The 40th Anniversary Koinonia Family Reunion was held on Fri., Nov. 2, 2012 at Woodmont Hills Church on Franklin Rd. An enthusiastic audience enjoyed three hours of favorite Christian songs from the 1970s as well as video footage from old familiar face who were part of the early vision of Koinonia.
Some of the Christian artists on hand included: Dogwood, Fireworks, Homecoming, Tricia Walker, and comedy group The Glory Bugles. The Glory Bugles kicked the evening off with their world-wide hit "If Your Hair's Too Long (There's Sin in Your Heart)." Accompanying the song were images of people with mullets and other long-lock looks, including Donald Trump, Don King's "closer to God" cut, and some of the performers.
Moving on from that insanity, the velvet vocals of Tricia Walker graced the stage as she sang a few of her songs including the Messianic praise song (and one of my personal favorite songs) "Baruch Hashem Adonai" and the sweet "Heart of Dixie."
Tricia's set was followed by Fireworks, minus Marty McCall, who brought their vocal pyrotechnics to the stage with songs like "Don't Look Back," and "Cast the First Stone" with its interpretive dance moment.
Pastor Don Finto, who preached at the small Una church I attended in 6th grade as well as my many years at Belmont, spoke for a few moments about honoring those to whom honor is due in preparation to take an offering for two of Koinonia's early leaders, Jim Bevis and Bob Hughey, who are still actively serving in ministry in the 21st century.
After a brief intermission, someone let the Glory Bugles back on stage for an informative AA-style meeting about casseroles. I will never look at a casserole dish the same way again.
Then the three characters in Homecoming (Alan "Root" Robertson, Brown Bannister and Bob Farnsworth) laughed and played their way through a KFC jingle-turned-CCM tune as well as some of my favorite early Christian music songs, predominantly recorded by an up-and-coming teenage artist named Amy Grant: "Old Man's Rubble," "Great Great Joy in Jesus," "Only Time for Love," Mountaintop," and "We Shall Always Be with the Lord."
The final act was Dogwood who did a long set of their popular songs including "After the Flood," Confidence," "Ebeneezer," "The News," "All of Me," "Journey Music," "I'm Gonna Leave My Troubles," "Love Note," "Remember Whose Child you Are," "It's the Truth," Keep on Walking," and "Water Grave."
At one point Dogwood's Annie Chapman commented, "That was Kingdom music 40 years ago and it's still Kingdom music today." She pointed out, "Jesus didn't come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people alive."
The evening ended on the proverbial high note as all the artists came back on stage to sing "We Shall Always Be with the Lord" led by Brown Bannister.
After three hours of Kingdom music from the 1970s, I think most of us in the auditorium felt 40 years younger and more alive, thanks to the music and ministry of the artists as well as a lifetime of teaching and mentoring by men like Don Finto, Al Jaynes, Bob Hughey, Jim Brown, Jim Bevis, Bob Mason and Luther Weathers, who were all on hand for the reunion.
It was a wonderful evening with old friends listening to the same songs that either brought us to Christ or deepened our spiritual relationships 40 years ago. I can't wait for the next Koinonia Family Reunion.
See the Examiner slide show at: http://www.examiner.com/slideshow/40th-anniversary-koinonia-family-reuni... (Copying Examiner photos is not allowed)