Hearst hosts two-day music fest, featuring Third Day, Michael W. Smith, Kutless

Third Day is set to perform at NightVision in Olathe this weekend.

Third Day is set to per­form at NightVi­sion in Olathe this week­end. Pho­to by Eliza Marie Somers

With heartache comes feel­ings of despair and self-doubt, but for Vic­to­ria Hearst a heartache trans­formed her life into one of ser­vice and a sort of mend­ing of hearts. 

Hearst, grand­daugh­ter of media mogul William Ran­dolph Hearst, sat­is­fies her call­ing to heal through her Praise Him Min­istries in Ridg­way and the annu­al NightVi­sion two-day music fes­ti­val.

After a bad breakup with a boyfriend in Decem­ber 1995, Hearst took refuge in her bed­room and was flip­ping through the chan­nels when she came across the Trin­i­ty Broad­cast­ing Net­work. The vision or pas­tor on the screen struck a chord with Hearst, who prayed, “God, I don’t know what I’m doing any­more. You take the wheel.”

Well, that wheel or com­pass ulti­mate­ly led to Ridg­way, where as Hearst tells it: God told me to go to Col­orado and teach an after-school jazz dance pro­gram for mid­dle school girls. 

It will be the first of many “visions” or con­ver­sa­tions with God that Hearst con­sults to dri­ve her min­istry, includ­ing plant­i­ng the seed for the two-day con­cert, a book­store, and of all things her work as a direc­tor and chore­o­g­ra­pher of the Chapel of Hope Choir at the Delta Cor­rec­tion­al Cen­ter.

I was hap­py run­ning the book­store, going to church, see­ing the deer and hav­ing a good time doing my own thing,” Hearst said. “Then God says ‘Min­istry.’”

Next thing Hearst knows is that, “I’m in a pris­on, a men’s pris­on of all places. I tell peo­ple I’m in pris­on on the week­end and work release dur­ing the week,” she says with a chuck­le.

The irony is that Hearst “vowed” nev­er to set foot in a pris­on after her sis­ter Pat­ty was con­vict­ed and sen­tenced to pris­on in con­nec­tion with a bank rob­bery after being kid­napped by the Sym­bione­se Lib­er­a­tion Army in 1974. Pres­i­dent Jim­my Carter com­mut­ed Patty’s sen­tence in 1979. 

Once she was out I made a vow — we all have to be care­ful about mak­ing vows — and my vow was I nev­er want­ed to see a pris­on, go near one, be in one ever again,” Vic­to­ria Hearst said. “And then I get saved and short­ly after that … it’s been nine years I’ve been work­ing with the pris­on min­istry. That’s how I know it’s from God, because that’s not me.

Was it hard? No, and that’s the fun­ny thing.” 

As a child, Hearst envi­sioned her life as an actress, singer and dancer, spend­ing years train­ing in the three dis­ci­plines and appear­ing on TV shows, includ­ing “Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal.” It was that break up that ulti­mate­ly end­ed that dream, but the skills she learned as a young­ster are serv­ing her well in her min­istry.

The scene of my life was movies, TV, lifestyles of the rich and famous. You know, Fer­rari, Rolls Royce, you give to char­i­ties …,” Hearst said. “That was the vision of my life, and God is going, ‘That’s nice …’ But it’s fun­ny because I’ve been trained in act­ing, singing and danc­ing and I’m using those tal­ents with the min­istry.

So I’m hav­ing a good time.”

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