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30 Years of Memories-Phillips, Craig & Dean

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

30 Years of Memories-Phillips, Craig & Dean

Occasionally I dream. The most recurring ones are about concerts– strange concerts for the most part. Even today, I still remember many of them. One of the early ones was when I couldn’t find the concert stage where I was supposed to meet Geoff Moore and the Distance. It was 7pm concert time and I’m supposed to introduce Geoff, but where? Another was when I couldn’t get a certain group to come on stage and sing; they were just too busy to sing, they were like stray cats, all over the place but not on stage. I remember a Wes King concert in a Shakespearian theatre; a late 1500’s, English Shakespearian theatre. One time had an artist that wouldn’t come to the stage because he was finishing a Lucky Strike. (Not a factual dream but a strange one.) None were based on true experiences. Just crazy, interesting, kind of make you smile dreams. The only thing they had in common was all the concerts started at 7pm, and in each, that was not significant in the artists’ eyes. Those dreams never reflected any real life, just reflected ‘stress creation’ for someone responsible for producing a concert. At least they were always creative and funny the next morning.

The last couple months writing about 30 years of artist memories, I’m amazed that our WBVN concerts have been such powerful events in our community of believers. We’ve done over 210 of them and all have such beautiful moments. In the beginning of the ministry, I never imagined the quality of the performers’ talents and the sincerity of the performers’ hearts. I’ve written about Rich and Mark most recently and now some guys I will never forget. Actually it’s a group that we’ve done many concerts with: Phillips, Craig and Dean. They’ve supplied many memories and their visits have been ‘dream come true’ events for us.

Randy, Dan and Shawn began their music ministry at about the same time we started the radio station. They are three pastors, Randy and Dan from Texas and Shawn from the St. Louis area. Our experience with them began when they released a single called ‘Turn Up The Radio.’ Hearing it, there was something that just told me, ‘this is special, see about booking them for a concert.’ We did that after only hearing one song. We were so excited and they were so new to the ministry that BVN decided to give away the tickets. We didn’t tell them that and they came to do the concert at the Civic Center, and we had 1000 people meet them there on January 8th, 1993, our third broadcast anniversary. I remember they were so excited. Imagine, they thought they had sold out 1000 seats. That’s exciting for a group that had just started out! I remember telling them after the concert that we gave the tickets away and the looks on their faces would make great ‘sad’ photographs. Well that was the start of many special nights with PCD.

During the concert they had a surprise for me. Randy called me up on stage, I assumed to just be nice to the station and compliment us signing them to do the event. Not what happened! They put me in a black trench coat, pulled my prescription glasses off and put sunglasses on me. Put a microphone in front of me (which I couldn’t find without my glasses) and proceeded to do a choreographed song which I have no idea what the song was because I was a bit distracted being unable to see and forced to try and follow their choreography. Not pretty, not safe, but FUNNNNNNY! I’ll never forget that moment; I can’t think about it without smiling even today. The second concert, December 11, 1993 (same year as the first), I had called Randy prior to the event. I had gone over the details of the concert and I asked for one more favor. And just like the good guy that Randy is, he promised me not to ever do the ‘call me up on stage’ thing ever again. Needless to say, (I think I can say this) Randy lied, I guess a pastoral lie, with a small L of course! Well, they are funny guys for sure.

One year they were late for a concert, arriving at 4:30 for a 7 o’clock concert, late because of ice and snow and driving down from St. Louis. They’ve filled the stage with kids a couple of times. All three have brought their wives with them here because of the wonderful times we’ve had together. It’s always been fun and talented evenings with Randy, Dan and Shawn. And they are caring, caring people. I have a special memory to share of that caring.

It was a concert on April 17, 1995, and Carla was there. PCD was Carla’s favorite group and she loved their music. She came with some pretty high expectations for enjoying that special night at the Civic Center. And, it was special for all of us because Carla was, as I’ll call it, long-suffering from a terminal disease. To be there, she had to have special care and equipment. She arrived in a special wheelchair and we brought her in from the alley side of the old Civic Center and put her close to the stage. She was susceptible to more damage and pain by coming but she was determined to hear ‘live/in concert’ Phillips Craig and Dean. They actually came down and met with Carla, sang to her and made a special moment even more special with their caring hearts that night. It was a joy for Carla in an almost joyless time. Carla would pass away just a few days later.

It would be impossible to think back over the 30 years of WBVN memories without thinking about PCD. Special nights, special people. They have brought smiles and tears. Over the years, some artists have told me that when they retire from CCM and traveling around the country doing ministry they for sure want to come one last time and do a WBVN concert. Phillips Craig and Dean have said that to me. I have promised to make it happen if at all possible and that is a promise that I will keep better than Randy’s to not get me back up on stage.

We Are Messengers NEW DATE!

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

30 Years of Memories-Mark Schultz

Posted on by Laura Posted in Newsletters, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

30 Years of Memories-Mark Schultz

Just follow me. We’ll go down this hallway and turn right onto the stage. Watch your step. It gets a bit dark back here behind the curtain. Be careful of the cables, it takes a lot of those to give our audience the best sound we can give them in a concert setting. Here, you can sit on this piano bench, that’s the same one he sat on during the concert. Ok, now to answer your question.

Well, it was like this. I have to tell you, at first I didn’t believe it. It began one afternoon. I got a call from Greg Lucid. Greg Lucid– I’m thinking, who is Greg Lucid? That day the name didn’t ring bells in my brain. Greg refreshed my memory and explained that he was the manager for Mark Schultz. Now that name rang a bell. We had had so many wonderful experiences with Mark, first at the Aldersgate Methodist church on August 14th, 2001. If you were there for the first one you’ll remember Mark breaking down emotionally because so many people were singing his songs back to him. That’s not always something that happens on the road for the artist. Many places people watch a concert; here our people seem to be a part of the concert. Anyway, Greg gave me the usual ‘niceties’ and then asked me a question I was not prepared for. ‘Do you think you could get a crowd together if Mark Schultz wanted to film a live concert DVD at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center?’ I was shocked, a bit speechless actually, and to be honest with you, I did not believe that this was the real Greg Lucid. My first thoughts were I was being pranked. A national recording artist who could choose any town or city in America to video a concert and Marion is the choice. Greg, I think, sensing my hesitation to reply as though his suggestion was real, began to explain that the record company had suggested a couple of sites, both large cities, for Mark to record in, but Mark indicated that he’d like to do it in Marion. Greg told me he would have Mark call me and talk about it, also mentioned that I’d also hear from the recording company to confirm certainty that we really could ‘deliver’ a full crowd for the video filming.

Well, it happened just like that. I received Mark’s phone call while he was on a flight back from, if I remember correctly, a concert in Alaska. Mark’s a teaser, I’m a teaser, so the first few minutes were smiling moments and then it turned serious. He was under pretty heavy pressure to go to one of the other locations (I think one in California and the other in Ohio) to perform for the filming. Mark, and a display of my confidence, eventually convinced the recording company that we could give him a special event. Mark and I both knew in our hearts that what happens here wasn’t like anything that happened in other venues. The authentic, genuine sharing Mark did here and the intensity of the response from our audience was unique and something that hopefully would come across on video. On May 6, 2005, we had a full film crew from Nashville record two concerts that day. If you look closely on the DVD you can see the crowd changing because some of the songs on the finished DVD came from the first concert and others from the second. I find that easy since a friend of mine was in the front row in the first and someone else is seen in his chair occasionally in the video. By the way, you folks that came were great. There are no words to express the integrity of those two events; an artist and an audience giving all the emotional and loving response possible. I still tear up at the thought, the memories, and the honest worship of Jesus in that moment. It was special for Mark, Greg, me, the crew and I’m sure you if you were there.

It was special in another way also. The live DVD, ‘A Night Of Stories and Songs’ won the video Dove award that next spring. Listen, that’s a big deal, that’s indicative of how ‘real’ the evening with Mark showed up on the finished product. It included the concert, interviews, photos and, of course, 6 of Mark’s #1 songs. Mark was kind enough to have a Dove award plaque made just for WBVN; it still hangs in our office area.
Well, that’s about it. That was a long answer to the simple question, ‘How did you get Mark Schultz to film a DVD in Marion?’ I hope this helps explain that we didn’t get Mark here, he brought us to him to film that video. That piano bench you’re sitting on right now is the one he sat on and did two shows in one day. That’s amazing; to sing and share for two events is not an easy thing to do. Mark made it charming just the same. Let me tell you about something you didn’t ask. Sometimes Mark and I have speculated about how did this all happen. What’s so special here? I, and I know Mark, believes something has happened here that’s simply a gift to him, to the station and the community here. We both believe God has provided the mix of artist, radio station and wonderful people to respond specifically to the care he and we have for our listeners. Mark has just been a part of God’s hand on all our lives here. Let me illustrate that with a couple facts: we did not plan or try to have Mark Schultz as our 200th event, but we counted it up one day and that’s exactly what happened; just a neat blessing for us. Another concert, without our planning, happened on Mark and Kate’s wedding anniversary. We got to surprise Mark that night while he was performing. To his surprise, he looked up and saw Kate sitting in the audience. That caused a nice look on Mark’s face and created a moment where Mark jumped off the stage and gave Kate an anniversary hug. And most recently, the last concert we have been able to provide, was Mark’s on March 14th this spring. It’s unique in that immediately after that concert the venue was closed due to the pandemic, and in some unique way, Mark Schultz was exactly who we would have wanted to spend an evening with if we had known that that concert would be the last for what has turned out to be a long time.

Let me say one more thing, we’ve spent 30 years trying not to be just a ‘juke box’ but a ministry of relationships. We have made that with Mark and we’ve been blessed enough to have made relationships with you. That’s the most pleasant thing we’ve experienced in those thirty years. You might call that friendships, fellowship, community, but whatever you call it, it’s simply caring about others and being cared about. Those are good memories.