I was told that I was singing “Jesus Loves Me” at age three. I don’t remember that. What I do know is the Lord and music have been my life. My father was a chaplain at the end of World War II, and our family went to Japan where he was stationed during that time. At age 8, on July 4th, 19??, my independence day, I accepted the Lord and was baptized in the China Sea. I can still remember standing out in the water and having to wait for the waves to go by so my father and I would not be swamped when he baptized me.
I began piano lessons at age six and continued with lessons all through college. I wanted to quit taking lessons when I was in high school, but fortunately (I say that now!), I had parents who could “just say no!” You know that old saying, “You’ll thank me later”? Well, yes I sure do! One time after a concert a woman came up to me and said she’d like to play like me. I told her, “Practice a lot!” and she quickly responded with, “I knew there was a catch!”
I received my Bachelor of Sacred Music degree from a Bible College that was formerly in Oklahoma City, and I did some graduate work at Kansas University in Lawrence on a Masters In Choral Conducting. I began teaching piano students while I was in college, and eventually taught piano for about 15 years. However, I began teaching again about two years ago. I have just a few students – our schedule doesn’t allow me more – but I have one major requirement: the student must practice! I don’t keep students who won’t practice. It wastes the parents’ money and it wastes my time.
I did some substitute music-teaching in the public schools for several years in the 70’s. I also directed city-wide choirs and women’s choruses, and I have spoken for women’s retreats.
Professional accompanying was one of my activities: for choral directors, conventions, and miscellaneous events.
I took a different path for a few years and became the top Avon representative in my district in a very short time, moving into management within three years. My first year of management, out of 3,000 districts nation-wide, my district was #10, and had one of the highest average orders per representative in the nation. Trips to Hawaii and Monte Carlo were among some of my rewards.
I am a composer and arranger. I wrote children’s music for Standard Publishing’s Vacation Bible School for over twenty years, and had the theme song for two of those years. Four of the songs on our “Gone Are The Tears” album are creations of mine. I have arranged music for various instrumental ensembles as well as vocal.
Because I enjoy “wearing many hats,” I did some music pastoring at churches in the past, and also did some co-music pastoring with my husband Frankie a few years ago. Directing adult and children’s choirs and handbell choirs, working with praise teams and other ensembles, leading worship, and developing drama groups were some of my interests.
After Frankie and I had been married for just a few years, (we were married in 1985), he felt a calling to go into music evangelism. He wanted us to do some traveling, and I didn’t even like to travel at that time! God had to do a “180” on me to prepare me for that ministry, but He did, and I’m thankful. We have been together in full-time ministry for going on eleven years now, and we are the happiest we’ve ever been. I have said that we have the best of three worlds:
We’re doing what we’re trained to do, We’re doing what we like to do, And we’re doing what God wants us to do.
You can’t beat that combination! And I do feel blessed that this is a ministry we can do together. Not all are that fortunate. Frankie and I have a 24/7 marriage, and God has blessed us with the ability to handle that quite well, we feel.
Foremost, through all of this, however, is my deep desire to serve the Lord and lead others to either accept Him as Lord and Savior of their lives, or develop a closer walk with Him. It is important to me that those I work with give their very best to the Lord, so I will work with them accordingly. I will encourage them in every way I can to ensure their walk is with Him, and that He gets the glory.