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Former Saddleback Church singer among Top 10 girls on American Idol

LOS ANGELES (PD) — Sabrina Sloan, one of 10 girls left in this season's American Idol competition, grew up singing at Saddleback Church.
"She's incredible and we want her to win," said Rick Warren, Saddleback's pastor.
At recent worship services, he joked with his congregation: "Don't even think of coming back to Saddleback next weekend unless you've voted for Sabrina 100 times this week!"
Warren considers Sloan like a daughter; in fact, he officiated her wedding to Chip Sloan. "Of course, I'm about to pop with pride over Sabrina, who has been like another daughter since she was tiny," Warren said.
Sloan's mother, Mary Scherff, was a long-time staff member at Saddleback Church and a friend of the Warren family.
"Mary is one of my dear friends and was an indispensable long-term staff member at Saddleback for years," Warren said. "She ran all kinds of ministries and orchestrated Saddleback's huge 25th anniversary celebration in Angel's Stadium in 2005."
Stand-out performerIn last week's competition, Sloan stood out among the 12 girls. After her powerful performance of "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)," judge Randy Jackson said: "We've finally got ourselves ... a competition. That's the way to put it down!"
Sloan, who calls Studio City in Southern California home, says she's been singing since she was 3 years old, when she stood on a table at Chuck E. Cheese and sang "Tomorrow" from Annie.
Sloan – known by her maiden name of Scherff at the time – is a 1997 graduate of Mission Viejo High School in Southern California, where she starred in school musicals. In 2001, she graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., with degrees in theater and communications studies.
With faith, anything's possibleOn the American Idol Web site, Sloan says that her greatest obstacle in life came just one week after 9/11, when she moved to New York City and lived in a cockroach-infested closet apartment to pursue a singing career. There she landed a role touring the country in the Broadway musical Hairspray. After the Hairspray tour, she moved to Southern California, and then traveled to Minneapolis for the American Idol auditions.
"I'm now living my dream and am confident that anything is possible with faith and diligence," she said on the Idol site.
Sloan says that her mother is one of her heroes because she has lived her life by faith. Sloan's grandfather, Leroy Anderson, served as pastor of Prince of Peace Church of God and Christ in Buffalo, N.Y.
On the Idol site, Sloan listed her personal goals: "To provide for my family, to be able to support those in need around me and around the world, and to make music I am proud of."
Though American Idol contestants are prohibited from performing elsewhere during the show, Warren says he hopes Sloan will sing at Saddleback Church the first Sunday after the show ends – and he has faith that she'll be singing as the new American Idol.
"Of course our entire family, our entire small group, our entire staff, and entire church is TIVOing every episode and praying for her," Warren said.
Sloan will perform with the other Top 10 girls this Wednesday on American Idol at 8/7Central on Fox.
This article includes reporting from The Orange County Register and WGRZ-TV Channel 2 News.

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