Jonathan Nelson is an American gospel singer-songwriter from Baltimore, Maryland. Nelson was born in Baltimore, Maryland to James Nelson, a pastor at the Greater Bethlehem Temple Church, and his wife Bessie Nelson. He studied at the Baltimore School for the Arts and Morgan State University. During a performance of Karen Clark-Sheard at his church, Nelson and his friends served as backup singers. After that, they continued to practice and sing together under the name of Purpose. After some time, Purpose released an independent album which included the song "Healed", written by Nelson. In 2000, Nelson met Donald Lawrence, a Grammy-nominated choir leader, at a workshop on Washington, DC. Lawrence heard the song "Healed" and asked Nelson for permission to record the song. The song became a gospel hit in 2005, and Nelson won the Stellar Award as Songwriter of the Year in 2006. Nelson also met producer Troy Sneed, who had heard another Purpose song called "The Right Place".