Here is an article written by another wonderful friend of mine, Tom Delamater.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Gary Arthur: He Pointed The Way!
A Few of His Many Friends Remember Him
By Tom Delamater
Special to ASSIST News Service
SAN CLEMENTE, CA (ANS) -- When I heard that my friend Gary Arthur had unexpectedly passed on New Year's Day, I was deeply saddened. Like so many others, I was first influenced by his music, but was later fortunate enough to know the man behind that music.
Picture taken from clip of Gary Arthur's
Eventually Gary also joined the very influential band Parable. After these “band years”, Gary faithfully served as a worship leader at various Calvary-Chapel-affiliated congregations, his longest tenure being at Maranatha Chapel in San Diego, CA. He was a multi-talented songwriter, vocalist and versatile musician, playing bass, acoustic guitar, piano, and percussion.
Proverbs 27:17 teaches, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend”. Gary modeled what it was to be a friend of Christ, and a trusted friend to his brothers and sisters in the Lord. You could always count on Gary for prayer, encouragement, and laughter. Praise and worship was his calling. And, as Scripture reminds us, “God inhabits the praises of his people”. My wife, Pita, in discussing my research for this article, put it very succinctly: “There are very few who would scale the fence for the Lord Jesus, as well as on behalf of others, like Gary Arthur”. Amen.
Here, then, are some remembrances from a few of the many who knew and loved this extraordinary musical servant of Christ:
The Way in Concert
(Darrel, among his many credits, has recorded and toured with the Praise Series Band. Check the credits of any early Maranatha! Music album, as Darrel is probably listed. He continues his longtime work with the Johnny Rivers Band.)
Fools Wisdom cover
by Malcolm & Alwyn
(Malcolm Wild, along with musical partner Alwyn Wall, was busy helping to invent the Christian Music genre in the UK while the Jesus Movement was starting in the U.S. After several albums, countless concerts, and mentoring church musicians, he transitioned to Calvary Chapel Merritt Island, FL where he still serves as Senior Pastor.)
“I have known Gary for well over 30 years now, going back to his days with The Way and later with Parable. But more recently, Gary was doing sound for us here at Harvest Orange County. He also led worship and frankly, whatever needed to be done, he did it. He went to the Fred Jordan Mission, which is run by my aunt, Willie Jordan, and helped homeless people. He was a group leader for our men’s Bible study. The list goes on. One word comes to mind when I think of Gary Arthur: It is faithful! I am certain he has already heard the Lord say to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord!’ Gary will be deeply missed by all of us here at Harvest Orange County. He was and is loved by many, including myself”.
(Greg Laurie is the Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, CA which also encompasses the Harvest Orange County campus in Irvine, CA. Harvest OC was Gary's home church at the time of his passing.)
The Way: Left to Right: Dana Angle, Bruce Herring, Alex MacDougall, John Wickham and Gary Arthur
(Brilliant saxophonist and founding member of Seawind, Kim is now Music Director at The Packinghouse in Redlands, CA.)
“Gary and I did audio together many times, and he always did what he said he would do. I found him to be one of the few people who was consistent to his calling”.
(Friend, audio engineer, co-owner of Maranatha Village in Santa Ana, CA. Maranatha Village, which occupied Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa’s original meeting space, was one of the largest and best-stocked Christian bookstores in the Country for many years running. As a musician, if your album was there, you were “legit”.)
Steve “Bugs” Giglio:
“1971 found Debby Kerner [Rettino], The Way, and myself, all piling into a van, as we toured the United States. We slept on a mattress that was laid across the top of our gear, sound system, you name it! Those were great days. I miss them ... and I will miss him”.
(Bugs served as road manager for Andraé Crouch, Donna Summer, Promise Keepers, etc. He's had a long-time association with Maranatha! Music and has known and worked with most, if not all, of the musicians mentioned in this article. In other words, he’s been there and done that.)
Taken April 21, 1972 in El Paso, Texas, by Elmer W. James, a local photographer, this was The Way’s first tour and they had very crude equipment with no sound man, according to a
(Jon is the Director of Celebration Concerts and Spirit West Coast)
“Gary Arthur. What a strong name! And he was. I first met Gary in late '72 or early '73, prior to the recording of The Way’s first album. I had been asked to rehearse and play drums on the project. Not long afterwards, I joined the band for seven years, touring North America with Gary as a band member. Those Jesus Movement years of the early ‘70’s were vibrant years of evangelism in action. I know that when Gary entered Heaven's gates there were thousands who welcomed him because they had heard his message down here. Gary always thought in Kingdom ways, filtering things through the lens of the scriptures. He was a warm spirit, and I will miss him very much”.
(Alex, among many accomplishments too numerous to list, was a member of The Way and Daniel Amos, and has recorded and toured with many artists such as Larry Norman, Tom Howard, and was formerly a VP at Vineyard Music. He’s currently an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University as part of the Music Business Degree program.)
(Bob Bennett is a singer-songwriter, recording artist. He also contributed to this article.)
Pastor Ron Sukut, pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in San Clemente, California, said, “Gary was a good friend, and valued ministry partner. Each time we went to Haiti, following the earthquake, his worship ministry pretty much kept the team going. We would gather completely exhausted, after a long day of clearing rubble and rebuilding walls at an orphanage, and he would take us up to the heavenly place of worship and refreshment. In a place as utterly devastated as Haiti, Gary actually took a group of aspiring musicians with beat-up instruments and, in short order, turned them into a cohesive praise band. Only Gary could have pulled that off”.
(Ron is the pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in San Clemente, CA.)
Karen Lafferty today (Photo: Dan Wooding)
(Karen Lafferty is truly one of early pioneers of Contemporary Christian Music. In addition to decades of recording and touring, she pioneered Youth With A Mission’s vibrant Musicians for Missions program. Her simple chorus “Seek Ye First” may be as widespread and recognizable in modern church history as “Amazing Grace”.)
“Bruce Herring, Gary, and myself, along with John Wickham, and Alex MacDougall, toured for many years after having released several albums that were moderately popular among young Christians. I shared a room with Gary when we first formed the band, and we went to Bible studies together. Gary was devout, and always had a minute to share the Gospel with anybody that wanted to listen. His faith, and his wanting to be close to God, was evident in the lyrics of the songs he wrote, like ‘Jesus Is All That We Need’ and ‘Closer to God’ that were just two examples of his dedication to the Lord. Gary and I always kept in touch, and spent many days together in our preparation for The Way reunion in 2010. We praised the Lord together at Irvine Park, for hours at a time, at the Calvary Musicians Reunion. Up until he passed, he was ready, at the drop of a hat, to serve the Lord any way he could, whether it was as volunteer labor, or setting up, leading, or mixing Christian music performances. He is with the Lord, and I can't wait to visit with him again someday. His friendly voice and caring smile are greatly missed”.
(Dana Angle co-founded The Way and continues to write and record in Southern California. His characterization of The Way’s impact as “modest” is, in itself, quite modest. The Way was definitely a vital and utterly well-known part of the Jesus People era soundtrack.)
“For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”. (Ephesians 2:10)
To hear The Way singing, Can You Feel the Change, go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv4xAuCXkWs
Commenting on this track, Bettie Russo, wrote: “Rest In Peace my dear friend Gary Arthur. He played in this band on this LP and Praised God his whole life. I remember the early days of 1970 in the ‘Little Chapel’ and listening to The Way play at church every? Sat. Night. Now, I await the day I can be there with all of my friends and Jesus as that Big Band in the sky plays for us all. I love and miss you my friend. God Bless.”
(Tom Delamater is a former radio host, record company sales manager, concert promoter, and artist manager. He volunteered extensively for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and currently works at developing corporate commercial signage. He and his wife Pita live in Southern California.)
(Bob Bennett is a singer-songwriter with ten solo albums released since 1979. He’s still gratefully “at it”, concentrating on small-scale House Concerts and what he calls “House Call Concerts” for longtime fans who are facing serious illnesses and end-of-life situations. For more information:www.bobbennett.com.)
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