Interview with Bonnie Keen of First Call & The Glory Bugles about Koinonia Bookstore & Coffeehouse

Christian Activities publisher Kathryn E. Darden recently had the chance to ask Christian artist Bonnie Keen a few questions about Koinonia Bookstore and Coffeehouse in Nashville. A founding member of the vocal group First Call and part of the comedy musical group, The Glory Bugles, Bonnie will be performing with the Bugles at the 40th Anniversary Koinonia Family Reunion on Nov. 2.
KD: What impact if any has Koinonia Bookstore & Coffeehouse on Nashville’s Music Row had on your life or career?
Bonnie Keen: Koinonia Bookstore and the events held there had a huge effect on both my career and heart. This coffeehouse was an extension of the message of grace Don Finto taught with such passion and continues to speak on today all around the world. I was raised to believe it was wrong to perform, sing, act, dance or use my gifts in the Church. All of a sudden along comes a fabulous old stained glass chapel where the comedy group I wrote for and performed in named Ariel was embraced and found a following. We were like kids in a candy store exploring all manner of ways to use our skills as actors and musicians to laugh at ourselves and focus in on the glory of God. From these performances, Reunion Records signed Ariel to do our one and only recording, ‘Bless This House Please’.
The goofy spoof on bad Southern Gospel Music spawned The Glory Bugles…who 25 years later simply won’t go away.
KD: What impact if have any of the artists who will be performing at the Koinonia Family Reunion had on your life or career?
Bonnie Keen: Lord have mercy! Marty McCall and I never knew when I saw him in concert with Fireworks that we would share a 15 year ministry in First Call. There’s no way to describe how I love him, am continually in awe of his voice and talent and heart…..and remember vividly hearing him sing for the first time…sitting slack jawed listening to him sing.
Billy Sprague and I toured together with Amy Grant and DeGarmo and Key. History upon history was made with friendships at this chapel where people sat in the windows, on the floors and filled up the pews. It was a season of true love of God and child like celebration of the arts.
Tricia Walker wrote “Evening in December” which was the first cut on the first Christmas acapella cd recorded by First Call. Another first moment in a life time of friendships.
KD: Have you ever performed at Koinonia Bookstore & Coffeehouse concert? If so, with how many groups?
Bonnie Keen: Ariel, First Call, The Glory Bugles and probably with other artists I can’t even recall. Pure joy.
KD: Bonnie, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions.
Bonnie Keen: Thank you, lovely lady, for all you have done to promote these events for so many years.
Find out more at:
40th Anniversary Koinonia Family Reunion Planned
Session Singer Gary Pigg of Fireworks on Koinonia Family Reunion
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