The Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana are icons and they reign supreme in the minds of most young people. In my generation, the Jackson Five reigned supreme. I, (along with three friends), used to practice for hours the ways we would approach the front door of the Jackson compound in Encino, Calif., and boldly knock on the front door. We would scream and laugh about what our reactions would be if either of the Jacksons opened the door and greeted us. We collected every printed picture of the group and plastered them on our bedroom walls. We bought every album. Oh…to be 12-years-old again.010610 emma-carter.jpg

Emma Carter is 12-yearsold but instead of shrieking and screaming over today’s music superstars, she’s enjoying listening to — and making music of a different kind — Christian music. Carter also reigns as this year’s Young Miss Fayetteville Dogwood Festival. She received the highest interview score of all the contestants in the pageant. This very talented and gifted young lady makes no apologies for her faith and her strong Christian beliefs. She’s not afraid to talk openly about Jesus (who she accepted when she was only 7) and to share her faith with others.

Carter admits that the challenges she faces are similar to those of other 12-year-olds. She has non-Christian friends whom she enjoys being around but sometimes feels the pressures to listen to secular music or be influenced in other negative ways. However, she cares about her friends and just prays that she stays on track and continues to live for Christ around them.

Music has been a part of her life since she was born. Her grandparents, Jay and Mary Stone, formed the Southern gospel group, The Jay Stone Singers. Until recently, The Stones, their son Jeff Stone (of Cape Fear Music Center) and the Carter family (Bobby, Sharona, Stone and Emma) all performed together. The group has been mainly comprised of the Carter family, with Emma and Stone playing various instruments. Emma is also very active in her local church youth choir and has won many music awards, both locally and nationally.

She loves all types of Christian music but she has a few favorites which include Toby Mac and Group 1 Crew. She said that the difference between contemporary Christian music and secular music is the lyrics and that people should listen to the message in the songs.

Her advice to young people who are wrestling with how to live for God and avoid peer pressure is they should “Pray every night when they have a problem and read their Bible because that always helps me.”

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