Bob is a long time member but actually our first music minister.
I have known this brother and his dear wife Kathy for about 40 years. They are great people, fully committed to our Lord and wonderful singers as well.
Thank you my brother for sharing your self, your faith and your ministry with our members and friends.
I am privileged to be with IAM and to share my life with Jesus with our friends. I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, in Jun 1953. While the 50’s were a gentle time, by the 60’s my world was turned upside down with unrest. The 1965 Watts riots exposed the underbelly of what was really going on in our city. Many families splintered, and mine, too, saw the exit of my dad. My mom and us 3 kids were on our own.
No one I knew then was rich or well off – we were all in the same boat. But, we went to school, and twice a year, some of us went to church on Easter or Christmas. We would get something new to wear. School and church were free, so we made the most of them. In school we learned academics, a skill, music or sports.
Yes and you must have chosen music right from the start.
Yes I focused on singing in school choir and church choir. I was a good singer. I had heroes in music as a kid – the Temptations, the Miracles, the Four Tops and on and on! When times got rough at home with my mom becoming mentally ill, music was medicine for my soul and made me believe a better day would come.
But things actually got worse didn’t they.
Things got a lot worse – really bad. My mom had a severe mental breakdown and I, the oldest of 3 kids, had to grow up fast. I would, in these times, wonder where my dad was. I would also wonder where God was. Survival became my only concern. From 12 to 18 years old graduating high school, I was just trying to survive. I guess I forgot about God, but He never forgot about me.
Fast forward some 8 or 9 years. I met some folks, really nice folks, who belonged to a cult. They invited me to their house for a barbeque. It was actually an indoctrination meeting into the cult. As they were explaining what they believed, God had planted a Christian couple there armed with the truth of the bible. God used this couple that day to remind me who He was, and that Jesus was still my Lord and Savior. I even quoted them John 3:16 – a verse planted in my heart from childhood. This dear couple invited me to their church in Pasadena, CA and on September 20th, 1980, I rededicated my life to Jesus and met Pastor David Harrison and Pastor Dan Pantano! Since that time I have had the wonderful privilege to be a soloist and worship leader for the Lord!
That was 40 years ago, and we are still in each other’s lives in an ongoing disciple-filled relationship! IAM is the kind of life-giving ministry that, to this day, is Spirit empowered, need meeting, hurt healing, restoration feeding ministry that comes from the very throne of God. This is the kind of organization para church ministries like ours need and deserve! We operate in a way the Lord Jesus has “tailor made” our ministries to be!
Did you see yourself becoming a star like your hero’s?
Music was the vehicle God designed for me as a child – not as a celebrity, but as a ministry to proclaim the gospel in every situation and place I may be in. He most certainly has blown my religious box to smithereens! I never imagined singing anywhere but behind the walls of the church. But God has increased my territory in places I never dreamed I’d go! Now my wife, Kathy, and I share our music in all types of venues – from restaurants to retirement communities – bringing the hope, joy and love of Christ to all who will listen. We are truly blessed!
It is my hope and prayer that the Lord Jesus will continue to allow me, and all of us under the IAM umbrella, to be ambassadors and living letters of His gospel, for His glory and for the kingdom!
Thank you Bob for sharing your unique story with your IAM Family. No matter where or how we start off in life we can wind up with Jesus if someone who loves him will tell us about that Love. God Bless you brother.
Note: Check out the Rawleigh Ministries' website