Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Rev. John Farmer’s ‘Reflections’ column

by John Howard Farmer

Heart Music: From the Book, From the Soul

Albaster Grace, 2020

Today I want to wade into the waters of God’s and our futures. Thanks for allowing me the privilege. A few years ago, God sent the Irvington Baptist Church a blessing in the form of two talented folks: the pretty one a former Yorktown school librarian, the chap a NASA retiree.

Proud to introduce Joanie & Brad Perry. They settled in amongst us and reached out in ministry to a number of local congregations. She has taken a position as school librarian, media specialist at Lancaster High School.

Early on, we at Irvington came to the recognition that the Perrys’ musical ministry was indeed called of God to higher challenges. Requests poured in from churches here and yon for them to share their talents.

Thus, we licensed them to the Gospel Ministry since it was quite evident that God had called them here for a larger ministry than just to the congregation at Irvington. Brad is now a deacon at the Irvington Baptist Church. Together, they have put us on the web at, expanding our ministry through weekly worship services and simulcasting live in our parking lot from 88.7 FM since the government has made it so complicated to worship in all our sanctuaries.

They have performed their unique style of Biblical inspiration for the Methodist Churches at Irvington, Kilmarnock and Bluff Point, Morattico Baptist Church and several churches here and in the Tidewater and Newport News communities.  Alabaster Grace has also often graced the Front Porch Coffeehouse, Kilmarnock with very intimate times of song, scripture and fellowship.

It occurs to me that God is giving us an opportunity to help launch a ministry larger than any one congregation, by an expansion of something new and something great in gospel presentations

As licensed ministers, the purpose of Alabaster Grace’s music is to bring the listener closer to the heart of God. Check this out as you consider how God is asking you to present this ministry project:

The Perrys (Alabaster Grace) present mostly songs deeply rooted in God’s holy word. Join me, please, in supporting their music ministry by going to If you are computer challenged like me, one might also bless them by sending a check directly to: Alabaster Grace, P O Box 120, Irvington, VA  22480. They have already acquired donations equal to 40% of the required budget for these oncoming first years of national exposure. I am fervently praying for all my faithful readers to open your hearts and wallets to do something great for the Kingdom of God.

100% of your donation will go directly into the Alabaster Grace music ministry to help them record and release new original scripture-based songs, and to make these songs available to as many people as possible. Christ did remind us that if he be lifted up, he will draw all manner of persons to him, (John 12:32) so let’s lift Alabaster Grace so that their God-given talents and dedication from the word of God might burst forth in amazing ways.

Recently the Perrys (Alabaster Grace) have gained the support of Chris Bevins, Franklin, Tenn., who is recognized as a Dove award-winning producer working with Mark Shultz, Laura Story, Phillips, Craig and Dean and other contemporary Christian artists. In addition, Mike Smith, 40 years in the Christian music business, Music City, Tenn., has managerial oversight of such artists as Restless Hearts, Jaci Velasquez and Chonda Price.

With such stellar representation, Alabaster Grace will move onto yet a bigger audience than just the Northern Neck and Eastern Virginia. You and I can catapult them into hearts and souls across the USA, perhaps even beyond!

Alabaster Grace is soon to release a new CD containing one of my favorite new songs: Heal our Land. Certainly there has seldom been such a time as when America needed such a healing.

“The recent Alabaster Grace gathering, highlighting wonderful portions of new inspirational songs and the latest insights on ministry’s accomplishments, also made two things very clear. First, Joanie & Brad are actively traveling a path to fully utilize their God-given talents for his purposes and to his glory. And second, their encounters with you and me along that pathway are our opportunities to help them succeed—by our prayers, donations, and introductions to others who might facilitate their way.”—Julien Patterson

This is a wonderful opportunity to get to lend our strength to one of God’s finest emerging ministries. Please help. Thank you.

Rappahannock Record Staff
Rappahannock Record Staff
From the Rappahannock Record news team

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