20 September 2017

Introducing – ‘Revelation’

Recently we met up with Co Antrim’s ‘Revelation.’ A Christian 3 piece band consisting of David Strange, Thomas McCalmont and Andy Calderwood. We wanted to find out a little bit more about the group’s ministry.

Rejoice: How and when did the ministry of Revelation begin?

Thomas: Almost 5 yrs ago the Lord gave David and I an overwhelming desire to come together and form a new music ministry that would reach a broad audience, including the youth around us. Our desire became a reality when we met Andrew Calderwood. His testimony of being converted from drugs and alcohol opened doors for us to minister at youth events all across the country as well as at concerts and in churches etc.

Rejoice: There seems to be more to Revelation that just singing – tell us more about your ministry.

David: From the beginning the group has always been very ministry minded and, as well as performing at concerts large and small, we have also been involved in many gospel missions and crusades, not only singing but also preaching and testifying. As Thomas has already mentioned we are also involved in a lot of youth work, participating at youth rallies and coffee bars etc.

Rejoice: What styles of music do you perform?

Andy: First and foremost we are a vocal harmony group and no matter what style of song we sing it will always contain full 3 part harmonies. I suppose we could be labelled a Southern Gospel group because of the harmonies, but our styles would cover traditional right through to contemporary and everything in between. We like to think we have something for all tastes.

Rejoice: You went to America to record your latest album. Tell us how that came about.

David: Last year we signed with Crossroads Music, one of the major Southern Gospel music labels in the US. We travelled to their studio in North Carolina to record our debut album with them.

Rejoice: What does getting your music into the American market mean to the group?

Thomas: Signing with Crossroads has opened up major doors for us not only with album sales and radio airplay but is now creating opportunities to sing and minister in the States. We will be making our first trip to sing there later in the year. Our last radio release from the CD, ‘See What A Morning’ reached No 45 in the Singing New Southern Gospel charts.

Rejoice: That’s fantastic news – Why do you think your music is becoming so popular in America?

David: In our new album we deliberately incorporated a little of a Celtic style into some of our songs and we also included 3 songs from the pen of Keith Getty. We felt that we needed to bring something fresh if we were going to break the U.S. market and songs like, ‘See What A Morning’ and, ‘Across The Lands’, which are new to the Southern Gospel genre would help us do that.

Andy: We also recorded the old Irish Hymn, ‘Be Thou My Vision’. Our production team really excelled themselves on songs like this and also, ‘He Looked Beyond My Faults’ which we sang to the tune, ‘Londonderry Air’.

Rejoice: That’s great. So when are you planning to go back to America?

Andy: We will be going out in September to do some concerts and we’re really looking forward to it as this will be our first time actually singing to the American public.

Rejoice: By the sounds of things you will be very busy.

Thomas: Yes. We can be out up to 3 times every weekend travelling not only around Northern Ireland but down into the South of Ireland and we would be in Scotland and England quite a lot also.

Rejoice: I’m sure you could write a book about some of your experiences on the road. Tell us about a few of the highlights of the groups ministry from the last four years.

David: Recently we have sung at some major events including the evangelistic rally held by the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in the Odyssey Arena Belfast. It was such a blessing to see so many people gathered under one roof to hear the Gospel preached. Also, the week we spent with Portadown Elim Church at their Gospel mission under the ministry of Pastor Johnny Brown was very special. That was a very blessed week where the Holy Spirit moved in a powerful way and many precious souls were saved. Nothing can compare to that.

Thomas: My favourite singer is David Phelps and it was a dream come true for me when we were invited to sing with him on one of his U.K. tours. However, as David has said, the highlight for us is seeing souls saved and the Tent mission which we were involved in with the Gospel Bus Ministries in Ballymena really stands out as a time when the Lord moved in a mighty way and many people gave their lives to Christ that week.

Andy: It’s great singing at big concerts to big crowds in many different countries, but for me coming from a life where I was held captive by drugs and alcohol, just having an opportunity to tell my story to others and warn other young people of the dangers of such a lifestyle is simply amazing. There was a time when I thought my life was over but God had other plans. When I see people being touched and souls being saved through our ministry of singing and testimony, then that’s the icing on the cake for me.

Rejoice: Thanks for sharing with us about your ministry. Now tell us how people can get in touch with you.

David: Thanks for giving us this opportunity to tell our story. All our contact details are on our website www.revelationministry.co.uk or find us on facebook by looking for ‘Revelation Ministry.’

Rejoice Always team