Hall concert blesses Jefferson City
JEFFERSON CITY – In a rare opportunity for Jefferson City to experience a major concert event, Charlie Hall came to Concord Baptist Church here March 6 for a night of praise and worship.
Hall, 33, is from Oklahoma City. He graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a communications degree in 1997. Hall, who stands about 5-foot-2, has a reputation for loving those who may feel burned out, abandoned, disowned, or orphaned, and his music connects with all different age groups. With imagination, the grace of God, and a desire to have heart-level conversation and interaction, it is said that Hall is on a journey to the heart of the Father, and his audiences are able to get a glimpse of that journey.
In 1991, Hall began traveling, writing songs, and sharing his life with those in Oklahoma City. In his 15 years as a Christian recording artist he has written well-known praise and worship songs such as “Marvelous Light,” “Give Us Clean Hands” and “The King Eternal.” These songs allow us to see the heart of this godly man and talented musician.
As a middle school student, Hall had a heart for ministry. He was set on becoming a pastor, in fact. It wasn’t until a worship event in Oklahoma City that Hall said, “I was struck by what I saw – people truly worshiping, connecting with God through music.” He was determined at that point to sing in churches.
“It was church in its simplest form,” Hall said when he spoke of the church where he would grow spiritually and learn to be a leader. Bridgeway Church started off as just a small group of college students who met in a living room for prayer, worship, and Scripture reading.
Not long after becoming a leader of Bridgeway (where he still holds his membership), Hall connected with Kendall Combes, an electric guitar player. The musical talent of both men quickly began to form into a musical group. Combes, a man of many talents, plays guitar, produces some of the music, works as a studio musician, and plays some piano. Combes currently serves the Lord as a worship leader for Christ Church in Oklahoma City.
Shortly thereafter God began to form a band as Dustin Ragland, an Oklahoma Baptist University graduate and a drum player, and Brian Bergman, who is 6-foot-8 and a keyboard player, joined Hall and Combes in ministry. Ragland and Bergman are also known as Hall’s “bodyguards.”
But this traveling band of different body types was not yet complete. A bass player named Quint Anderson came on the scene about 2½ years ago. Being the youngest in the group, only 24, with his “flowing orange locks”, some in the group have called him Carrot Top, Napoleon Dynomite, or Mike Mills (the bassist from R.E.M.).
The group has traveled all over the country and has also been overseas. Currently they are a part of the Passion movement, a collective group of musicians and theologians that spread the Gospel across the globe.
“We’ve done special youth Billy Graham events,” Hall said.
The other members of the band said Hall is both a boss and a friend.
“Charlie cares more for me and my family,” Combes said. “We have ongoing discussions about what’s taking place in our lives and how our walks are. Our group is a safe place to ask questions. It refines the way we communicate with each other and others. We’re on a journey, and like a family.”
The music at the concert was not the only source of entertainment. The band and the audience connected as Hall and the entire band fellowshipped with people more than giving a performance. This made the whole experience even more enjoyable. He opened up the time at Concord with a question and answer session. One of the questions from the audience was “How did you all meet?” Instead of just answering the question, Hall, in his unique and funny personality, said, “We all met when we were serving as lifeguards at a Mexican prison.”
Obviously untrue, but it was a good “icebreaker” and allowed the audience to see the band not only as a group of performers but friends whom they could laugh at and with. During the concert the band had the opportunity to minister not only through song, but through word. When talking about praising God, Hall said, “We are a part of the greatest love story ever. It’s hard to understand. Because God’s love is not human love, we can’t understand it, but He sees us at our worst and still pulls us in and just holds us. Shame keeps you down, but you don’t have to be anything with God. Such a God is worthy of our praise.”
Karen Dye, talk show host of JOY 92 FM, KMFC, in Centralia introduced Hall as “a man with a passion for God. He is a man of integrity, with a deep love for our Lord.”
One of the last songs that Hall led the audience in as he was ending the concert had a chorus in it with the words, “life flows from God, it flows from God.” It truly flowed out of the lives of the musicians that night as they led the audience in worship to our Lord and Redeemer.
“God bless Missouri,” Hall said as he closed.