The marvelous thing about God is that the deeper the tragedy, the greater the grace. Dawn Smith Jordan is no stranger to both. On May 31, 1985, Dawn's younger sister, Shari, was kidnapped and murdered just two days before her high school graduation. It became the largest manhunt in South Carolina's history, drawing national attention.
Shari's murderer allowed her to write a letter of farewell to her family, saying: "Please don't let this ruin your lives. Just keep living one day at a time for Jesus. Remember, everything works out for the good to those that love the Lord. Some good will come of this." Never could Dawn or her family have realized how even God could do just that.
With the hope only found in Jesus Christ, Dawn went on to become Miss South Carolina 1986 and 2nd runner-up to Miss America. The Billy Graham Crusade came to South Carolina that same year, and millions were touched by Dawn's testimony, and her singing of "Amazing Grace." God was weaving all of these circumstances together to form a full-time ministry that would reach thousands throughout the U.S. and Canada.
In 1986 Dawn received a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Columbia College in Columbia, SC. Today, Dawn ministers in up to 75 concerts/events annually. The heartbeat of her music and message is the sufficiency of God's grace, even to the point of forgiving the man who killed her sister.
Continuing to be seen on the Billy Graham Classics telecast (from her original appearance on the 1986 South Carolina Billy Graham Crusade), Dawn has also appeared on the ACTS Network, the 700 Club, In Touch Ministries, she performed with Pope John Paul II's SC appearance, Christian Cable Video networks and Contemporary Christian radio stations nationwide. Most recently she shared her testimony at the 2005 Southern Baptist Convention. Dawn was featured in the fall of 2006 on TLC 's "What Not to Wear with Stacie Lundon" on the brand new pilot, "Ms. Pageant Rewind," where she re-competed with two other women from the 1986 Miss South Carolina Pageant, and won again! It continues to air on TLC. She has also had the privilege of opening for other Christian artists including Larnelle Harris, New Song, The Imperials, Phillips, Craig and Dean, First Call, Billy Crockett and Babbie Mason, she performed the duet, "I've Just Seen Jesus" live with Larnelle Harris, and the charting duet, "Promise of Love", with Jerome Olds on her 1996 album, "Canopy." The music video of the same aired nationally. Dawn has ministered for over twenty years throughout the United States, Canada, and the Cayman Islands.
Dawn continues to walk in the grace of which she sings and speaks. In 1997, due to circumstances not of her own choosing, Dawn became a single mother. From the pit of despair came a deeper trust in the Lord and a new ministry to those facing the same situation. Forgiveness, once again, played a vital role in Dawn's ability to find healing and hope.
Dawn's availability includes a concert ministry, but also sharing special music, leading worship for retreats or conferences, and/or speaking. As a keynote speaker/singer, Dawn's messages include "Grace Still Amazing" (2 Cor. 12:9), "How Far Must Forgiveness Go?" (Eph. 4:32), and others, and she speaks with a solid Biblical foundation, and an honest transparency that is real. God has given her a unique ability to communicate His truth in a moving way, as a living, joyful testimony, even from the deepest of unexpected heartaches.
Dawn's life verse and commitment are found in Prov. 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."