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Frankie Valens coming to First Christian Church PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 November 2017 12:45

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By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times



In 1967, after meeting the manager of a band and his son, the drummer of the band, Frankie Valens auditioned for the group Eminent Domain by singing the classic ballad “Unchained Melody.”

Valens was immediately signed on as the lead singer, performing with the group on weekends, singing in schools, night clubs, radio guest spots and Battle of the Bands, many of which Eminent Domain won.

Valens became a Christian at the age of 19, but with his music career, he placed his spiritual life on hold. In performances, he would belt out renditions of popular songs from the 1950s and 1960s such as “This Magic Moment,” “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Donna.”

Valens’ popularity began to rise, and Eminent Domain was in demand around America and Canada. Valens would later cut several records, including a remake of “This Magic Moment.”

Valens said his spiritual life had a seed planted for its renewal somewhere in the midst of this stardom.

“It happened while I was with my band at a motel in Las Vegas, Nevada, just before we were to go on stage at the Sahara Hotel,” he wrote in his bio on his web site, www.frankievalensministries.com. “We had been practicing all day for our big event of being showcased that evening when I realized how hungry I was. When mentioning my hunger to the band, one of the band members threw an apple my way and said, ‘Here eat.’ For  a moment or two, I sat there holding that apple and, considering its beauty and completeness, realized that something was missing in my life.”

By 1972, Valens said his era had come to an end, and to this day, he does not receive any royalties from any of his music. He would go on to work in the accounting field and find time to be an extra in the movies “Ice Castles” and “Every Which Way But Loose.”

Both Valens’ career and his marriage were broken and behind him, and with this, he moved to Colorado and began attending a local church there.

“When the pastor spoke of forgiving, I knew that I had to ask the Lord to help me to forgive,” the bio said. “It was there that I gave my heart back to Jesus and knew that I had to forgive my agent and ask for forgiveness for things that I had done in the past.”

Valens said this was the hardest thing he ever had to learn.

“But since our Lord could forgive those who were killing Him, I certainly had to forgive those who had hurt me,” he said.

Valens met his current wife, Phyllis, who had come to direct the church choir. Like Frankie, Phyllis was a preacher’s kid and had suffered many of the same traumas he had. For Frankie, this was love at first sight, and the couple married in 1985.

Following the marriage, Frankie said he felt led to serve the Lord in the music field, and the Valens couple started ministering as a team in churches all across the nation.

“We traveled full time for several years before coming off the road in 1997,” Frankie said. 

Two years later, Phyllis and Frankie returned to full-time ministry, completing 18 years of faith ministry. In 2008, the couple was forced into retirement for health reasons, and for a year and a half, Frankie served as minister of First Christian Church in Syracuse, Kan., not far from Liberal.

After that time, Frankie and Phyllis are now back in part-time music ministry, residing in Derby. 

On Sunday morning, Nov. 19, the couple will be at Liberal’s First Christian Church for the church’s service at 10:45 a.m. Church member Faylene Cambern helped arrange the event, and she said it was Frankie and Phyllis who made first contact.

“They called the church, and they just happened to get Terry,” she said, referring to First Christian Pastor Terry Ford. “I kept trying to get hold of them through e-mail and was unable, and finally, I called. He came back with e-mails to me, and I talked to him a couple of times. We have put them up at Liberal Inn for Saturday night because Sunday afternoon, they go to Beaver.”

Cambern said normally, First Christian has two services each Sunday morning, one at 8:30 and the other at 10:45, but church leaders made the decision to only have the one service on the 19th.

Cambern said she and others are looking forward to the Valens couple coming to Liberal.

“I really think it’s wonderful,” she said. “Several of our church members were in Wichita for a convention, and he performed for it. I think we’re all excited about him coming. We will not have a sermon that Sunday. Afterwards, we’re going to have our annual Thanksgiving dinner, and everybody who comes is more than welcome to share lunch with us at that time.”

Cambern said there will be no charge to come see the performance.

“It’s a free will offering for them,” she said. “We’re not paying him to come and share with us.”

Frankie and Phyllis have also ministered in Rescue Missions, the Salvation Army and prison as a part of their love for all of God’s people.

“It is our heartfelt desire that those who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives find that answer and that hope, and those who do know Him, be uplifted and strengthened and encouraged in their own personal walk with the Lord,” Frankie said.

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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