Chat Room - Kermit Easterling

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By Lance Coleman

Kermit Easterling, 32, met his wife of five years in a round-about way. He grew up in Florida, met his wife Kristen on a missions trip in Ireland, moved to Nashville to pursue his music and then to Knoxville with his work with the Army National Guard. Kristen had family in the area, making it sort-of a homecoming. Currently Easterling works in the real estate industry to support the musical side of his career. He has worked in various churches, the most recent of which is Smokey View Baptist Church where he is interim pastor.

The former Cross Road Baptist Church worship leader recently released his second album, "Worship at Crossroads." Easterling described his Christian worship music as acoustic rock.

Easterling and his wife recently had a daughter. They named her Irelyn in honor of where he and his wife met. Having to leave his wife and child at home while he pursues his music is definitely interesting and new, he said.

"I want to make the world a better place for my daughter, even as far as my music," he said. "I want it to be something positive in her life, too. I’m sure songs will be written about her. I sat and played the piano recently with her curled in my arms."

Here is Kermit Easterling:

Why did you pursue the career you chose?
"Music has always played such a huge part in my life no matter what I do. Somehow it always seems to come out on top. It is what I love doing, and I cannot imagine doing anything else."

What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
"Unique. I have never been afraid to be myself even if I am a bit of a goofball."

When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
"I have always wanted to be a musician ever since I could remember. I know that most kids dreamed of being a fireman or policeman, but for me it has always been a musician. I would stand in front of the mirror for hours pretending that I was performing in front of a crowd."

What was your first paying job?
"I would love to say that my first paying job was as a lifeguard, which I started doing as soon as I could drive, but I started work before then. My mother owned a wallpaper business so before my life guarding career took off I was a wallpaper hanger."

What’s the best thing about Blount County?
"I grew up in a small town, so I love the fact that Blount County has that small-town feel even though it is growing. Ultimately, it comes down to the people. The people are who make Blount County great."

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
"The military has robbed me of my long hair years, and I can finally grow it out long, I would get rid of my bald spot if I could."

What is your passion?
"Music is something that I am extremely passionate about, but I would have to say that I am most passionate about God, my wife, and my newborn baby, Irelyn."

To what do you attribute your success?
"Success has not come easy. It takes a lot of hard work to succeed, but none of it would be possible without the love and support of my wife, Kristen. She has given me the strength to carry on even when I feel like giving up, and I am forever grateful for her."

With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
"I have been a huge fan of Mozart all my life. I think he was an amazing composer and musician. I would love to be able to just sit down and spend some time talking with this musical genius."

What do you hate?
"Mean people and bad drivers."

What’s your favorite quote?
"My favorite quote is actually a Bible verse, Proverbs 3:5-6: ‘Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.’

What is your dream vacation?
"I would love to get a boat and sail around the world, stopping wherever the wind led."

Rebels, Tornadoes, Mountaineers or Governors?
"It is hard to choose between those four, but I guess I would have to go with the Tornadoes since I live in Alcoa, just a few blocks from the school."

What is your all-time favorite movie?
"My all time favorite movie would have to be ‘If Lucy Fell.’ This is my favorite movie on many levels. It is written and directed by a guy named Eric Schaeffer. He drove a cab in New York while writing screenplays. He met numerous film stars and celebrities who helped him get his movie made."

What is the best book you’ve ever read?
"I am a big reader so it is hard for me to narrow it down to just one book. I am a huge Carl Sandberg fan. His book of ‘Complete Poems’ is by far one of my favorites. Another one of my favorites, not in the poetry genre, would be ‘The Ragamuffin Gospel,’ by Brennan Manning. The way he writes just speaks volumes to me."

If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
"I would go back to the time when Jesus was on the Earth."

What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?
"I am a huge gadget guy, and James Bond always has the coolest gadgets and gets to travel to the most exotic places so I suppose I would have to say, ‘Bond. James Bond.’"

Who has been the best United States president of the last 100 years and why?
"One of my favorite president’s of the past 100 years has been Theodore Roosevelt. He was a war hero and member of the Rough Riders. I admire him for his conservation efforts in setting aside land for National Parks."

What is your favorite sport or favorite sport’s team?
"Soccer is my favorite sport. As far as favorite sports teams go, even though it will get me grief, I have to say the University of Florida Gators."

What is your favorite animal and why?
"I guess that I would have to say a frog. With a name like Kermit what else would it be?"

What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
"Even when it is hard to love someone, ask God to love them through you."

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