steve Lowery, Pastor Doug Rose, Pastor Keith White, Chaplain Jimmy Sanders, and Pastor Hayward Miller to name a few. Opportunities to minister in song have been numerous. "An unforgettable highlight for me," Sonya says, occurred on the town square in Tokyo, Japan. I was asked to sing and give my testimony during the 1996 March for Jesus. What a great honor." In 1998, the Lord led Rios and Sonya to affiliate with Living Word Fellowship in Panama City, FL. Sonya sang with the worship team where songwriter and praise & worship leader Sion Alford was the minister of music. It was during this season that an anointing and gifting to write songs was birthed. "Prior to that period of time, Sonya says, I hadn't written any songs. After that season, I could hear entire songs and the accompaniment in my head." In 2001, the Lord directed Rios & Sonya to reside in Huntsville, AL. Since then, the Merritt family has been privileged to serve at The Rock Family Worship Center. Sonya has served on the support staff at The Rock for nearly five years. Today she is the director of the Kids Quest choir and praise team, the children's ministry at The Rock. "This has added a deeper joy and fulfillment in ministry than I could have possibly dreamed. God is so thorough in His choices. Pastors Rusty and Leisa Nelson have been worship leaders to the nations for many years. It's so strategic that the Lord planted us under their leadership in a House of worship." The time has come to release the praises of this worshipper and songwriter! Nine of the ten tracks on Looking For You were written by Sonya. Melodies such as Gazing, Reveal the Keys, and Hiding Place are conversations directed to the Lord. Sonya's debut CD expresses the longing of her heart - to see the Lord and to know Him. Her style is certainly unique. Many have said she has a sound of her own. "The lyrics on this CD are prayers and praises to the Lord that were formed out my life experiences," Sonya says. Looking For You says when I don't know what to do, I'll call on You, and when I don't seem to understand, say it again. Lord, I want to hear Your plan and understand it. Many people know that God is good. At least we've heard that He is, but so many of us don't know how to unlock His goodness in our lives. I believe the words and declarations like those sang on this project will change our environment, our circumstances, our homes, and will create a place for Father God to reside within us. "These songs have changed my life," Sonya declares, "I pray that many people will experience the same as they listen to this music and sing along."