Over the past year, the music in me has been led on a fun and Spirit-filled journey – a journey that has only just begun. From a place of spiritual hurt and anger, the gentle hand of the Almighty has moved me into the world and opened the doors of ministry!
Early in 2011, I met Nashville recording artist Linda Lanier while doing a live worship concert on-air at KGRV radio. I later contacted Linda and asked what it would take to get her to come out to headline a gospel festival I had begun to plan with the city of Oakland, Oregon. Over the next few months, Linda became my mentor and friend. She had me accompany her at some of her patriotic concerts and music ministry events and in December, I co-produced a single for her called “Where Are You Now”. This was a great experience! I played piano and my wife sang backups as we recorded in SuperDigital Sound’s studio in Portland, Oregon. It is such an honor to be part of Linda’s ministry – I’ve enjoyed every minute of that and have gotten to play for some great audiences, including a naval base in Washington.
In July, the City of Oakland held the first ever Oakland Gospel Music Festival. It was a success and was a whole bunch of fun! There was an incredible amount of work that went into it, but we pulled it off. Upon the completion of the festival, I found that I had acquired all of the equipment necessary to put on large, indoor and outdoor shows of my own. My brother mentioned that I should rent out the
equipment to other bands and this triggered an idea in my head to provide technical services to the Christian community in Oregon and surrounding areas. As my mind ran with the possibilities, I realized that this idea was “sound” and that it could be expanded upon. Hence, the formation and creation of J. A. Mantle Ministries , an organization that will connect the Christian community with the talent and technical expertise needed to pull off successful events – ministry and otherwise.
This is a new venture, but I can see that it is going to take off. What would be those signs, you may ask? Within a few days of creating this organization, I connected my first need with a service – Grace Chapel at the Sea is a wonderful little church in Seaside, Oregon. They will be hosting gospel singer Emil Evi on September 15th! And my band, Jethro Abe Mantle & The Rising, will be playing and ministering in January! How cool is that? If you are anywhere near Oregon, check out this little church and catch Emil’s concert.
Part of my vision for J A Mantle Ministries involves providing teaching and ministering conferences to those in the creative world. In my first endeavor in this capacity, I am acting as an event coordinator for Incubator Creative Group’s Music Ministry Explosion conference to be held in Roseburg, Oregon on October 19 and 20, 2012. If you are involved in music ministry, or if you WANT to be, but aren’t sure what steps you need to take, I would encourage you to attend this conference. Registration is done online, by following this link: www.IncubatorOnline.com/OR
Yes, the past year has been incredible. And today I received news that we may be playing a gospel concert for a large sporting event during a special Faith Night event. I couldn’t dream this stuff up as my tendency is to limit a limitless God. It’s His business and I pray that I can remain a humble servant right up to the point where He welcomes me home.
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I have been told that we should have a CD ready for our sporting event concert. We are fund-raising to do this. If you want to support the dreams of a cool man of God and his gospel band, go to my website and click the Donate button. God bless you!