Nominees For the Duncan Africa Guitar Give-A-Way (Part 4)

Featuring Ryan Dahl Posted on January 12, 2014

Continuing our special blog series that follows on the heals of our Grand Prize Duncan Africa guitar give-a-way, read the stories below to see the hundreds of faithful worship leaders and musicians who were nominated all around the world to win.  What made this prize so beautiful was that most people were not trying to win the guitar for themselves.  They were trying to win it for someone else.  Part of the process meant that they could write a few words about the person they were nominating.  Unfortunately, only one person could win.  However, we had more than 250 people give us permission to post their nominations as a way of honoring others. Truly, this is the spirit of honor, appreciation, and gratitude that makes up the greatest prize of this whole give-a-way.

Brandt is our son who always gives a 100% to what he is doing, whether it be helping someone with a guitar lesson, encouraging his three children, providing for his wife, or his home. He leads worship at McLane Church in Edinboro, PA. He has been there for several years now and built a great worship team, several teams and is patient and talented to bring out the best talent in all. I never dreamed our son would be a worship leader but God surprises us and puts talents in all of us. Brandt is a servant leader who does not care about the glory but gives God the glory. He seems to have the golden touch to whatever he does and gives the glory to all involved. He would love to have a new guitar, he used mine (his mom) - for quite awhile and I know he would love a new one especially a specially made guitar. Please consider Brandt, he loves the Lord and would put the guitar to good use. Thank you. His Mom, Donna ~ Donna Fuller, for Brandt Fuller

Blair is a phenomenally gifted guitar player and fully committed to Christ. He is on the worship team at his church, and has also been on the worship team at my church. He is currently using a guitar that I gave him. I believe his worship leading ministry would be enhanced by a new guitar. ~ Alan Dorfmeyer, for Blair Richards

Kyle is not only an outstanding guitar player but a true creative artist as well. His acoustic work is legendary in this area and this guitar would be a dream for his budding performing career. His debut album should be out by the end of January and he hopes to tour with it this spring and make some connections that will enable him to be active in a much stronger music scene than we have here in Lima, Ohio. ~ Doug Anthony, for Kyle Anthony

Andrew is our contemporary worship pastor. He does a great job of living in the Spirit and encouraging others to do the same. This would be an inspiring gift to encourage him to continue to write and sing out these Praises and leadership he offers Central Church congregation. ~ Martin Scruggs, for Andrew Hendrix

Victoria is my 17 year old daughter. She played cello for many years, but as she got older, she wanted to participate in the worship band for her youth group. There is not much call for cello in a youth worship band, so she starting learning guitar. She now plays guitar for both the youth worship band, as well as the full church worship band. She will graduate Community Montessori school this year, 1 year ahead of schedule, and she will have 1 year of college completed as well. She is in the pre-med program, and wants to be an ER physician. I am very proud of how quickly she learned guitar, and think this awesome Duncan Africa Guitar would be a wonderful way to reward her hard work. ~ Daryl Stout, for Victoria Stout

Chris Fowler is the worship leader at our church, The Springs, in Ringgold, GA. Chris has a true heart for worship, and a gift for playing guitar and composing. He has talent, but even more important, he has a worshipful spirit. He is not doing a show, but rather helping to lead a group of people closer to God in worship. ~ Eva Grammer, for Chris Fowler

Steven is an original member of our worship team and plays lead guitar (although at the moment he is our only guitarist). I have watched this young man grow in so many ways since we first started over five years ago. He was a newlywed then and now a father of two. His musicianship has matured (we still would like to hear him sing more often...good voice too). He has become a quiet, driving force that helps keep us focused on those days when things just aren't coming together. He is also our technical guru. He developed the church's website and has helped us get into the digital age. I have seen him sacrifice many things to be a part of our worship team, time being one of those. Being a small church, we are all called to be extreme multi-taskers. As part of our team, he has helped build our sound booth, wire the church for internet reception, and run the video for our family movie night. And this is just for the worship team; he does many other things for the church as a whole. In all of this, he has been growing in his faith, being a wonderful husband to his wife and a loving father to his two young sons. I would love to honor him with something not expected since he gives so much for others. ~ Emilie Simpson, for Steven Hertel

15 years ago, Scott and his wife, began attending our church and soon became active in the music ministry. Scott, played the guitar, worship led, played the trumpet and sang in the choir. After many years in lay ministry, Scott was encouraged to go to school to become a pastor in a special program that would allow him to go to seminary part time while continuing work full time supporting his family of 6. Scott listened to and accepted the call by the Holy Spirit to become a Pastor, and in July of 2012, Scott was ordained as a church planter to plant a Lutheran Church in Minooka, IL. None of this seemed quite possible, however, when tragedy struck, in November of 2011, when Scott suffered a dissected aorta. Scott was not expected to recover…his wife and children were told to say their final goodbyes... it was only because of The Hand of God, that today Scott continues to press on towards the plans that God has laid before him.

What a gift this guitar would be for Scott as he starts a new mission plant in Minooka. Currently he and his wife are the only musicians there, and what a blessing it would be for him to play this beautiful guitar. The hands of God helped create the guitar, resulting in people being helped, resulting in the recipient of the guitar also being helped in a very special way, resulting in the people that Scott ministers to being helped. Can one guitar make a difference? Yes, Yes, and Yes! I think I have used up most of my 500 words, but I invite you to read a very special essay written about Scott in Feb 2012 by one of our pastors, Pastor Chris James. On Monday, November 28, 2011, at 3:30pm, Scott Lohman suffered an aortic dissection. And into the middle of this horrific tragedy, the Hand of God reached down to intervene. Scott should have been alone in the garage by himself that afternoon, but Gina’s harmless car accident called him to I-55 †that was the Hand of God. When he arrived at the scene, an ambulance had already been called and was waiting to take him to the hospital when he passed out †the Hand of God. The closest hospital was St. Joseph’s in Joliet; which is nationally recognized for both their stroke and heart care †the Hand of God. As Scott lay in the ER, where the plan was to wait until morning to follow up on any tests, Gina’s cousin Andy, a doctor at the very same hospital, who wasn’t supposed to even be working, came and said, had a stroke; he needs help the Hand of God. Surrounded by a dozen nurses and doctors, and results from dozens of tests, an ICU nurse named Nikita, noticed the one crucial detail that everyone else had missed: he had two different pulses in his wrists, this was a heart problem †the Hand of God. The heart surgeon told us that Scott suffered an aortic dissection on the side of the highway at 3:30 on Monday, and that the dissection caused a stroke. The dissection travelled down both arms, up to his brain, and down both legs. He most likely would not survive the surgery.

Five and a half hours later he emerged; he lived at the Hand of God. The surgeon warned that he could only repair the valve to his heart; and yet during the surgery he was able to repair his ascending aorta to restore blood back to his brain †the Hand of God. The surgeon warned that the vascular damage to his left arm was irreversible, and that he would lose it. And yet, the next day, Scott had a pulse in his left wrist †the Hand of God. They never said Scott would wake up from his coma, and if he did, whether he would recognize anyone or ever move again. He did, he does, and oh how he moves! Scott’s kidneys were wrecked, and he required daily dialysis; his only hope was a kidney transplant. And then, they were healed †the Hand of God. Scott could not breathe without the ventilator and no one knew if he would ever breathe on his own again; but now the vent is gone and he’s back to his old chatty self! Gina said goodbye to her husband that dark November night, and by the Hand of God she and the kids have received him back home, where they’re all looking forward to a new chapter. ~ Ellen prohl, for Scott Lohman

This young lady Bethany has a sweet spirit of service for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She serves on a worship team singing and playing guitar and is active in RUF (Reformed University Fellowship). She is in her last year of college and would certainly appreciate a high end guitar. Thanks for allowing me to nominate her! ~ Ernest Fisher, for Bethany Lanciault

Ronald is our church music director. He's only 21 but has taken on the responsibility of the worship/music ministry our church. He is a faithful follower and servant of Jesus. He recently expressed to me the desire to purchase an acoustic guitar. Winning this prize would be a special blessing for him. ~ KEITH JAINGA, for RONALD ORALLO

i have known Jerry for about 15 years. In the beginning he was just learning how to be a worship planner/leader and all done out of a heart to love Jesus and teach others to do the same. Those on our worship team have changed over the years but Jerry has remained steadfast, progressing upward and onward in his calling by God to lead others to worship. His car got stolen and his guitar with it. That happened a few years ago and he does have another guitar now. God has blessed his heart, and his motivation just never changes - to love God, to honor Jesus as King and Lord, to help others do the same through worship. We are in a new church plant now - just a year old. Jerry transitioned into this position not knowing if the small stipend he had been receiving would continue. Money was not ever in the equation. I don't know if he is receiving any monies for planning and leading our worship (band as well as vocals, powerpoint, sound, lights, etc for a church that sets up and tears down for each service each week). Honestly, I don't think it matters to him - but a new guitar? Now that would just bless the socks off this humble servant!!! I highly nominate him for this honor. BLESSINGS!! ~ Sue Sargis, for Jerry Abdul

I am nominating Will Stice, our worship pastor. I think Pastor Will should win the Duncan Africa acoustic guitar because of the impact he has on so many people. Anyone who attends one of the four weekend services at Church of the Savior will likely see Pastor Will on stage leading worship. What most people do not see is the ministry he has to those of us blessed to be part of the worship ministry. Pastor Will is very dedicated to shepherding the flock of singers, musicians, and tech folks that serve with him. He encourages us in every way possible both in our musical pursuits and our daily walk with the Lord. He starts worship team practices by checking to see how everyone is doing. We are encouraged to share prayer needs and to pray for one another. He is always so positive and encouraging during rehearsals while leading us all toward excellence in music and worship. When something needs to be changed or corrected, he is very gentle in helping us get it right. There is always a lot of laughing at our rehearsals, and it is easily the highlight of the week. Here is one example of how Pastor Will impacts the lives of those who serve with him: I joined the worship ministry about 1-1/2 years ago having never played piano with a band. Pastor Will met with me every week for about 6 weeks so I could practice playing with him on guitar. Even after I was playing on one of the six teams in our rotation, Will continued to practice with me weekly for 4 to 5 months so I could gain confidence in my playing and learn more songs. He was always very patient to answer my questions and go back over parts that were hard for me. During our practice times we also talked about the music and how the songs fit together in the set. Pastor Will is truly a worship PASTOR. He is also an AMAZING guitar player, and I think he would truly enjoy playing this beautiful instrument. ~ Susie Stombaugh, for Will Stice


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