Travis Greene will be performing at the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Greene, a 33-year-old gospel music singer, has been working as a musician since 2007, and since then he has released two studio albums. The first, Stretching Out, was released in June 2010. Two songs from that album, “Prove My Love” and “Still Here,” hit Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart. His second album, The Hill, came out in August 2015. Two songs from that album, “Intentional” and “Made A Way,” reached number one on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart.
So who is Travis Greene, and how did he come to sing at the inauguration? Here’s what you need to know about him.
1. He Is a Youth Pastor & Leads a Church in South Carolina
Travis Greene is a youth pastor, and in August 2016, he launched the Forward City Church in Columbia, South Carolina.
This church holds services every Sunday at 11:00 a.m., and they stream the entire thing live on Periscope each week. They had been gathering for about two years before that in conference centers, and their goal was to reach out to college students.
“God has really surrounded us with people who are like-minded who sacrifice and go as hard as we do,” Green told JetMag. “It’s a huge honor to lead them. We’re really passionate about the college ministry at Forward City, too. It’s probably one of our major outreach initiatives.”
On his website, Greene says that he uses his gift of music to “inspire, heal and expose others to the transformative love of Jesus Christ.”
2. He Runs The Church With His Wife
Travis Greene runs the Forward City Church with his wife, Jackie.
The two met at a college ministry event at Georgia Southern University, where they had both gone to college; Jackie was 19 and still a student, while Travis was 22 and had recently graduated but was at the school for the event, according to Madame Noire. Travis graduated with a degree in Business and Jackie graduated with a degree in Biology, according to the Forward City website.
According to Madame Noire, they dated from 2007 until 2011, with their wedding taking place in December 2011. They dated long distance for some of that time.
“Just in totality, thinking about how God knew how we would be in the future with him traveling and different things like that, it was a setup for our good,” Jackie Greene told Madame Noire. “I believe even with us being long distance; it allowed us to talk through a lot of things that I think a lot of people don’t take the time to get to know about each other in the beginning.”
3. He Has Two Children
Travis and Jackie Greene have two children together. The oldest is David Jace, who was born in 2014.
Travis Greene says that he almost lost his son, as Jackie’s water broke 21 weeks into her pregnancy. Jackie was in the hospital for two months, and although doctors told Travis the child would likely not make it, she gave birth seven weeks later.
“My wife was on bed rest for two months, but at 28 weeks, she gave birth to our son,” Greene told Jet Mag. “He had two blood transfusions while in the ICU and several other complications, but he’ll be two months old next month with no signs of prematurity. It’s an absolute miracle!”
Greene also has a newborn son, Travis Joshua.
4. He Says He Was Declared Dead Twice
Travis Greene cites two near-death experiences from his life as being miracles, one of which took place the moment he was born.
Greene says he was declared still-born and declared dead during his birth. He also says that when he was four years old, he fell out out of a window four stories high and was pronounced dead.
“As his mother picked up the lifeless body of her child, she called on Jesus over-and-over, praying until he came back to life,” Greene says on his website
“God miraculously gave me back my life,” he told The Charlotte Observer.
5. He Says That Going to the Inauguration Is What Jesus Would Do
Almost all of the artists who have accepted invitations to the Trump inauguration have faced backlash, and some have subsequently cancelled their appearance.
Greene told TMZ this week that when he was invited to perform at the inauguration, he prayed, reached out of some of his spiritual advisers, and asked himself what Jesus would do.
“And I believe [Jesus] would go,” he said. “And that’s what I’m doing, man, I’m just taking his love.”
Greene went on to say that his manager told him that there’s been a lot of noise on social media about his performance but that he has not looked at any of it because he has been staying off social media lately.