Prior to attending the 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards in Atlanta, Ga., last week, Anderson University alum Krissy (Stora) Nordhoff BA ‘96 would have said it was an honor to be nominated. She was already grateful and thankful that the song Your Great Name, which she co-wrote with worship leader and author Michael Neale, received nominations for three Dove Awards — Song of the Year, Worship Song of the Year, and Pop Contemporary Song of the Year. But when they called her name as the winner for Worship Song Of The Year she was stunned.
“I am completely blown away by the way God has taken this song and breathed his life and favor over it to encourage other believers and glorify the great name of Jesus — our healer, redeemer, and king,” said Nordhoff. “I am humbled to be a part of it.”
Nordhoff was taught songwriting at Anderson University by Gloria Gaither, and began writing Your Great Name as a testimony to God’s faithfulness in her own personal healing story. Nine years ago the Christian music singer, songwriter, wife, and mom was diagnosed with advanced stage Lyme disease after getting bitten by a tick more than three years before. After 18 months of treatment and many doctor’s visits Nordhoff wasn’t seeing much progress, so she decided to attend a healing service at her sister’s church, Resurrection Life Church, near Grand Rapids, Mich.
“I literally felt the Lord touch my physical being,” said Nordhoff. “And, I know that it was only a taste of His power. From that point forward, over the course of about two months, the Lord healed me completely!”
Fast-forward a few years. Her church in Franklin, Tenn., began having Wednesday night worship services. During one of these services, a call for prayer went out for a little boy diagnosed with a terminal illness who only had a few days to live. Everyone in the sanctuary that night prayed earnestly to see this boy healed of his sickness. It wasn’t to be, however, and the boy did not live much longer. Nordhoff said this was a critical event in the formation of the song Your Great Name.
“I remember being overwhelmed with emotion when I heard the news. It was a major leap of faith for our church to pray for the life of this little baby boy. I didn’t want our church to be discouraged from praying and believing God for healing again,” Nordhoff said. “Even though, this time, we didn’t see this boy healed, it doesn’t change the truth of God’s word in scripture. The same is true as it has been for over 2000 years. Jesus rose from the dead and he is still alive today. He still does miracles today. He is still our savior, redeemer, and king today! When I started writing the verses to this song — each one ending with ‘at the sound of your great name’ — that’s what I wanted to proclaim to our church: with faith and prayer in the great name of Jesus, fear leaves, children are fed, the sick are healed, the dead are raised, and we are overcomers as God’s children.”
Despite trying to write a chorus to the song herself and even asking others to help her finish the song, nothing seemed to fit until she brought the song to her worship pastor, Michael Neale, and out came this simple, yet powerful chorus, “Jesus, worthy is the Lamb, that was slain for us, Son of God and Man, You are high and lifted up and all the world will praise Your Great Name!”
[Photo: AU alum Krissy Nordhoff pictured with husband Eric Nordhoff (left) and Michael Neale.]
The song eventually was recorded live at the People’s Church and would be featured on the church’s worship album, Shine Out.
“I knew there was something special about that song that night,” sid Krissy’s husband Eric Nordhoff, who runs TwoNords Music, the publishing company the couple started years ago for their songwriting. “As soon as I received a copy of the recording of the song, I shared it with the artist manager of Natalie Grant, who is an associate of mine at the Gospel Music Association. Soon after, he sent it to Natalie and her husband, producer Bernie Herms. They took this song to a whole new level of production and passion and just made it something even more special.”
The song became a Top 5 Christian radio single from Natalie’s album Love Revolution and remained on Billboard’s Christian radio chart for more than 47 weeks in 2011. It has become a powerful worship anthem in the church today, encouraging countless believers every Sunday proclaiming the great name of Jesus.
The award for Worship Song of the Year will be given out during the Dove Awards Pre-Show, which will be streamed live on HearItFirst.com on Tuesday, April 24, at 5:30 p.m. EDT. Visit http://live.hearitfirst.com/ to watch Krissy and Michael’s acceptance speech as well as behind-the-scenes interviews and red carpet footage from the Dove Awards at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
The 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards broadcast will air on GMC-TV (Direct TV Channel 338) on Tuesday, April 24, at 8 p.m. EDT.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.