‘Jazz’ in church


Pam Dudding-Burch
Contributing writer

Photo by Pam Dudding Burch
David played his trumpet from what seemed like the depths of his heart as he ministered by telling his stories of life and playing several of his songs.

There was no lack to the talent of David West, also known as Dave Bond, as he melodically played his instruments to tunes many knew well. There was something different though that many afterwards agreed to…his music didn’t come from his trumpet or his flugelhorn, but rather his heart.

On Sunday, July 2, David West (Dave Bond) performed at Grace Assembly of God. “David is very renowned and respected all over the United States and in many countries.” Senior Pastor Loraine Taylor shared. “He has an incredible ministry, so with great respect and great honor we welcome him.”

West was raised in church as his dad was a pastor. “I loved going to church though!” he shared. “I was there when the doors were open.” He added, “That’s why sometimes when I have been on the road a lot and need refreshing, it is welcoming to come to a church like this, and get revived.”

Bond started playing the trumpet at a young age of nine, however, the love for music – which was instilled into him by his family – was what created the true artist in him. “​I was raised in a family of seven brothers and sisters and we all played music when we were young,” Bond shared. “That’s all I’ve known and it had a huge positive influence on my life.”​

​ Also, his love for jazz continued to grow, and proved to be a mighty gift. David has often been compared to Kenny-G. His talent set him up as a “Nominee” for the 51st Grammy Awards “Best Pop Instrumental Album”.

Taylor shared the story in the Bible of when Saul, a king, was disturbed by an evil spirit, David was called upon to play the harp for him and it eased his soul. “The anointing of the Lord came and drove out that spirit,” she said. “Sometimes through a song and music, your heart came be made alive again.” She added that if anyone was having a down day, that she hoped they would receive a spiritual rest through David’s music.

West added that there were times when he also would go for a week or two and travel would “suck the life out of him”. He shared Bible scriptures that were meaningful to him. “In Psalm 150 it says, ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” and in Psalm 22: 3, it says that ‘God inhabits the praises of his people’ so I believe that praise and worship prepares the heart to receive a message,” he said.

West reminded the congregation of a story in the Bible that makes him truly believe that, “there is power in praise and worship”. He told of Paul and Silas who was beaten and imprisoned, who started singing in prison as they were chained. “The prison doors were miraculously opened and they were able to go free,” he said.

He followed with a beautiful rendition of “Offering”, with words, ‘There is no shadow in your presence.” The atmosphere was immediately filled with the most beautiful horn music that was soft, perfectly on pitch but more than that, many shared…”penetrating to our hearts and souls!”

Another song that West played which meant much to him was “It is well with my Soul”. He told of a man who had a beautiful wife, children, was a powerful lawyer and had much real estate. However, within two years, he lost his newborn son, the majority of his real estate in the Chicago fire in the 40s and his only daughters in a shipwreck.

“This song came out of him from all his tragedy,” West shared before adding that parenting was difficult for him at times. He told the story of his wife’s challenges in trying to have and carry a child, and it taking them six years to have a daughter. When they took their daughter to college to help set up her room, he said he contemplated not having her walk them back to the van when they left, but she did.

As he continued his story with a broken voice, he admitted that when she said her good-byes at the van, he lost it. Then he added, she would turn around as she was walking back to her dorm, with tears in her eyes and wave her goodbyes again and again. “The odd thing about it was the university was only 45 minutes away,” he said as the congregation laughed with him.

He also shared of his son who has had a breathing disorder for years. He and his wife kept praying until they felt like they just couldn’t pray any longer. “When we went in the church, people started telling us they were praying for us,” West shared. “They were taking up the slack!”

He played to the song, I lift my Hands by Chris Tomlin. “I feel when you don’t know what to do, that we are to lift our hands to God and praise Him.” Again, it seemed the atmosphere melted with a soft release of calmness.

West concluded by telling everyone that “God has given each and every one of us life, a purpose and a special talent.” He shared that he often gets asked, ‘Why do you do these jazz assemblies and these talks at the schools?”

Someone tried to challenge what he did, by saying he needed to add something to his artist work. So, he started comparing himself to others with similar talents, and started veering off from his ‘calling’ God had placed on his life. “God has given us all the proper equipment to do what He has called us to do.” he said. “Don’t let anyone steer you off course!”

“David averages talking to 6000 students per month on the subject of bullying and sharing his music,” Taylor shared. ​ “Kids that bully have low self esteem, so one of the things I do while I’m there is to build the kids self esteem!” West said. “I also tell them how to fight against bullying and then of course I tell them my story. “

Taylor concluded by saying, “Out of all the greatest accolades he could get, perhaps the greatest and the most lasting one, is that he is a man of God, seeking to fulfill the purpose of God in his life.”

Many bought his CD’s, and it was easy to see he was humble in receiving compliments. “I thank you for allowing me to be here and share my gift,” he shared. “I love what God has given me to do.” For more information, you may go to Bond’s website at http://www.davebond.org

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