To most high school juniors, a summer trip to New York City would be a pretty sweet treat. Even a working trip to the Big Apple would be OK, but a "vacation" that promises 100 degree temperatures and sleeping on the floor? That's the trip Scotty McCreery signed up for last summer.

Group leader Beth Hunnicutt tells Taste of Country her 17-year-old student never quit smiling as the group shared their faith through music on the mission trip. “And he knew he was going to Hollywood, but it didn't matter,” she says. “Never complained, just sang.”

Hunnicutt is the Minister of Music at McCreery's church in Garner, N.C. She's been working with the sudden sensation since he was 3-years-old, but realized she had something special after he performed 'O Holy Night' at a church Christmas concert. "I remember thinking then, 'Wow! This kid has a really great voice,'" she recalls.

And he's only going to get better. "The low end notes," Hunnicutt says struggling to contain her excitement. "He's 17! When you hear him when he's 25 ... Oh my goodness gracious."

Hunnicutt is proud of the 'American Idol' finalist's performance so far, but hopes the judges will continue to give him constructive criticism. She's also quick to point out that his television fans are only seeing one side of his capabilities. "Scotty chooses to sing country music," she says, emphasizing the word 'chooses.' "He is able to sing whatever he wants to sing."

Watch Scotty McCreery Sing 'You've Got a Friend'