The Born-Again Bel Air of Woodstock, Georgia

After a successful trip to Richmond, Virginia with our friend Jaclynn Huse, she invited us to sing with her at two churches not far from the Collegedale area at the end of February. The Jasper SDA Church has an outreach called “The Potter’s House” where people in the local community are invited to come for a free meal and a concert. This time Jaclynn would be able to bring her daughter Shelby who is also a very talented vocalist and violinist.

The meal started at 6:00 PM with the concert being shortly thereafter, so we all wanted to get there around 4:00 to set up and get a sound check. Jasper is located in a very rural area and we were trying to find the church with our phones’ GPS. Jaclynn and Shelby were going to meet us there, and we got some sporadic texts from Jaclynn saying that she was having a hard time finding it because she had no service on her phone. But eventually we all found the church and got everything ready. Jaclynn had asked me to sing “Not Guilty” with her, so we ran through it so Gary could get a balance on our voices. 

There was a good turnout, and as the meal was ending we started the concert at about 7:00. Jaclynn opened with two songs, and then the quartet had a four-song set. During Jaclynn’s next set, she had Shelby come up and sing a beautiful duet of a medley, “Be Like Jesus” and “Into My Heart.” This is one of our favorites from Jaclynn’s album “Wheel of Fortune.” Their voices really complement each other and it’s a beautiful medley.

At the end of our next set we invited Jaclynn up to sing “Down in the River to Pray,” a beautiful song we learned and sang with her on her album.  Everyone seemed to enjoy that one. I sang “Not Guilty” during the same set and I really enjoyed belting that one out with Jaclynn! It’s such a touching song with a powerful message. The quartet finished our last set with “Movin’ Up to Glory Land” and “Dig a Little Deeper” which everyone really seemed to like. After closing prayer, we finished the evening with “O Draw Me Lord.” At the CD table afterward it was a blessing to hear so many people telling us that they were glad they came. I enjoyed being a part of such a wonderful outreach ministry.

The quartet had a concert scheduled the next day at the Cherokee SDA Church in Woodstock, Georgia. To mine and Tim’s knowledge we’d never been there before, so we were happy they’d agreed to a church service concert only a few weeks before. Pastor Nanbu, his family and the entire congregation were fantastic and very friendly.  We stepped outside during Sabbath School to warm up and practice a bit in the sunshine. It was a beautiful day, and parked along the street in front of the church was a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air which had been beautifully restored. Ryan loves cars, so he was definitely checking it out. The license plate said “Reborn” and we all thought that was pretty cool.

We had a fun concert since the congregation was so enthusiastic and responsive, and after the fellowship meal we struck up a conversation with the owner of the Bel Air. He was more than happy to show off his beauty and even started her up so we could hear the engine roar! We mentioned his license plate and he said that it was part of his outreach ministry to the community. He drives around town and when people ask about the car and the plate that says “Reborn” it gives him a chance to witness about how Jesus restores us when we’re worn out and feel hopeless.

That evening we had another joint concert with Jaclynn at the Dunlap SDA Church. Jaclynn and Shelby had sung there for special music that morning so they had given the congregation a taste of what the concert would be like. It was nice to see Jaclynn’s husband Larry there and his parents who attend the Dunlap church.

My wife Charity had driven to McMinnville to borrow her mom’s minivan and met us at the church. She and I were going the following weekend to pick up her daughter Lori in North Carolina and since Dunlap is on the way home, Charity decided to come by for the concert. While I was talking to her in the parking lot, her brother Michael and his wife Bonnie pulled in and said they were there for the concert too. I always like having family in the audience!

We followed a similar format for the evening concert as at Jasper. When Jaclynn and I sang “Not Guilty” it went even better than the first performance. We belted it out! It was a fun concert and there were a good number of people in the audience. They enjoyed “Down in the River to Pray” which is a difficult song simply because of the slight differences in words between verses. Me, Tim and Jaclynn have to use a “cheat sheet” to remember when to sing “starry” versus “robe” and “mothers” versus “brothers” because inevitably one or more of us will sing the wrong word in the wrong place!

After product sales we packed the truck and all went our separate ways since Charity and I had to drive her mom’s van home. It was nice to be able to discuss the concert with Charity on the way home. We’re so happy for Jaclynn and Shelby and that they’re able to embark on this music ministry together! We know they’ll do great things for the Lord and we’re glad we could be a part of the beginning of the adventure!

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