Color of Mercy brings local flavor to music
JEFFERSON CITY—Unaware of how the Lord was planning to use them, Tiffany Miller, Ronda Brandt, and Kathy Besancenez were serving in their local church, First Baptist Camdenton, singing on the praise team when a certain harmony became noticed among the ladies and those who worked with them.
“We were the perfect compliment for each other,” said Miller when she spoke of the group’s humble beginnings.
Being a fairly new Christian, as she was saved in September of 2000, Miller led a lifestyle contrary to that of a Christian. She began to work in the music business straight out of high school at Lee Mace’s Ozark Opry at the Lake of the Ozarks. Living the typical life of a musician which included partying after hours and substance abuse, she knew something was missing in her life.
Although she had been raised a Pentecostal, she had never converted to saving faith in Christ. Widowed in 1999, she felt the true need for Christ in her life. That’s when God placed her at First Camdenton, where she sang on the praise team and met Brandt. Miller, a real estate broker, has been blessed with a beautiful daughter, Laura, who travels with them to most events and helps with the product tables, and a supportive husband, Tim.
Miller, being the natural performer who is comfortable around audiences, writes the songs for Color of Mercy and plays keyboard. Brandt, who tends to be quieter, is a visual perception program assistant with the Camdenton R-III Schools and a partner of Shelter Insurance of Camdenton. Her musical background is in church music. Color of Mercy will be singing in their home area at the 173rd annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention at Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach.
“We are put into a lot of small to medium churches,” Brandt said, “and just recently when we were doing a women’s conference I was asked to speak. Needless to say, I was petrified.”
Although Brandt was “petrified,” Jesus spoke right through her and lives were changed. Being saved at the young age of 10, Brandt was raised Baptist. She has a passion for reaching the lost, and she never misses an opportunity to share her love for the Lord. Being gentle and quiet in spirit, Brandt is known as the “child magnet” because all the children seem to gravitate to her. When she is not in the office she is doing many things for the group and her family. Brandt and her husband, Garry, have two beautiful children—a son, Curtiss, and a daughter, Carly.
In May, Color of Mercy lost the alto of the group, Besancenez. Feeling led of the Lord to pursue another ministry within their local church, Besancenez, who is a third grade teacher, is now working with the children’s choir. Although Miller and Brandt deeply miss her, and her decision was not one without many tears being shed, they are at complete peace with her decision and the Lord has continued to bless their ministry. The last day for the Color of Mercy trio was May 31.
When Besancenez felt led to step down, Miller and Brandt had to come out with a new CD in a hurry featuring just the two of them.
“We needed a product with only two voices,” Miller said, “so we sat down in the studio for five and a half hours.”
When they were finished, the product was amazing. Their latest CD, “Hymns around the Piano,” is a gift from the Lord.
“It wasn’t even planned, I just suggested singing some hymns and recording them,” Miller said.
So that’s just what they did, starting with what they call their “miracle song,” “I Come to the Garden.”
“We have been given a commission,” said Brandt, “and we’re passionate for seeing the world being won for the Lord.”