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'Our Dave'

Dave Deeks, contemporary Christian music singer-songwriter

Husband and wife Dave and Lynda Deeks began worshipping with us here at St Andrew's in January 2011. Dave is a Christian singer-songwriter living in West Moor, having been on the Christian music scene since the mid-1980's. In 2006 he retired from his 'real job'(!) as a professor at Sunderland University. In 2010 Lynda retired too – from being an administrator at Traidcraft, an organisation that promotes fair trade with the developing world. Their son Mark also lives locally, and is a professional musician and music teacher.

Dave's beginnings in Christian music were fairly unusual. In 1982 when he had reached his mid-thirties, God suddenly seemed to prod him towards being active in this way. In the May of that year and with no warning, over a period of days he suddenly ‘received’ several scripture based songs and wrote down the words. Being unable to write music but able to play the piano by ear (in only one key – D flat!), he recorded the tunes. He was without a singing voice and had little idea what to do next, but as he and Lynda were members of a housegroup of the church they attended, and he plucked up courage and told the others what had happened. It was agreed that Dave's voice should be made a matter of prayer(!), but in the meantime the songs should begin to be used by the church worship group. By Christmas 1982 his voice had developed sufficiently for Dave's first performance at the church, accompanied by the church musicians. This developed into an increasing number of performances at school and youth club events, church meetings, concerts etc. – on Tyneside and elsewhere.

In September 1985 he came into contact with music arranger/producer Bob Cranham. Bob and his wife Pennie felt that Dave should make an album. God's leading was shown when in only two weeks the exact amount of required funding was raised, and the album ‘Let go, let God’ was recorded and released in November 1985.

Dave and Lynda then began L.J. (‘Lord Jesus’) Music Ministries for the handling of the finances involved in distribution of the album, publicity etc. – and by January 1986 had seen God’s leading in the formation of ‘The Dave Deeks Band’. The first performance of this ten-piece rock band was to a packed house at Brunswick Methodist Church, as the support act for a group putting on a Christian musical. Such was the response that several requests for further appearances arose and the band continued to perform throughout that year, with many more offers of bookings being received than could be met. Meanwhile, the album was well received by the Christian press as well as being featured by Radio Newcastle.

Towards the end of 1986 God’s leading came again – this time for the band to separate. Dave and Lynda saw that He was leading them into a change of emphasis for the ministry, beginning to concentrate on performing/speaking to smaller gatherings, utilising backing tracks and keyboard.

Friends were keen to lend support – including a small group calling themselves ‘What Next’ who provided backing vocals and sometimes comedy/drama sketches. The team covered everything from ten-minute ‘spots’, to full-length concerts – and in March 1989, a church weekend for young people. This proved to be Dave’s last engagement for some time, as the following month he was struck down by a rare condition called Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Within a week of its onset, his body was almost completely paralysed. After the fervent prayers of family and friends however the reversal of the illness was followed by a rate and extent of recovery that far exceeded medical expectations – to the point where Dave now has only minor evidence of his paralysis.

During his stay in hospital, God gave Dave a song that described his experience of reaching rock bottom and then being wonderfully healed. Through public performances it quickly became evident that this song spoke to people in a powerful way, and Dave and Lynda felt led to make it the title track of a second album ‘Solid Ground’ – again produced by Bob Cranham. Excellent press reviews followed, together with regular radio play on Christian local radio programmes and several radio interviews. Songs from it were also featured on a ‘tape tract’ produced for armed forces personnel serving in the Gulf War, and Dave’s healing testimony featured in the local and Christian press. For some time Dave and Lynda were also given the opportunity to bring the ministry to Frankland high-security prison.

By the time that 'Solid Ground' was released, Dave had written almost 300 songs. Whilst these still continued to 'arrive', the rate slowed – with only a few written each year. As God had jolted him into beginning a music ministry comparatively late in life, there had originally been some catching up to do!

The third album ‘Walk with the One’ was released in September 1999 – a showcase for son Mark’s musical talents as musician, arranger and producer. Songs were selected from a list of performance favourites. This album represents an honest appraisal of the Christian’s walk with God and the need to make that relationship in the first place. As usual, the songs are lyrically direct and melodically based – but now presented in a heavier rock, more guitar-oriented, ‘live’ setting.

December 2006 saw the release of the six track CD 'Questions at Christmas', featuring questions that contrast the wonder of Christmas with the despair and sadness often found in the lives of those who share our world.

Dave's fourth full-length album 'Bridge' was released in December 2008, again with Mark in charge, and features a contemporary studio sound. Continuing Dave's 'trademark' of many of the songs being directly based on Scripture, the message continues – the need for reliance on the One who acts as our bridge from this life with all its pitfalls and difficulties, to the glorious life that is to come.

Dave has continued to speak and sing, drawing on his God-given ‘storehouse’ of songs as appropriate.


Dave Deeks
13 Pentland Grove, West Moor, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 7NY
0191 2684749
dave@davedeeks.com
www.davedeeks.com

"Dave has skills that many secular artists would envy"
(Christian Music)

"Thoughtful and original poetic gospel poetry, well performed"
(Paul Davis, NCM Executive, Broadcaster and Journalist)

"Very underestimated singer/songwriter" (Geoff Howlett, BBC Radio Humberside)


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