Our first appearance together as Great Adventure Gospel Band; this was for a Christmas Eve service for our home church, St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in 2007.

Mom discovered some old tapes (remember those things?) of our first “practices” in 2006 and 2007.

Oh boy.

We thought we were something else. We thought we’d eventually get a bus and appear on the Gaither videos. We thought it was easy to sing in four-part harmony.

My question is, Who did we think we were?

Some of us didn’t know how to carry a tune well, at all. “Someone” who thought he was a great bass could barely squeak out a “low” note. Our pronounciation was weak. We didn’t know much about blending or warming up, but still we dreamed of singing together as a family.

God implanted a desire in our hearts to sing-to make a joyful “noise”-and sing we did. Every Sunday we’d gather around the piano and sing Gospel classics and hymns. The three songs we went over and over again were “Just a Little Talk with Jesus”, “Oh My Lord, What a Time”, and “Without Him”. As much as we cringe while listening to those practices, we know each time we sang together helped bring us to where we are now. In going through the tapes, we hear subtle improvements: the blend improves, the voices mature, the pitches “jive” (as Ben would say).

Leesha’s voice shows the greatest growth. Her once-little girl voice has grown into a strong, beautiful lead which carries many of our songs. Ben’s bass has deepened and matured. I have learned to let my own vocal style flow naturally, instead of trying to imitate everyone else’s licks, my “ear” has been opened, and I have become more confident about singing. Of course, Dad and Mom have always been good, but they, too, have grown.

Then there are the Lil’ Adventurers. Caleb could carry a tune when he was just two years old, as could Jayme and Sam at 3 and 6. But, wow, have they matured as singers and entertainers! They all can sing harmony and they continue to polish their voices and performance. Right now, Ben is listening to them sing “My Heart is a Chapel” on tape, and though they were good then, they are even better now.

It is also interesting hearing us go from only piano to the band as it is today. Abilities have also grown in that area.

There are times we get discouraged at our imperfect abilities and off-notes. But looking back, and considering that most of us have only been really singing for less than four years, God has brought so far. Our family has demonstrated much growth and we continue to hone our talents and skills. Praise be to God!

We may never travel with the Gaithers or be “something else.” We are who were are, and we love traveling to where God has called us. It is a joy to share this great message and music, and we enjoy ministering together as a family and utilizing what the Lord has blessed us with.

Yes, we will continue to grow and change, and that is a good thing. The great adventure continues!

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!
Taylor for the Garms