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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Just now found out that my friend Gary Arthur has moved on to be with the Lord

I am the fellow on the right with the long hair.A friend of mine from the "Jesus People" days has graduated to be with the Lord. Gary Arthur was an incredible brother in the Lord. He and his brother, Larry were some of the first people that i had met who were on fire for the Lord. I think the pictures were from one of Calvary Chapel's summer camps or perhaps a winter camp. We were all so young back then.

Here is an article written by another wonderful friend of mine, Tom Delamater.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gary Arthur: He Pointed The Way!
A Few of His Many Friends Remember Him

By Tom Delamater
Special to ASSIST News Service

SAN CLEMENTE, CA (ANS) -- When I heard that my friend Gary Arthur had unexpectedly passed on New Year's Day, I was deeply saddened. Like so many others, I was first influenced by his music, but was later fortunate enough to know the man behind that music.

Picture taken from clip of Gary Arthur's
memorial service
Gary was a founding member of the Jesus Music band, The Way. The band was most active in recording and touring from 1971-76. In addition to tracks scattered among early Maranatha! Music compilations, they recorded two full band albums: The Way (1973) and Can It Be? (1975).
Eventually Gary also joined the very influential band Parable. After these “band years”, Gary faithfully served as a worship leader at various Calvary-Chapel-affiliated congregations, his longest tenure being at Maranatha Chapel in San Diego, CA. He was a multi-talented songwriter, vocalist and versatile musician, playing bass, acoustic guitar, piano, and percussion.
Proverbs 27:17 teaches, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend”. Gary modeled what it was to be a friend of Christ, and a trusted friend to his brothers and sisters in the Lord. You could always count on Gary for prayer, encouragement, and laughter. Praise and worship was his calling. And, as Scripture reminds us, “God inhabits the praises of his people”. My wife, Pita, in discussing my research for this article, put it very succinctly: “There are very few who would scale the fence for the Lord Jesus, as well as on behalf of others, like Gary Arthur”. Amen.
Here, then, are some remembrances from a few of the many who knew and loved this extraordinary musical servant of Christ:
Darrel Cook:
The Way in Concert
“In early 1974, while living in New Jersey, I heard The Way, and then, when I moved to Southern California a few months later, one of the first guys I met at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa was Gary and we became friends and ‘bass buddies.’ Soon I too was touring the country as a part of Mustard Seed Faith, another of the Jesus Music bands that flowered in the early 1970's. When Gary offered to sell me either one of the two basses he had, I bought the 1963 Fender Precision, which became my only bass for years. I still have, and love this bass, and it will always remind me of Gary, and the friendship we had”.
(Darrel, among his many credits, has recorded and toured with the Praise Series Band. Check the credits of any early Maranatha! Music album, as Darrel is probably listed. He continues his longtime work with the Johnny Rivers Band.)
Malcolm Wild:
Fools Wisdom cover
by Malcolm & Alwyn
“Gary was one of the first of the Jesus People musicians to reach out and make Alwyn and I feel welcome in California. We shared the stage with The Way at the Knott’s Berry Farm ‘Love Song Festival’, and Gary went out of his way to make us feel at home. When we toured the U.S., we listened to two albums as we drove across the country – that of Love Song and The Way”.
(Malcolm Wild, along with musical partner Alwyn Wall, was busy helping to invent the Christian Music genre in the UK while the Jesus Movement was starting in the U.S. After several albums, countless concerts, and mentoring church musicians, he transitioned to Calvary Chapel Merritt Island, FL where he still serves as Senior Pastor.)
Greg Laurie:
“I have known Gary for well over 30 years now, going back to his days with The Way and later with Parable. But more recently, Gary was doing sound for us here at Harvest Orange County. He also led worship and frankly, whatever needed to be done, he did it. He went to the Fred Jordan Mission, which is run by my aunt, Willie Jordan, and helped homeless people. He was a group leader for our men’s Bible study. The list goes on. One word comes to mind when I think of Gary Arthur: It is faithful! I am certain he has already heard the Lord say to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord!’ Gary will be deeply missed by all of us here at Harvest Orange County. He was and is loved by many, including myself”.
(Greg Laurie is the Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, CA which also encompasses the Harvest Orange County campus in Irvine, CA. Harvest OC was Gary's home church at the time of his passing.)
Kim Hutchcroft:
The Way: Left to Right: Dana Angle, Bruce Herring, Alex MacDougall, John Wickham and Gary Arthur
“I accepted Christ as my Savior in 1975 while living in Hawaii. Then my wife and I moved to Los Angeles, fellowshipping at Church on the Way in Van Nuys, where we sat under the ministry of Pastor Jack Hayford. Seawind, the band that I was in at the time, was both recording and touring heavily from 1976-79. In 1977 I was brought in for session work on Parable’s second album, Illustrations. Years later, when Gary was the worship leader at Maranatha Chapel in San Diego, he invited me to a sit in with the worship team at their worship conference, affording me my first opportunity to do so. Gary was a friend who will be greatly missed”.
(Brilliant saxophonist and founding member of Seawind, Kim is now Music Director at The Packinghouse in Redlands, CA.)
Steve Willems:
“Gary and I did audio together many times, and he always did what he said he would do. I found him to be one of the few people who was consistent to his calling”.
(Friend, audio engineer, co-owner of Maranatha Village in Santa Ana, CA. Maranatha Village, which occupied Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa’s original meeting space, was one of the largest and best-stocked Christian bookstores in the Country for many years running. As a musician, if your album was there, you were “legit”.)
Steve “Bugs” Giglio:
“1971 found Debby Kerner [Rettino], The Way, and myself, all piling into a van, as we toured the United States. We slept on a mattress that was laid across the top of our gear, sound system, you name it! Those were great days. I miss them ... and I will miss him”.
(Bugs served as road manager for AndraĆ© Crouch, Donna Summer, Promise Keepers, etc. He's had a long-time association with Maranatha! Music and has known and worked with most, if not all, of the musicians mentioned in this article. In other words, he’s been there and done that.)
Jon Robberson:
Taken April 21, 1972 in El Paso, Texas, by Elmer W. James, a local photographer, this was The Way’s first tour and they had very crude equipment with no sound man, according to a
band member
“The fellowship of believers and the Christian music community owe a great debt of gratitude and sense of appreciation to the Jesus Music musician-missionaries who paved the way for the sweeping spiritual influence Christian music has had in the past five decades. Brothers and sisters like Gary Arthur answered the call to use music to make a difference for the Kingdom, and as a result of their faithfulness tens-of-thousands, if not millions, have heard the Good News of Jesus Christ”.
(Jon is the Director of Celebration Concerts and Spirit West Coast)
Alex MacDougall:
“Gary Arthur. What a strong name! And he was. I first met Gary in late '72 or early '73, prior to the recording of The Way’s first album. I had been asked to rehearse and play drums on the project. Not long afterwards, I joined the band for seven years, touring North America with Gary as a band member. Those Jesus Movement years of the early ‘70’s were vibrant years of evangelism in action. I know that when Gary entered Heaven's gates there were thousands who welcomed him because they had heard his message down here. Gary always thought in Kingdom ways, filtering things through the lens of the scriptures. He was a warm spirit, and I will miss him very much”.
(Alex, among many accomplishments too numerous to list, was a member of The Way and Daniel Amos, and has recorded and toured with many artists such as Larry Norman, Tom Howard, and was formerly a VP at Vineyard Music. He’s currently an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University as part of the Music Business Degree program.)
Bob Bennett:
Bob Bennett
“Like so many others, I was introduced to Gary through the music of Parable. That awareness came in 1977 when I came to a serious faith in Jesus Christ. Most of the time I spent with him was, gig-related. At various times and places he was a worship leader or part of a worship team. Wherever Gary went, he always figured out a way to invite me to come to sing. Having helped early on ‘to write the book’ on this kind of stuff, he was very in tune, and supportive of us newer-on-the block musicians. He was always so kind to me, and enthusiastic about my music. I can certainly add my voice to the chorus of those who all agree that Gary was, every day, first and foremost, a Man of the Gospel. The Kingdom of God and service to his beloved church were constantly on his mind. Music was the means of expression a good deal of the time, but the subject was always Jesus”.
(Bob Bennett is a singer-songwriter, recording artist. He also contributed to this article.)
Ron Sukut:
Pastor Ron Sukut, pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in San Clemente, California, said, “Gary was a good friend, and valued ministry partner. Each time we went to Haiti, following the earthquake, his worship ministry pretty much kept the team going. We would gather completely exhausted, after a long day of clearing rubble and rebuilding walls at an orphanage, and he would take us up to the heavenly place of worship and refreshment. In a place as utterly devastated as Haiti, Gary actually took a group of aspiring musicians with beat-up instruments and, in short order, turned them into a cohesive praise band. Only Gary could have pulled that off”.
(Ron is the pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in San Clemente, CA.)
Karen Lafferty:
Karen Lafferty today (Photo: Dan Wooding)
“I can't think of that life-changing time for many of us in the Jesus Movement without picturing Gary’s infectious smile as he ministered on stage with The Way. His songs, worship leading, and servants heart, all reflected how he totally embraced the God he loved. As this seed has fallen to the earth, I believe we will see new fruit for the Kingdom of God spring forth”.
(Karen Lafferty is truly one of early pioneers of Contemporary Christian Music. In addition to decades of recording and touring, she pioneered Youth With A Mission’s vibrant Musicians for Missions program. Her simple chorus “Seek Ye First” may be as widespread and recognizable in modern church history as “Amazing Grace”.)
Dana Angle:
“Bruce Herring, Gary, and myself, along with John Wickham, and Alex MacDougall, toured for many years after having released several albums that were moderately popular among young Christians. I shared a room with Gary when we first formed the band, and we went to Bible studies together. Gary was devout, and always had a minute to share the Gospel with anybody that wanted to listen. His faith, and his wanting to be close to God, was evident in the lyrics of the songs he wrote, like ‘Jesus Is All That We Need’ and ‘Closer to God’ that were just two examples of his dedication to the Lord. Gary and I always kept in touch, and spent many days together in our preparation for The Way reunion in 2010. We praised the Lord together at Irvine Park, for hours at a time, at the Calvary Musicians Reunion. Up until he passed, he was ready, at the drop of a hat, to serve the Lord any way he could, whether it was as volunteer labor, or setting up, leading, or mixing Christian music performances. He is with the Lord, and I can't wait to visit with him again someday. His friendly voice and caring smile are greatly missed”.
(Dana Angle co-founded The Way and continues to write and record in Southern California. His characterization of The Way’s impact as “modest” is, in itself, quite modest. The Way was definitely a vital and utterly well-known part of the Jesus People era soundtrack.)
For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”. (Ephesians 2:10)
To hear The Way singing, Can You Feel the Change, go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv4xAuCXkWs
Commenting on this track, Bettie Russo, wrote: “Rest In Peace my dear friend Gary Arthur. He played in this band on this LP and Praised God his whole life. I remember the early days of 1970 in the ‘Little Chapel’ and listening to The Way play at church every? Sat. Night. Now, I await the day I can be there with all of my friends and Jesus as that Big Band in the sky plays for us all. I love and miss you my friend. God Bless.”

(Tom Delamater is a former radio host, record company sales manager, concert promoter, and artist manager. He volunteered extensively for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and currently works at developing corporate commercial signage. He and his wife Pita live in Southern California.)
(Bob Bennett is a singer-songwriter with ten solo albums released since 1979. He’s still gratefully “at it”, concentrating on small-scale House Concerts and what he calls “House Call Concerts” for longtime fans who are facing serious illnesses and end-of-life situations. For more information:www.bobbennett.com.)


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