BAXTER - With her hair pulled back in a messy ponytail and a chunky necklace draped around her neck it's no secret Kara Craine has an artistic style about her.
Take one step into her office at Heritage Assembly of God in Baxter and behold the lime green painted walls she says promote creativity and a number of guitars displayed around the room. It's confirmed. She's a musician to the core.
The 29-year-old worship arts pastor started piano lessons when she was 5 and has been singing since she was even younger.
"I've always loved music," she said. "There was always music on in the house when I was little. I was surrounded, immersed in it."
Craine grew up in Hill City where she was homeschooled by her mom. By age 13 she was leading worship at her church in Grand Rapids and at 16 she was teaching music lessons.
Kara Craine is the worship arts pastor at Heritage Assembly of God in Brainerd. Her passion for music goes back to when she was about 5 when she started singing and playing piano. Brainerd Dispatch/ Steve Kohls
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"At 16 I knew I was called to be a worship leader," she said.
Craine attended North Central University, a private Christian College in Minneapolis, where she studied church music with a piano emphasis.
As worship arts pastor at Heritage for nearly six years, Craine spends her week preparing the music for three Sunday church services and coordinating nearly 100 volunteers. She gets to work at 8:30 a.m. and often finds herself rehearsing with worship bands and church choirs until 9:30 p.m.
Out of seven pastors at Heritage Assembly of God, Craine is the only woman.
Craine grew up going to evangelical churches before attending an Assembly of God church when she was a teenager.
Craine credits Mrs. Fritz, her childhood piano teacher, for her musical success. "(Mrs. Fritz) had a bun. She was cool," she reminisced. "She was strict but gracious. She was amazing."
Organic music, French jazz or Indian music is often found in Craine's CD player.
Craine and her husband broke up five times in the eight years they dated. They've now been married five blissful years.
"I love seeing people find out they can do something they never thought they could do," she said.
Craine struggles with finding balance between her personal and professional life and soon the balancing act will get even harder. Craine and her husband, Eric, are expecting their first child in September.
"It'll be a whole new adventure," Craine said of becoming a mother.
Kara and Eric Craine have been married five years, but knew each other years before they even started dating. Their moms were best friends and the couple grew up together in Hill City. They dated eight years before being married.
The Craines have done a lot of traveling through the years to Israel, Singapore, Belgium, France and the Dominican Republic, to name a few destinations.
"I love my passport," Craine said. "It reminds me how small I am and how big this world is and that it doesn't revolve around me.
"I can't wait to see the world. I have big plans."
HEIDI LAKE may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5879.
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