“MACkIE” A Christian Entertainment News Magazine September 2013 Issue 6
Meet Indianapolis group, Zion’s Joy Also in this issue…Lara Marriott, Benita Bellamy, Canopy Red and many, many more! 1
5 Lara Marriott 6 Annvenest 7 Loren Mulraine 10 Rachel Belman 12 Gerald Purify 13 Donna Gray 15 Will Retherford 16 Canopy Red 18 Jackie Francois 20 Makin’ It Happen A Look at Benita Bellamy
22 Matirette Davina 26 Zion’s Joy Cover story
32 B On The Lookout 34 Say What?? 38 Food4Thought
Note from the Co-Editor
Welcome to MACKIE, a Christian Entertainment News Magazine
MACKIE exists to help bring awareness to the ministries of very talented Christian and Gospel independent artists and Taylor Bear Publications, a division of DOLERN Media individuals making a difference.
In each issue we will focus on the careers of some of these artists and the message they are all helping to spread about our Lord, Jesus Christ.
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Dedicationâ€ŚThis project is dedicated to the memories of Marion Maxcine Payne (Aunt Mackie) and Arthur E. Payne Jr. May We Never Forgetâ€ŚOur Angels
MACKIE, a Christian Entertainment News Magazine is published bi-monthly by Taylor Bear Publications, a division of DOLERN Media. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission.
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Lara Marriott is a singer/songwriter who leads worship alongside her husband, Brian, at their home church Centerpointe Presbyterian in Pleasanton, California. She has been in music ministry since the age of 6 as a worship pastor's child. She represented Canada as their World Vision Youth Ambassador in 96' traveling and promoting peace and reconciliation with 50 other ambassadors from 50 different countries to such places as Taiwan, Mexico, Washington D.C., New York, California, Washington and Vancouver, Canada. She also traveled to Calcutta, India to be apart of Huldah Buntain's Mission of Mercy Christmas Tree production as their special guest singer. Lara began writing original music in 2004 and has just released her debut worship album called, "I Will Follow." Lara has sung in many different styles ranging from pop contemporary to classical. She has a desire to serve the greater church body as a substitute worship leader, special guest artist, speaker, or backup singer. Lara has a passion to encourage others in their walk with God and bring people closer to His heart. She also has a soft spot for mothers of young children being that her children were 19 months apart and have recently transitioned to elementary school. She has been a leader in women's ministry and desires to encourage other women to grow deeper in their faith through prayer, bible study, worship and connecting with other women of faith. Lara is available to lead worship or for special music in the Bay Area and out of town.
You can connect with Lara and listen to her music by going to her website: Lara
Annvenest is a Georgia native who was born on March 14, 1984. Singing has been her passion since she was a toddler. Annvenest is a true music lover of all genres. However, it was gospel music that captivated her heart most. She credits Kirk Franklin for drawing her into the gospel realm with his nontraditional hit “Stomp”. She stated that “from then on I knew that young people can have a role in this industry and ministry.” And she has been singing for the Lord ever since. Now it’s her turn to make her mark in the gospel industry with her new single “Good God”. The song follows the trending style of contemporary gospel that has taken the music industry by surprise. The music makes you feel good and the lyrics reaffirm just how good God is. Annvenest is a youth advocate and she uses her music ministry to draw teens and young adults closer to God. Annvenest attends youth conferences throughout the Atlanta area singing and speaking about God’s glory. Annvenest is currently the praise and worship leader at Life of Redemption Christian Church in College Park, Georgia. She began singing in the choir at age 13 at Saints for Christ Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. After growing and maturing in Christ she joined Mount Ephraim Baptist Church under the direction of Rev. R.L. White Jr. Dr. White was very influential in Annvenest’s life. His love for music, education and his commitment to the community inspired her to follow suit. Annvenest joined the NAACP under Dr. White’s leadership. She pursued higher education at Georgia State University, completing a bachelor’s degree in history education and she became a faithful and dedicated member of the Mount Ephraim praise and worship team. Annvenest believes that God has given her a anointing to sing his praises. She plans to spend her life telling the world through song about who God is and the lost generation youth is her targeted audience. Singing brings her joy and happiness and there is nothing she’d rather do than sing gospel music. “You are at your best when you are doing what God created you to do” said Pastor Lowell James and Annvenest is living her best life yet.
Visit her website at…Annvenest
Throughout the years, there has always been a special place in our hearts for those unique artists that move our spirits and those unforgettable songs that create a yearning for us to draw closer to God. On Loren Mulraine’s latest project, Fall On Me, that special combination of artistry and ministry take center stage. Eleven powerful songs and two inspiring interludes create an emotional appeal that will have the listener playing this project over and over again. Fall On Me will undoubtedly cross boundaries into multiple genres and appeal to every age group. Loren describes this album as his conversation with God. On the album’s title track, Loren writes his expression of faith - that no matter where God leads, whatever may be happening in the world around us – all we need is God’s spirit to fall on us. “God doesn’t require us to know where He is leading, he only requires us to be obedient to his leading,” Loren explains. Later on the album, the viewpoint switches from us speaking to God, to that of God speaking to us. On “I Am,” God answers the plea from “Fall On Me” by promising “I am to all who dare believe Me, to all who would receive Me, a promise that you’ll live eternally.” Each song on Fall On Me has a unique and passionate message that will reach diverse audiences. “Rain” will get folks up out of their seats and dancing with the joy of our Lord… “let the rain come down…we need a refreshing.” On “Renewed, Restored, Redeemed,” Loren’s call for a clean heart and a renewed spirit becomes a proclamation of God’s renewal. “King of Kings,” with its strong choir, infectious hook, and a nod to the church anthem, will certainly become a favorite. Loren is not just a stirring vocalist but also a songwriter, producer, musician and businessman. He has released three solo projects and is the lead singer of the Breath of Life Quartet. He performed on the GRAMMY and Dove Award winning “Tribute: The Songs of Andrae’ Crouch.” He has also worked as an arranger and vocalist on a number of other projects on Warner Brothers, Integrity, Benson, Bellmark and other labels. Most recently, he has launched a new label, Ten 21 Records, Inc., and promises to be a groundbreaker in this changing marketplace. His first solo project, “I’ll Meet You There,” released in November 1993, showcased his wide range of skills as an artist, arranger, and producer. His follow-up album in 2000, “In His Shadow,” was critically acclaimed by Billboard Magazine and continued to build his fan base. “Spirit and Truth, Chapters I & II,” released in May 2007 explored praise & worship and hymns, and left his fans anxiously anticipating the release of “Fall On Me.” Loren Mulraine is a truly unforgettable artist who has an undeniable message that the world will sing along to 7 for years to come!
Visit the websiteâ€ŚLoren
“Beauty for Ashes with Jasmine Franklin” Hosted on blogtalkradios’ Conversin’ Freestyle network.
Check Jasmine out at WWW.BLOGTALKRADIO.COM/DOLERN...Beauty
Tune in to blogtalkradio to hear Jasmine on her Beauty for Ashes show. Listen as she interviews independent artists and the business owners that support them. Learn how they’re making a positive difference in the world around them. You can hear Jasmine and other interviews on WCFR, Conversin’ Freestyle Radio…WCFR – The Station That Shares The Good Word !
You can find her at WWW.BLOGTALKRADIO.COM/DOLERN *Conversin’ Freestyle and WCFR Radio are divisions of DOLERN Media, (Dreamin' Out Loud Entertainment Radio Network)
Rachel Belman is a singer/songwriter with a desire to connect with her listeners through the lyrics she composes. Her interest in music began at the age of three when she would walk around the house singing songs she had heard at church and on the radio. While still a young child, she and her best friend, Chelsea Graves, who currently travels and performs with Rachel, began singing at weddings and special events. As teenagers, they began leading music for their youth group and whenever they were together, music was always present. They once spent hours in the pantry singing the ingredients from soup cans! Rachel is currently an English major at Fresno Pacific University where her love for writing is continuing to develop. She writes all of her music and lyrics from experiences she has encountered in her twenty years of life. Rachel is inspired by her love for people and a calling to impact lives in a positive way. "Love, heartache, and joy are emotions unique to our humanity and music is a gift designed to affect our entire being".
Visit the websiteâ€ŚRachel
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This singer / song writer is a native of San Luis Obispo California. Honing his talent in the church, Gerald has lent his musician talent all over California in music festivals, conventions, and churches. As the son of Pastor Gerald and Betty purify who are also power house gospel artist, Gerald has traveled all over the country playing and gaining great experience. Gerald is now branching out on his own to impact the world with his music. His sound can be described as a young new mix between PJ Morton and Aaron Camper. Visit the websiteâ€ŚGerald Also ReverbNationâ€ŚReverbNation
Donna Gray is an anointed singer/pianist/composer with a heart for serving the Lord. She writes from a deep place of worship for a loving and caring God, the results being songs that minister hope and joy to others who need to know that God’s love is unconditional and that He will never leave them or forsake them, no matter what they have done in their past. Music has been Donna’s life song since a very early age. At age 5, the music in her life began with a simple song that she played on her grandmother’s old, upright piano, “Onward Christian Soldiers”. Her mother was in the kitchen, listening, and she said, “It took my breath away, because I didn’t realize that it was Donna playing.” When she came into the music room, she was amazed to see that Donna was playing the piece by ear. It was then that her mother realized that Donna had a special talent from God, and signed Donna up for piano lessons with Anthony Santangelo, a retired NYC concert pianist.
Donna began singing church specials with her four siblings at an early age, and performed her first piano solo, “Abide With Me”, in church at age 7. Her mother taught her many hymns by playing the organ as Donna played the piano. Donna continued using her gift in the church, accompanying soloists and playing for the services. She was also active in the youth choir, where her love of worship and singing for the Lord was developed. In her teenage years, Donna accompanied her older sister, Duane, on the piano and sang backup to her sister’s solos, and credits this time period as a great learning experience in her musical journey. Other musical experiences included singing in choirs, including advanced area and All State choirs, and playing alto sax and French Horn in various school ensembles. Following high school, Donna continued studying music education with a concentration in piano at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. In her third year of college, a voice teacher encouraged Donna to add Vocal Performance as an additional major. It was during this time that Donna fell in love with classical vocal literature. Throughout her college years, Donna was honored to perform with well-known college choirs and conductors at such venues as Radio City Music Hall, The Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and several churches throughout the East coast and Southern states. This was an adventure of a lifetime that Donna will always treasure and hold close to her heart.
Throughout this time, she continued to use her musical talents in various church events, and she grew to appreciate a wide variety of other musical genres, including jazz, blues, classic country, and R&B. Donna was diagnosed with depression in her senior year of high school, and in when she was in her 30’s, began pouring her heart out in original songs. Through her music, she ministered to shut-ins, people with various disabilities, and to those in hospice for a twelve year period. For many years, Donna felt God’s call, plus the encouragement of friends and family, to record a CD. In 2005, Donna met producer Eric Copeland in Nashville, Tennessee and began working with him on her first recording, “The Other Me”. Donna and Eric co-wrote eight of the ten songs on this Inspirational/Contemporary Christian Music album.
Over the years, Donna has come to realize that there was a deep significance to the old hymn, “Onward, Christian Soldiers” being the first piece that He instilled upon her heart to play at such a young age because, “God chose me to be His soldier, to always move onward through all the trials that I would face, battle and difficulties that would be ahead of me in my life’s journey. But, “With the Cross of Jesus, Going on Before”, comes the comfort and security of knowing that Jesus carried my cross even when, in my darkest hour, I walked away in disbelief and sin. I now fully realize that He truly loves me and that through it all, “We have Christ's own promise, and that cannot fail.” Donna and her husband, David, have been married for 16 years and reside in the Kansas City area with three rescue animals: their cat, Nöel, and two large and loveable dogs, Tracy and Sally Mae. Visit the website…Donna Gray
Stay up to date ! The recording sessions have started !! Visit Katelynâ€™s dedicated siteâ€Ś.The Oakland Examiner
Inspired to pursue music at a worship service, Will Retherford has passionately honed and shared his gift since he was a young teenager. Today, he not only writes and records his own music, but is also the worship director at Impact Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Will has been developing his music career as a worship songwriter for the church and as a worship leader by working along side many churches, songwriters and even ministries overseas. Will has also worked with many musicians doing studio work and is learning to produce himself. More than music, Will is passionate about missions. In his college days, he was on staff with Oral Roberts University's Outreach & Missions department, and still travels overseas frequently throughout the year. Will is also currently working to purchase supplies for an HIV children’s home called "Agape International" in Hyderabad, India through the sales of his first album “Awake.” With this route, Will hopes to continue to write and record songs for the church with the focus on helping others. His heart is to go even further than the orphanage in Hyderabad and raise more funds for different projects all over the world. His newest album "Walk" was just recently released…itunes Visit the website….Will Retherford 15
The band name Canopy Red may be still making its way through the Christian rock ranks, but the threesome's made several intentions very clear. Bottom line, these are three fresh-faced but remarkably cohesive players from Tallahassee, FL whose goal is to impact this generation with the Gospel, coupled with undeniable musicality that brings to mind bands like the Fray, Sanctus Real, Relient K, The Afters and other like-minded modern rock innovators. "Like our name says, we want to show more people, both saved and unsaved, what it means to live under the shelter of Christ's blood."
Joshua Schmidt first began learning guitar at the age of twelve. He quickly fell in love with playing music and is passionate about writing and listening to music. His listening tastes include everything from alternative rock to folk and even hip-hop and pop. In addition to music Josh enjoys baseball, soccer, photography and traveling. He is also an aspiring collector of Legos and enjoys reading. Joshua has a passion for missions and tries to show the love of God through his actions with anybody he meets.
Krazit was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida. He started playing music when his dad brought a guitar into the house at the age of 12. In addition to music he is a student at Florida State University majoring in creative writing. An avid sports fan since his first time playing tee ball he loves playing whatever sport he can get his hands on. He is a self proclaimed barbecue and soda connoisseur and is trying his best to be more like Christ.
Ryan is a founding member of Canopy Red and has been letting God use him in a powerful way as his musical abilities increase. He loves leading worship and encouraging others to be open to God's leading. In addition to music Ryan is an avid video game fan and particularly enjoys playing Super Smash Bros. He loves playing paintball and ultimate Frisbee with his friends and is also partial to the occasional game of basketball.
Visit the websiteâ€ŚCanopy Red
Jackie is a full-time traveling speaker, singer/songwriter, and worship leader from Orange County, CA. In 2006, she became an artist with OCP/SpiritandSong.com with whom she has released two albums. She has been involved in youth ministry since she graduated high school, and she now travels the globe speaking to young people about God’s love and leading worship for various events and ministries. She is friends with people who are passionate about God, food, and coffee. and perhaps saints, spiritual books, volleyball, quoting stupid things, the beach, accents, and bowling. Check out iTunes or SpiritandSong.com to get Jackie’s albums “Your Kingdom is Glorious” and “Divine Comedy.” Visit the website…Jackie
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Benita Bellamy is a Marketing and Public Relations executive who has emerged to the forefront of the music industry. She is the founder and President of The Bellamy Group which in its first three years of establishment has been named a top 10 Independent Marketing and Promotions company by The Gospel Industry Roundup, nominated for a 2011 Rhythm of Gospel Awards - Marketing and Radio Promotions of the Year, and named a GMWA/GAG Radio Promotions Person of the Year. Benita develops marketing, publicity and branding campaigns for Christian and Gospel artists as well as for public personalities, ministries and small businesses. Benita spent 5 years with EMI Christian Music Group/EMI Gospel as Marketing Manager working with Stellar and Grammy Award winning artists Smokie Norful, CeCe Winans and The Blind Boys of Alabama, Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers, Bishop T.D. Jakes and the Potter’s House Choir, Aaron Neville, Darwin Hobbs, and many others. With a stint as Label Manager for Sanctuary Records Groups’ Reggae and Catalog division, Benita managed projects for legendary reggae artists Steel Pulse, Luciano and the late Gregory Isaacs. From 2005-2007, Benita was recruited to develop the National Promotions Department for Light Records and was eventually elevated to Vice President of Marketing leading the new radio and retail promotions team with emphasis on team structure, integrity and dedication to music ministry. Light Records roster included: Shirley Caesar, Youthful Praise, RiZen, Evelyn Turrentine-Agee, Bishop Paul Morton, Zie’l, Coko and Judith ChristieMcAllister. Benita is a member of The Recording Academy, The Gospel Music Association, The Stellar Awards Gospel Music Academy, is on the Board of Directors for Gospel Effects Production and Ministry – Charleston, SC and Board of Directors for the St. Louis Gospel Announcers Guild. …Website
Facebook…The Bellamy Group
The Bellamy Group is a full service boutique entertainment marketing agency that works with artists, musicians, record labels, performing arts and faith based organizations, and public personalities on the development and execution of marketing, publicity and branding campaigns that inspire talent, ignite creativity, generating positive results! The Bellamy Group located in Music City USA – Nashville, TN, was launched in 2008 with the objective to fill a void in the marketing and promotions sector that focused on independent music artists of all genres, faith-based organizations and companies and small businesses. In The Bellamy Group’s first three years of establishment, the company received numerous honors including being named a Top 10 Independent Marketing and Promotions company by The Gospel Industry Roundup, voted the 2011 Rhythm of Gospel Awards – Marketing and Radio Promotions of the Year, and named a GMWA/GAG Radio Promotions Person of the Year. The Bellamy Group has managed marketing and publicity campaigns for Dove Award nominees Mali Music and Mr. Del, Grammy and Stellar Award winning gospel legend Twinkie Clark and assisted with marketing support for Verizon’s How Sweet The Sound Competition, American Heart Association Most Powerful Voices Competition, and the God Belongs In My City National Prayer Walk. The Bellamy Group and its staff adhere to marketing strategies with an emphasis on integrity. We are not just a company, but a representation of you, therefore, we strive to emerge with out of the box creativity, executed with excellence to empower you in achieving your set goals. Our company can tailor personalized marketing, publicity and promotions campaigns to fit your exact needs. Our clients come first and we indulge each client with priority.
Described as the 'Classical Kate Bush,' Mariette's album has received rave reviews and nominated for Best Newcomer and Best Indie Artist at both the CC and LTTM awards. Her music has been played on BBC radio 2 and her music video on GODTV. She has sold thousands of songs all over the world, and 2012 saw the release of her first song book. Mariette is currently receiving bookings and touring in churches throughout the UK. A singer and composer of both original and well-known sacred music, Mariette’s album has received rave reviews and been nominated for Best Newcomer and best Indie artist in both the CC and LTTM awards. Her music has been played on ‘Good Morning Sunday’ on BBC Radio 2 and her music video on GODTV. She has sold thousands of songs all over the world, and 2012 saw the release of her first song book. Mariette is currently receiving bookings and touring in churches throughout the UK. Born in the United Kingdom, Mariette moved to South Africa at an early age. She obtained her Music Degree specializing in Performance Opera at the University of South Africa and was awarded two bursaries to do her Honours Degree in Music at the University of Pretoria. Undeterred by the fact that she failed composition at University, with her lecturer telling her she would never be able to write anything worthwhile, Mariette continued to compose music and landed a record deal. Her album of mostly her own original music was released by a South African record label, and nominated for Best Classical album in South Africa. Mariette then moved back to the UK, where she attended three years of Bible school, developing a love for and gaining experience in leading worship, simultaneously discovering her gift for spontaneous worship. She recorded a 10 track album of original songs at ICC studios under the direction of Neil Costello, comprising of a culmination of her musical influences thus far. In an industry where there is so much musical similarity and repetition, Mariette is not afraid to do things differently and remain faithful to her own personal style. The result is an artist and composer who is quickly gaining international recognition for her fresh, innovative approach. Mariette’s next album is due to be released this month. Facebook…Mariette Visit the website…Website 22
Sister, Daughter, Friend, Singer, Songwriter, G-mommie, and Mother of MACKIE Magazine co-editor Araina Johnson, Publisher… A Drop A ‘Raina Music, B.M.I.
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Zion’s Joy is comprised of eleven melodious voices whose mission is to sing and testify of God’s goodness, mercy and salvation to all. Their purpose and ministry is to lift the name of Jesus higher, letting all who hear, know of his soon return. The theme of Zion’s Joy is taken from Isaiah 51:3 where it concludes that in Zion “joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody”. The line-up of Zion’s Joy includes sopranos Beth Sinclair, Madison DaBreo and Maniqua Abbett. Altos are Kimberly Kent. Alto/Sopranos are Cartala Mcgill-stout and Sharon Rimmer. Tenors include Rickey Smiley, Dan Sinclair and Richard O. Jackson with Freddie Bolden and Robert W. Stevenson singing baritone and bass. Zion’s Joy was founded by Robert W. Stevenson in 2008 (initially named Zion’s Voice) and was featured on the song “Praise Him in the Dance” from Richard O. Jackson’s debut CD release, He Who’s Invisible. Zion’s Joy has taken their ministry to numerous churches and venues across Indiana as well as other cities throughout the United States. With a blend of tight, rich harmonies, and powerful lead vocals, Zion’s Joy delivers a unique brand of old and new school gospel / contemporary Christian music. Indiana Gospel Music Association president Ken Gates describes their live ministry performance as “electric, moving, and a must see.” The members of Zion’s Joy are active in their churches and have answered the call to go spread the Word of God to the masses. They long to encourage and see everyone give his/her heart to Christ. With the release of their debut CD, “Knocking On Your Heart,” every listener will hear the heart beat of praise, worship, salvation, and celebration. If you listen closely, you’ll hear Heaven’s voice through Zion’s Joy!
April 27, 2013- Missouri Gospel announcers Guild ‘Ultimate Praise Break with Bobby Jones’, St. Louis, MO April 27, 2013- episode taping for ‘Welcome To Sweetie Pies’ show. To air late summer 2013 on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) April 2013- Indianapolis Jewish Community Center’s production of ‘Shofar Of The Heart’, Indianapolis, IN April 13, 2013- ‘KNOCKING ON YOUR HEART’ CD debuted on the Billboard Gospel Album Chart at #13
Indiana Gospel Music Association’s (IGMA) - Concert held at the Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis, IN Indiana Black Expo Health Fair, Indianapolis, IN - Hamilton County’s ‘Indiana Gospel Music Festival’ (IGMF), Noblesville, IN
-WNAP Gospel Highway-Philadelphia, PA -WRCA 1330-Boston -WBGX 1570 AM (the Janice Oda-Gray show)-Chicago -KAQ Radio-New York -WOAD 1300 (with Gospel Doctor, Joseph Hughes)-Jackson, MS
KNOCKING ON YOUR HEART’ is currently being played on KBAT Christian Radio, JANGO and radioairplay.com. ZION’S JOY currently has 1100 fans worldwide and over 25,000 plays in twenty eight countries including Israel, China and the UK. ‘KNOCKING ON YOUR HEART’ currently has, an unprecedented, six songs in rotation on Pandora Radio.
To learn more about Zion’s Joy visit…ReverbNation Facebook…Zion's Joy
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A great photo by Bob Frew â€Ś
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TEAM Gospel Radio Watch to promo ad…Team Gospel Promo 31
B On The Lookout for
The Aires Of Joy Upon life's journey we are given opportunities to plant seeds of goodness, kindness, blessings, seeds of our hearts, our works and our being. The Aires of Joy Gospel Quartet from Prairie, MS, are a young group of men that portray their characters well through songs of praises in the field of Gospel music. They are dedicated to Church because they are "Standing on the Word of God." They are dedicated to their community and they have much self control because the word teaches them how to be in control. Proverbs 3:5-6 teaches them to "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths." "God is In Control," is the title of their new project. It is a soul winning CD. It will also regenerate those who are in slow motion. For Booking Information contact Marcus "Slim" Johnson at (662) 769-1130 or Ramirez Ivy at (662) 497-0034 Vocalist: Eddie Ray Deanes, Petro Jordon, Marcus "Slim" Johnson, Rev. Fred Orr Bandmembers: Rev. Ramirez Ivy, Edward Houston III, Derek Thompson, Stephano Curtis
To learn more visitâ€Ś.Aires of Joy
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An Interview with Lamplighter Ministries CEO, Mark Hamby
Mark Hamby (M.S., M.Div., Th.M., D. Min. cand.) is founder and president of Lamplighter Ministries. Mark oversees five branches of this ministry: Lamplighter Publishing, Lamplighter Theatre, Lamplighter Guild, Lamplighter Life-Transforming Seminars and Lamplighter Moments Daily Radio Broadcast. He lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with his wife, Debbie. They have been married for 33 years and have three adult children who were homeschooled. If you have ever heard Mark speak, you know that he loves to tell stories! If you have ever heard Mark on the radio, you have heard his passion for God and His Word. Interviewed on numerous national programs, including Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey, Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and Moody Bible Network's Prime Time America with Greg Wheatley, Mark shares the miracle story of how Lamplighter was birthed and how Lamplighter stories have had a redemptive influence around the world. God has opened—and continues to open—great and effectual doors for the spread of His gospel. What Mark is most passionate about is the Lamplighter Guild—a unique educational model which follows a rare principle of the early Renaissance masters called “Agon.” After finding this principle in Scripture, Mark has combined Renaissance training with Scriptural principles that has proven to motivate one toward the pursuit of master skills. For more information see www.lamplighterguild.com
Let’s hear from Mark… WHAT LED YOU TO START LAMPLIGHTER PUBLISHING AND LAMPLIGHTER THEATRE? Serious decline in Bible knowledge. In the book, Public and Private, the authors state that the media's image saturation has become the most ubiquitous teacher since the beginning of mankind. Ubiquitous carries the idea of ominpresent..and if you were to go to some of the remote villages in Thailand and South America, you would find in those grass huts, a tv run by generators and hooked up to satellite dishes. No one seems to be escaping it's influence. And I think, just as Neil Postman did in the 1950's that there is a connection to our preoccupation to images and God's second commandment…thou shalt not have any graven images before me….why? Because images rob us of our own imagination…images rob us of faith…in his book, Culture Wise Family, Dr. Ted Baehr quotes a study that demonstrates how images clog the filters of a child's imagination so that he is unable to perceive the transandent…in other words, he can only believe what he sees…seeing is believing…what is invisible is no longer possible because faith has become inoperable…and without faith it is impossible to please God. Our economy, our politics, our churches, our schools, everything in this country, in this world is a direct result of faith and faithfulness to God…and the only way that faith will become operative again, is to put away the images and once again meditate day and night upon the Words of God….Chris, did you know that the very first verse that Jesus quotes is from Deut…man shall not live by bread alone but by everyone word! Josh 1:8 Psalm 1 Our youth are held captive by the continuous onslaught of propaganda they hear and see from the media. Without grounding in God's Word, young people are prone to be "tossed to a fro with every world view." We need to remember that Lot's righteous soul was vexed from day to day by the things he saw and the things he heard. Bad company corrupts good morals. WANDERER PSALM 32 WHAT IS THE MISSION OF LAMPLIGHTER? Lamplighter is weaving the Word of God back into the fabric of the culture through stories and dramas that bring children and adults face to face with a God in whom nothing is impossible--through heroic role models who inspire, motivate, and breath passion back into our souls. Our mission comes from Luke 1:17 which is a requote of Malachi 4:6 which emphasizes the turning of the father's heart back to his children and the heart of the children back to their fathers...to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Lamplighter is building inner Christ-like character and inspiring external career excellence...one story at a time. MARK TELL ME ABOUT THE CONNECTION OF Romans 5 AND 2ND PETER 1 TO THE LAMPLIGHTER MISSION: "Suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope, and hope makes us not ashamed." Strong character has endurance as its foundation and hope as its crown. ROBBERS CAVE...HERE'S WHY: So when a person finds himself in a difficult situation, such as facing the loss of a job, a broken relationship, enduring a false accusation, or Experiencing the loss of a loved one, he never loses sight of the fact that ALL THINGS REALLY DO WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD…AND SOMETIMES WE MAY NOT UNDERSTAND THINGS FULLY UNTIL WE SEE JESUS:
STORY OF MY FATHER TIMELY/UNTIMELY DEATH - CHRISTIES OLD ORGAN WHAT ARE YOUR LISTENERS AND READERS SAYING ABOUT THESE STORIES? Several testimonies come to mind. The first is a school teacher who said that the story, Teddy's Button, led two of her 4th grade students to Christ. We have had so many families contact us with the same story. Teddy's Button and Christies Old Organ are our best stories for leading children to Christ. One dad recently wrote that any story that can keep his 5 year old daughter snuggled up to her daddy on the couch for the entire afternoon listening to a story, is a great story! Another mom wrote that her 12 yr old son has dramatically shifted from Harry Potter and Teen Vampires to the total-attraction and influence of Ishmael and Sir Knight of the Splendid Way. A woman from India sent us an SOS pleading that we come to India with our stories…she said after hearing A Peep Behind the Scenes she was able to let go of a 25 years of bitterness toward her family who had abandoned her when she become a Christian. ANOTHER MOM WRITES HOW HER 7 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WAS FOUND BY THE GOOD SHEPHERD AFTER LISTENING TO A Peep Behind the Scenes. We receive letters daily from readers and listeners telling us that their lives are forever changed from one of these stories. Personally, I am who I am today because of these books and particularly because of the powerful Scriptural insights that are revealed through these unforgettable stories. The world has been influencing children with entertainment rather than substance, and Christians have bought into it. The classic tales of Snow White and Cinderella didn't include Scripture, but they have been loved through the ages because of their redemptive merit. We are drawn to redemptive stories in which God is our hero--for with God, nothing is impossible! That is why Lamplighter books are so loved. But whenever a culture removes the knowledge of God from its foundations it MUST be replaced with a substitute god, for within each of us is a God-shaped void that must be filled. So today more than ever before, our culture is inundated with the supernatural. From Harry Potter to Teen Vampire romances, to paranormal tv programs, movies, and now paranormal cartoons, our children and adult world are being seduced and sedated by images that temporarily satisfy their empty souls. What has thus far been your most significant achievement as a publisher and producer with Lamplighter? As a non profit ministry, I am thankful for the opportunity to share Lamplighter books with over two million readers! But since only 5% of the entire North American continent reads non fiction or anything of spiritual value, I realized that we needed to offer these great spiritual truths through another medium. I am excited to say that Lamplighter stories are now being adapted for dramatic audio through our recent creation, Lamplighter Theatre. This has by far been our greatest achievement; in just four months God has opened the doors for Lamplighter Theatre to air on over 1000 radio stations in twelve countries! The truths found in Lamplighter stories are now being heard around the world! What is significant about the creation of Lamplighter Theatre is that audio has a positive effect upon the mind whereas media the project images such as tv, film, and video games, have a damaging effect upon the brain. Scientifically proven, electronic images that change on the screen every 2 to 4 seconds can actually alter the brain waves of children causing them to think in illogical disconnected thought patterns. The ADD and ADHD phenomenon is easy to explain and parents need to be warned that the electronic media is having permanent effects upon the minds of their children's hearts and minds...we are a culture that is amusing ourselves to death! I.e....hospitals with video in cribs. What stories have influenced your life the most? The answer to this question could take the whole interview but the brief version is number one the story, Ishmael. Written in the 1830's Ishmael is based on a true story of a young man who educated himself, passed the bar exam and changed American history on behalf of women who were being abused by their husbands. This story had such a powerful influence on my life that the following day after reading it I started a second ministry. The other stories are The Hedge of Thorns which saved me from a devastating financial decision...it's a story of two children who are told not to go near the hedge of thorns...but....Another as mentioned before Teddy's Button which teaches that you can't defeat the enemy by hate but only by love and your greatest enemy is yourself. And then there is the Basket of Flowers...a story of a father who teaches his daughter that it is better to die for the truth than to live for a lie, for the worse pillow to sleep on, is the pillow of a guilty conscience. The list is quite endless, but there is also the book that President Ronald Reagan found to be the most powerful influence in his life and was what inspired him to become president...the book, That Printer of Udell's. For preschool children there is Trusty: Tried and True...when I was a child I loved the Dr. Seuss books...Trusty is similar but filled with Christian principles for young children. And then there is The Hidden Hand, The Giant Killer, Titus, which quickly sold an extra 200 thousand copies after the first six weeks of printing. A Peep Behind the Scenes which sold 2 ½ million copies after its first printing in 1878 and our beloved The Lamplighter which outsold the Scarlet Letter 10 to 1~! AS A NON PROFIT HOW ARE YOU FUNDING SUCH LOFTY GOALS LEADING TO THESE UNUSUAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THIS ECONOMY? I decided from the very beginning that any book that we publish or audio drama that we produced, would be of the highest standard of excellence and spiritual value. If we were unable to meet that expectation then we simply would wait until we had the revenue to do so. As a non-profit ministry, we still need to generate a net profit, but I am convinced that when we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all things that are necessary for life are added to us. 2nd Corinthians 9:8-11 gives us a promise that "God is able to make all grace abound to us, so that having all sufficiency in all things, at all times, we may be able to abound in every good work." What we are doing is a total faith venture but a venture that has been prompted and commissioned by God. I have watch our culture and world unravel spiritual for three decades and have been praying for God to bring revival. In Ezekiel God looked down from heaven and asked if there was anyone who would stand in the gap but he found none. It is our commitment here at Lamplighter to avoid the negativism of protest and boycotts and to dive into the culture and offer something attractive and better than what is offered...to put on stage the great redemptive story that will draw all men to the only true source of the abundant life. We see ourselves as a David against Goliath and we need all of the support and encouragement from those whose lives will be touched and changed through the great truths we offer. For the past 16 years we have lived one day at a time and so far we haven't seen the oil run dry but if there was ever a time for those whom God has entrusted with his resources to come along side of us, now would be the time. As we bring this interview to a close is there anything that you would like to leave with our readers that you feel is imperative to mention? Yes, your readers will want to know about the Lamplighter Guild. In fact, this is the most exciting endeavor I have ever had the opportunity to be involved in….and God is using it in miraculous ways...
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