Date:Sunday, January 1st, 2012
From the quite country road of 2nd Avenue in a small town called Los Molinos, California, passersby could hear gospel music coming from a then tiny 8 year old girl, fingers racing across the keyboard in a whirlwind of power and grace, practicing for the next family concert! Shauni Williams, now married 23 years to lyricist, vocalist, and theologian, and ex-Analyst, Grant Williams, and mother of two adult children, Ryan and Erica, was the second to youngest of four kids and daughter of Ron and Shandra. Together, this six pack made an impact for God as The Ron Greenlaw Family Gospel music ministry in the 70‘s and 80‘s. Shauni recalls people looking at her hands after a concert, wondering how all that music came out.
Shauni was too small to reach the pedals and keys at the same time, so her father made her a special platform and she wore high heels as an extension of her feet. She would brace herself with one leg wrapped around the bench so she wouldn’t fall off in her vigorous playing that left people praising and giving glory to God. Her piano style developed as an outcome of small hands, that at the time, could not reach an octave. So Shauni learned to compensate with broken cords and runs. It was not a life of luxury, as the family of six travel from church to church, schools, and community venues, usually staying in host homes with just enough money to get to the next church.
In 1985, Shauni won a National Talent Title, playing a two minute excerpt of Grieg’s Concerto, as Miss California National Teen-Ager, in Atlanta Georgia. Shauni remembers raising thousand of dollars to participate and flying back for a week with $2 in her pocket. She was featured in Listen Magazine and sponsored by major corporations, including Bank of America. Soon after, as a victim of a violent crime, Shauni’s musical path and life went off course. However, God was faithful and brought her to a new understanding of Him in 2000 through a wonderful pastor, Lane Zachary.
Grant and Shauni suffered set-backs from accidents and were seeking God in a way they had never done before. Lane became instrumental in guiding Grant towards his calling in ministry, which Grant felt as a young boy, but coming from an atheist family and troubled home life, had no support to pursue until he left home and went to a Nazarene college in Idaho. Together, Grant and Shauni participated in praise team worship leadership activities for over eight years at a Nazarene Church. Today, Grant is completing his ordination requirements as God leads him in an evangelistic path.
In 2008, Shauni was seeking God more than ever as her career as an HR Executive was set-back by yet another accident.
Looking for a deeper purpose, Shauni attended a Steven Curtis Chapman concert, and the rest is history. Grant and Shauni began writing songs together, not knowing exactly where it might lead. As they stepped forward, more doors kept opening and in 2010, the opportunity to record their original songs became reality.