CORDELE, GA (WALB) - A South Georgia native has used his faith to spread a message of hope across the country.
Austin French graduated from Crisp County High School several years ago.
Back in 2014, he competed on ABC's "Rising Star," a singing competition.
Nearly four years later, French lives in Tennessee, and has a Christian song, titled "Freedom Hymn," in Billboard's Top 20 for Praise and Worship songs.
"You don't have to be in a big town for God to do something big with you," he said of his small town roots.
French spoke with WALB News 10's Emileigh Forrester via Skype Wednesday.
He said he believes growing up in Cordele made him who he is today.
"I learned the hardships of South Georgia and what that means for the people there," French explained. "I've experienced the joys of South Georgia growing up in a small town, and it shaped me so much."
French is now waiting to hear if he'll be nominated for fan awards given through K-LOVE, a nationwide Christian radio station.