New Album A “Lifetime” Project for Tommee Profitt

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

The Birth of a King CD coverThe Birth of a King, produced by Tommee Profitt It all started 15 years ago during Tommee Profitt's student days at Grace Bible College.

"I arranged a Christmas song – I think it was for a class assignment – and I just loved what came out of it," said the songwriter/producer. "I think we did that song in chapel at Grace every year."

Now a further refinement of that song (a version of "Joy To The World") is part of his new 17-song Christmas album with guest vocals from artists all over the musical map.

The new project ("The Birth of A King") is as wide and diverse as Profitt's own career. He did all the musical arrangements and instrumentation.

"There are cinematic moments like (movie) trailer meets hip-hop," said Profitt from his Nashville area studio. "And there are other things that are just beautiful, timeless orchestral Christmas ballads."

He titles his newer "Joy" arrangement "Joy to the World 2 (He is Come)." It features vocals by Clark Beckham, the 2015 runner-up on "American Idol."

Grand Haven Church Tells “Scary” Bible Tales

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Trinity Gwen DiermanChurch volunteer Gwen Bierman leads children in a story while pumpkin carving during “Tales From the Script(ure)”Can you imagine a spirit world encounter in which you communicate with the dead? Or watching aghast as a finger of a disembodied hand writes on a wall? And..... are you ready for a zombie experience?

All of these stories are found in the Bible and are told in a family-friendly October series at Trinity Reformed Church in Grand Haven.

You might call them "Tales From The Script(ure)."

The modest-sized church is in the midst of an ambitious outdoor, drive-in program stretching over every Saturday night of the month. Each evening features one of the "weirdest, oddest" and sometimes "scariest" of Biblical stories.

Mel Trotter Movie Includes Host of Memories for Local Actor. Film Premieres on World Homeless Day

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Cutline No. 1-101Julian Newman: “I’m kind of a real time mentor that helps shape our main character to get him on the right track.” The movie Mel Trotter Ministries has released this month, "One Life at a Time" stars Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. The film also features local actors, including Julian Newman, 47, who lives with his family in Eastown.

The movie premieres on Oct. 10 — which is World Homeless Day —at Celebration Cinema's Studio Park. Digital copies are also available at
with any donation amount. An emailed copy with the viewing link will be sent in support of Mel Trotter Ministries.

The motion picture was produced by JCFilms and was filmed entirely in Grand Rapids over the summer.

Terry’s Picks for October 2020

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

EVENTSWest Michigan Christian News writer Terry DeBoer surveys the landscape for the area's faith-inspired arts/entertainment/enrichment events over the coming month.

As you likely anticipated, several events which I might have listed in this month's column were cancelled. Among them was the Cory Asbury evening of worship Oct. 29 at Cornerstone University.

Just think of all the events which would have been planned and staged this month, if only there hadn't been all of this uncertainty amidst COVID-19 restrictions. National concert tours just aren't up and running yet.

Area Ministers Offer Pastoral Advise Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Cutline No. 150Dr. Timothy Mark Harris: “It’s always been about the people and I think the pandemic has brought that in focus.”The COVID-19 pandemic has derailed life as we know it. Since the outbreak was first confirmed in Michigan six months ago, many have experienced a spiritual and emotional plunge. Juxtaposed between this virus is God's Word that's enabling congregations to face the coronavirus' headwinds, say area pastors.

West Michigan Christian News sought biblical insights from ministers of various denominations. While they freely acknowledge many questions remain unanswered, the pastors understand the times we live in and know what to do. Here is their timely counsel.

“Magnify” Brings A New Collaboration Effort

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Wakeman ForrestForrest WakemanA song inspired by a church name change has further inspired a new West Michigan-based worship music collective.

It started with "Magnify," a worship song written by church music director Forrest Wakeman. The title was prompted by the new name chosen for his Blythefield Hills Baptist Church in Rockford. The composer negotiated the COVID-19 minefield in writing and recording the song while distanced from his fellow artists.

"When I wrote it we were in the middle of a lockdown and I couldn't get people into the studio together to record," recalled Wakeman, who is also on the Calvin University music faculty.

"So we all pulled together in a 'virtual' way – it was done in different home studios and by sharing audio files through the Internet."

WMCN News Briefs 9/21

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

nbDegage Ministries launches $1.3 million public fundraising campaign to expand services

Faith-based homeless support agency Degage Ministries recently launched a capital campaign on the grounds of their expanded property at the northwest corner of Sheldon Avenue and Cherry Street in downtown Grand Rapids.

Its goal is to receive $1.3 million in donations from the public as part of an overall $6.7m campaign to expand its facilities and increase its capabilities to serve more meals, provide more wellness activities and add more beds to its women and children shelter program.

“Mr. Hymn Sing” Remembered As A Faithful Encourager

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Lehmann Maury hi rezMaury Lehman, a long time Christian music executive and for decades a song leader at numerous hymn sings throughout West Michigan, was memorialized in an evening service of remembrance Sept. 11 at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids. He died June 30 at age 96.

"We can remember together, we can smile together and we can sing together. And we're going to sing together a lot tonight," said Bruce Huseby, Calvary Church pastor of senior adults who officiated at the service.

Music of the faith was a lifelong pursuit of Lehmann, who for many years served as an executive and producer with Grand Rapids-based Zondervan Corp. In the company's musical heyday of the 1960s and 70s, it had a strong musical presence. Its music publishing arm was called Singspiration, and on the recording side was the Diadem record label. Diadem later became Milk & Honey, which produced the national debuts of several contemporary Christian music heritage artists such as Michael Card and Twila Paris.

The Declining Influence of Christianity On American Culture

Written by Dr. Rex M. Rogers on . Posted in Local

rexsat7Dr. Rex M. RogersThe United States of America has been called a Christian nation.

While the accuracy of that designation has been frequently debated, there is no question the founding and history of the USA was influenced by biblical Christianity like no other nation on earth.

A Nation With the Soul of a Church

The USA was founded upon principles of liberty, many of them drawn from an understanding of Scripture. In time, the core values of the Founders: self-evident truths that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and then property and free enterprise, equality before the law, justice, moral responsibility, no established religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof, freedom of the press and peaceable assembly became the American creed.

Profile: Brian Elve

Written by Editor in Chief on . Posted in Local

Brian Elve 1Serving as director of Guiding Light's Recovery program, Brian Elve has helped develop and hone an effective long-term program that helps men struggling with addiction learn a different way of life – and a new way of being in relationship with the world.

As an intensive drug and alcohol treatment program, Guiding Light Recovery is designed to give men structure and opportunity to engage in positive and transformative change. With an emphasis on spirituality, staff works with each individual to begin or renew men's journeys to lifelong abstinence and develop caring relationships with people who have traveled a similar path along the way.

Elve is one of those people. Like many of Guiding Light's team, he knows the differences between an effective program and the revolving-door nature of others because he's actually been there himself.

The Unique American Experience and Christianity

Written by Dr. Rex M. Rogers on . Posted in Local

rexsat7Dr. Rex M. RogersAmerica has been called a Christian nation, though this description has been hotly debated.

America has been called “the first new nation ” by eminent sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset.

America has been called “The Great Experiment ” by no less than George Washington.

America has been said to be great because it is good, and that it would cease to be great if it ceased to be good .

This observation has been variously attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville and others, but whoever said it the phrase captures America’s sense of itself as the land of opportunity, the land of the free and the home of the brave, ideas rooted in the Judeo-Christian moral consensus that gave meaning and destiny to the American people their first two hundred years.

Terry’s Picks for September 2020

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

EVENTS2Wow. In this year of COVID-19, it's been months since I've been able to give any kind of a preview of upcoming events that are reasonably certain to happen. There have been concerts and other events from last spring that were rescheduled, but subsequently had to be either "re-postponed" or canceled outright.

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