|Birth name||Brynn Beltran|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Genres||CCM, Christian rock, pop rock, AOR|
|Occupation(s)||Keyboardist, songwriter, author|
|Instruments||Keyboards, guitar, vocals|
|Associated acts||Rachel Rachel|
Brynn (Beltran) Gersmehl is an American Christian musician from southern California who writes in the Contemporary Christian genre. She is best known for her involvement in the AOR group Rachel Rachel, the first all-girl Christian rock band, with whom she wrote and performed two #1 songs. Brynn currently lives with her husband Mark Gersmehl, a member of the rock band White Heart, and their son in Nashville, Tennessee.
Brynn was born in California, and grew up as a “Valley Girl” in California’s San Fernando Valley. As a child she played acoustic guitar and piano, but by the time she was in her teens, she lost her enjoyment of music, and instead started hanging out with a “stoner crowd” of friends. This led to a life of drugs and an addiction to cocaine.
As Brynn reached her mid-20s, she began to try to quit her addiction, but found it nearly impossible. A divorce further complicated her life. Finally, her sister asked Brynn to come to a “new” type of church; one that was very different from the church their mother had taken them to as children. On her first visit to this “new” kind of church, Brynn accepted Christ, and God, without her knowledge, healed her of her cocaine addiction. However, after her conversion Brynn did not find life to be an easy road. The reasons that she had begun drugs in the first place, including a desire to escape life, where still there, and it took many years of surrendering to and seeking after God for these fears and feelings to go away.
In the early 1990s, Brynn was "discovered by" Jennifer York, who at the time was looking for female Christian musicians to play in the group she was forming, Rachel Rachel, which would become the "first American all-girl Christian rock band". "Putting her childhood musical skills to good use", Brynn signed on to play keyboards and sing lead and back-up vocals. Also, ever since her conversion, Brynn had found herself writing songs about her risen Lord. She would write or co-write nearly half of the group’s songs, including their two #1 hits “Only Heaven Knows” and “You’ll Never Know”.
Rachel Rachel released two albums, Way to My Heart (1991) and You Oughta Know by Now (1993). On both of these albums Brynn played keyboards and sang lead and backup vocals, including sharing the lead vocals on the group’s #1 hit “Only Heaven Knows” with lead singer Cheryl Jewell. The group would record and tour until it disbanded in 1994.
In 1993, while on a 7-month tour with the rock band White Heart, Brynn met Mark “Gersh” Gersmehl, keyboard player for the band. This relationship grew until, after the tour was over, Gersh asked Brynn to marry him. They married in 1994.
Brynn and Gersh currently live in Nashville, TN with their son, Trevor, writing, singing, recording, and teaching worship seminars together. Brynn plays the acoustic guitar with her husband, homeschools her son, and enjoys cooking, collecting coupons, and using power tools.
With Rachel Rachel
- Way to My Heart (1991)
- You Oughta Know by Now (1993)
- Mason, Craig. "About Brynn & Gersh". Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Gersmehl, Brynn. "Brynn and Gersh Bios". Retrieved May 12, 2011.
- McAdie, Bryan. "Rachel Rachel: An All Girl Rock Band Making an Impact Stateside". CR Mag 17. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
- allmusic.com. "Brynn Beltran Credits". Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Firestream Music Vault. "Way to My Heart". Retrieved May 12, 2011.
- Firestream Music Vault. "You Oughta Know By Now". Retrieved May 12, 2011.
- Smiley, Billy. "Billy Smiley's Songwriter/Producer Biography". Retrieved May 12, 2011.
- Donachie, Bruce. "Rachel Rachel". Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- CrossRhythms.com. "Rachel Rachel Split". CR Mag 23. Retrieved May 12, 2011.