Evie Tornquist Karlson and her pastor husband Pelle Karlsson wrote a song called Live for Jesus, that’s what matters. When I was a young boy growing up in my home country, I remember listening to a song by this Gospel singer, Evie Tornquist, called Live for Jesus. It has been many years now since I have heard that song, and many today do not even know the song at all. But when I woke up this morning, the words and melody were so vivid and clear in my head. Even though I woke up to the very first line, I still remember the entire song.
Evie Tornquist was popular in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. She traveled and sang often with the Billy Graham crusades by herself and with her new husband who was a Swedish Pastor. Here is the song by Evie.
Verse 1: Oh I want to be remembered as the girl who sang her songs for Jesus Christ. Who was willing to lay down her life and do His will no matter what the price. Well I am singing for the deaf man who can hear about salvation through my song, and I am singing for the blind man who can see the light in me and come along.
Chorus: Live for Jesus, that’s what matters and when other houses crumble mine is strong. Live for Jesus, that’s what matters; that you see the light in me and come along.
Verse 2: There are times when I am tempted to turn off this rugged road I’ve traveled on. There are times when I say Jesus can’t you find another girl to sing your songs. Well I know it’s not that I’m the only one who can sing this melody, but He’s chosen me to bless me and to lead me in to what is best for me.
Here is the story of Evie from the Hall of Fame
FULL NAME: Evelyn Tornquist-Karlsson
BORN: 1957 in Rahway, New Jersey
FAMILY: Married Pelle Karlsson in 1979;
Children, Kris and Jenny
Evelyn Tornquist-Karlsson, known to fans all over the world simply as “Evie,” might just have the most kid-friendly voice in all of gospel music history. She was practically still a kid herself at 16 years old when her fi rst English album, entitled Evie, was released by Word Records in 1974. With a sweet, refreshing voice and an audible smile, Evie’s unique sound and tender spirit made her one of the most-loved and most-recognized voices in Christian music during the 1970s and early ’80s.
Born in the United States to Norwegian immigrants, her music impacted both the nation of her birth and the Scandinavian countries of her heritage, where she often toured and visited. She released more than 30 albums during the 1970s, consisting of English recordings as well as recordings in various Scandinavian languages. Songs like “Four Foot Eleven,” “Unfailing Love” and “Come On, Ring Those Bells” are just a few of the joyful songs that captured the essence of Evie’s musical legacy—timeless and eternally hopeful.
In 1979, Evie married Swedish pastor and musician Pelle Karlsson in Stockholm, Sweden. The couple met years earlier when she needed a pianist and was introduced to Pelle, who accompanied her on short notice and helped her translate some of her songs into Swedish before she performed for the largely Swedish audience. Two years after they were married, they joined the Dominion Sky Angel television and radio network as spokespersons where they served for many years.
Evie and Pelle now own and operate White Field Music, and are extensively involved in mission work with Back to Jerusalem, an organization that has partnered with the church in China to evangelize religiously oppressed areas of Asia, and to train missionaries to reach other regions of the globe.
In addition to her work, her missions involvement and occasional solo concerts, Evie now travels around North America with Christian recording artist Rebecca St. James, whom she has known since Rebecca was a baby. Both women participate in a series of special events known as “SHE: Safe, Healthy and Empowered” which help young women apply biblical principles to life in today’s culture. (Information on those events can be found at http://www.sheevent.com.)
Evie and Pelle currently reside in Florida, and their children, Kris and Jenny, are both grown. God has used Evie’s talent and die-hard commitment to Him to infl uence people all over the world with the Gospel. And regardless of the devoted following she has earned over the past three decades, Evie has stated in no uncertain terms, “Make no mistake: the treasure I hold dearest to my heart is knowing Christ and experiencing the joy of making Him known.”
1974 Released her first album through Word Records at age 16
1981 Evie and Pelle became spokespersons for the Dominion Sky Angel television and radio network.
2005 Inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame
Evie Again (1975)
Gentle Moments (1976)
Come On Ring Those Bells (1977)
A Little Song of Joy for My Little Friends (1978)
Never the Same (1979)
Unfailing Love (1981)