I am Pastor of Welton Baptist Church, Midsomer Norton (www.weltonchurch.org.uk) and want to introduce you to one of our worship musicians, Sam Evans. Sam is a 6th form student who plays keyboard and sings as part of one the worship bands at our fairly large church, based close to Bath.
Sam plays in an improvised style as he has benefited from a number of years informal
tuition from a superb jazz musician. This has developed a feeling in the way in which he plays and enables him to understand the sensitivities of the different styles and spiritual content of the worship music we enjoy at our church Sunday by Sunday, and as such has become an important part of our worship team. As well as this Sam also records keyboard worship pieces for our local
community radio station, Somer Valley FM, as part of their weekly religious program output Faithtime.
BUT...there is another, some might say darker, side to Sam! Not only does Sam engage in the rather dangerous activity/sport of Parkour (Freerunning) but he is also becoming a critically acclaimed musician and performer in his own right on the small venue circuit having played more than 50 gigs during 2012 in places from St. Austell to Sheffield, Bath to Birmingham as well as playing a
number of times in Romania including premier music venue The Mojo Club in Bucharest. Sam's recent gigs have taken him to Mama Stones, Exeter; Nambucca, Islington; The Fleece, Bristol and The Troubadour, Earls Court.
This video features both Sam's music and some of his Parkour stunts: just don't try these around your church building!
In November 2012 he recorded a single Tomorrow isnt Promised together with his band to raise money for Birmingham Childrens Hospital (see www.vibedeck.com/samevans for the full story behind this).
(As an aside, one of the other lads in the band (Andy Slade - who plays Sax and Cajon) is also involved in the church worship band at the Methodist church in Midsomer Norton!)
I thought your readers might like to hear about an active young person, engaged in church life and worship but who is doing his thing as he sets out to try and develop a career as a musician in the commercial sphere. Sams story (so far) might be seen as an antidote to those who see people involved in church activities as rather 2-dimensional (dare I say boring) personalities. Not only that but hopefully it will be an encouragement to your listeners that within the church today there are large numbers of young people who are actively engaged and using their incredible talents both in the church and outside of it!
Pastor Mike Howell, Welton Baptist Church