Granted, the five members of the Fishers of Men band love music. But they readily and initially present a refrain of tremendous transformation when they perform.
You can call it change you can believe in during their mic chatter in between tunes; alcoholism gone for the past three years, a terminal diagnosis now a thing of the past, a past jail term now overshadowed by spiritual freedom.
The bottom line: These guys are singing a new song compared to a few years ago, and they’re praising Jesus for it.
Doubters can see for themselves when the contemporary Christian group, also doing some southern gospel, is in concert Aug. 15 at Columbus General Baptist Church at Clifty and Ross streets in Columbus.
“God is definitely a healer,” said keyboard player Joe Worton.
In March 2019, his severe emphysema and COPD led a specialist to tell him to get his affairs in order because he was dying in a matter of a few months.
“I started watching faith-related videos, rededicated my life to God, and here I am,” Worton said. “I’m still here.”
He’s off oxygen, and singing strongly, Worton said. He offers no rational, medical explanation for those dramatic changes other than praising God in song and in his testimony for what he sees as restoration.
“The doctors are amazed,” he said, adding that he has published a book “My Healing Journey.”
Actually, band members as whole seem amazed at how God brought them together a year ago after several of them spent considerable time playing classic rock and country in area nightspots.
“We believe the path our lives were headed (beforehand) was destructive to say the least,” Worton said.
Lead guitarist and vocalist Danny Kennedy mentioned that their audience already has included nonbelievers, even as they perform covers of Christian pop acts such as Third Day, Jeremy Camp, and Crowder.
“We have been blessed to see a lot of people that wouldn’t normally darken the door of a church house come out and listen to our music, expecting it to be contemporary rock, which it is somewhat,” Kennedy said. “Then they start listening and hear the message in the lyrics and music, and God does the rest.”
They also croon originals, including cuts from two releases. Their latest single is “One More Day,” which Morton and Kennedy wrote in a matter of minutes on a front-porch meeting.
“God just kind of threw it into our lap,” Worton said.
They say God did the same for breaking a band member free from pornography, depression, you name it. Once again, they mention that refrain of transformation.
“It’s the best life ever my friend,” Kennedy said.
Other band members are Todd Borntreger, rhythm guitar and vocals, John Wilson, bass guitar, and Terry Wilde, percussion. Slowly, their name is spreading, as they play throughout Indiana and Kentucky. They recently performed at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair.
“And people already are booking us for next year,” Worton said.
Group members understand the hard reality of local music and ministry. They also understand the importance of humility.
“We’re not out to make money,” Worton said. “We’re out to serve God. But we put a lot into this because God has put a lot into us. That’s just how we feel about it.”