PASTOR MARIA V/D WESTHUIZEN
Maria v/d westhuizen
Maria was born into a musical family and always stood out as a strong lead vocalist and had already won her first singing competition at the age of 5. Her strong, soulful voice made her a favourite among her school’s music teachers which placed her in many lead solos at school concerts and events. She proudly represented her school as lead soloist when asked to perform at local churches in the area.
Maria was greatly inspired and influenced through the Ministry of Janet Pascal. Through her ministry Maria learned to understanding the difference between singing and ministering through song.
Maria also greatly admired Malie Kelly. Malie is one of South Africa’s most phenomenal female vocalists and the current IDOLS Vocal Coach and Founder of Malie Kelly Vocal Academy and Music School. As a little girl Maria bought magazines and attended as many Concert’s that she could of Malie’s. Today Maria is honoured to know Malie as a wonderful friend. Spending time with Malie Kelly in vocal training was her absolute dream come true.
Maria met her husband, Jacques van der Westhuizen when she was fifteen years of age. It was during one of his late father’s crusades. The late, Evangelist Nicky van der Westhuizen must have seen something special in Maria because he requested that she minister through song wherever he ministered.
THE HIGHLIGHT – during that same year a friend, entered Maria into a big local competition in Port Elizabeth called THE ON THE GO SHOW. Not knowing it was a secular competition, she confidently walked onto the stage in front of a full Opera House and boldly ministered her two songs –‘I Give You Jesus’ and ‘I Call Him Lord’. Her performance earned her a five minute standing ovation and she was awarded – BEST FEMALE VOCALIST. Maria became known as “THE LITTLE LADY WITH THE BIG VOICE”, as the media had dubbed her.
THE DREAM – She received a five year recording contract offered to her by a business man, Manie Steyn. Meeting Manie was a life changing and valuable experience for her. This opportunity also introduced her to one of South Africa’s greatest music producers, Andrew Greeff. During the next couple of years Maria got to work closely with him as an artist. She recalls that most of her happiest moments were when she was working with him in studio. He has certainly been one of the greatest and most constant influences during her teen years.
The On The Go Show, now invited Maria back to the competition but this time as an adjudicator alongside singer and music producer, Dennis East and artist, Kurt Darren. Before age 20 she had shared the stage with singers such as Don Francisco, D.C TALK, Lisa Beville, amongst others. Her greatest desire is not to be seen as a singer or performer but as a Minister through music. She thrives singing at Church Conferences and Crusades. She has ministered at Conferences for preachers such as Jimmy Swaggart, Rodney Howard-Browne, the late Dr. Myles Munroe, Rick Godwin, Bishop Don Meares and Angus Buchan.
Her First CD
Her first CD; 'I CALL HIM LORD' was released in 1994. Her second CD 'SIMPLY MARIA' was released in 1996.
The Christmas CD
The Christmas CD 'A TIME TO SHARE' was released in time for Christmas. 'A TIME TO SHARE' involved a lot of travelling and ministering in different prisons all across South Africa
Holy of Holies CD
The CD “HOLY OF HOLIES” has also become a favourite both locally and internationally. She was recognised by SOUTH AFRICA'S FNB MUSIC AWARDS (SAMA)in 1998 and was nominated as a semi-finalist and was selected out of a group of many.
Jacques and Maria were married in September 1999. Maria stopped travelling and accepting invitations to sing after their first son was born in 2001. In 2002, Jacques Jnr. was born and the last addition to the family; Joshua was born in 2006.
In 2005 Maria and her husband opened the doors to Revival Worship Centre.
She enjoys the opportunities to minister alongside her husband at various churches, conferences and crusades.
“MY FUTURE IS NOT MY OWN, I HAVE HANDED IT OVER TO MY HEAVENLY FATHER A LONG TIME AGO AND ONLY WHEN HE CHOOSES TO CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF MY JOURNEY, WILL I GLADLY MOVE INTO THE NEXT SEASON OF MY LIFE”
Maria van der Westhuizen