Thursday, September 13, 2012

HIS MEN---still singing

A fine Christian ensemble is quietly observing a milestone of exemplary kingdom work.

Exactly 40 years ago, a few friends and I focused on the hope of forming a small male chorus. We invited 13 singers and a pianist. In that the other guys were better singers, we agreed that I should be the director. Our base was in Holland, but our members also came from the Muskegon, Grand Haven and Grand Rapids areas.

Some would think there should be a constitution with the formation of a group, but nothing was that formal. There were no bylaws or organization goals. A few simple goals included love of music, love of God, and a desire to use our music to help others. As director, my personal goal was to present simple, familiar gospel music in good taste.

There was the issue of choosing a name...but the suggestion from a singer's mom quickly won approval: HIS MEN.

The members bore proud ownership of that name, as they immediately began raising funds for worthy organizations. Instead of heading down a path seeking fame and fortune, traveling in buses and carrying fancy equipment, the guys just drove to wherever they would sing. The rag tag band of 13 men would simply stand up and sing their hearts out. The music from day one was beautiful. Some would say anointed. And it never stopped.

The group traveled overseas and over land, singing for a crowd as small as one 80 year old woman in Appalachia, to millions in the television audience of the Crystal Cathedral. The compassion for the disenfranchised led HIS MEN to hospitals, orphanages, VA facilities, rest homes and prisons. Especially prisons.

The group numbers at least 18 now. John Mattson succeeded me as director after the first 21 years, and has done an outstanding job of carrying on the HIS MEN tradition. My dear friend Sherry Merz serves as accompanist, and I'm proud to say that our son-in-law Lee Ingersoll represents our family in the group.

All past singers have been invited to the Tri-Cities for an anniversary observance in October. Past and present singers will present an anniversary concert in the SECOND CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH of Grand Haven on Sunday, October 14. at 6 PM. If you're in the area, it's a musical event you won't want to miss.

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