WE ARE THE KEYBOARD, GOD IS THE PLAYER
“Bakersfield, CA was recently dubbed the 2nd most polluted city in the United States. There may be a cloud of gray over Bakersfield, but there is plenty of light and laughter in the lives of the Lighthouse Boys of Bakersfield. “We just look at each other and say, ‘That’s hilarious!’” laughs Stephen Underwood, one of the band’s lead vocalists. Brothers Bill and Mark Underwood, along with Bill’s brother-in-law Steve Johnson formed The Lighthouse Boys back in 1974. Today a second generation of “boys”, have joined the group. Stephen is Bill’s son, and gifted sixteen-year-old bass guitarist Joe is Mark’s son. Russ Higgins joined the group last June, after the group discovered him playing the electronic drums at a fun park. Drumming for the Lighthouse Boys sounded better than having to drop four quarters in a slot for electronic drums, so Russ joined the group. “I’m blessed continually, not only from the music and Bill’s teaching, but from the anointing that flows so richly and so often when the group ministers,” Russ says.
God has been leading them lately to minister more and more to the body of Christ. “The church has a job to do, and they need to be uplifted.” said Mark. A boost of encouragement and blessing, and here is where God’s light shines through these Lighthouse Boys. Recently God touched an entire congregation so strongly that no one could even stand. “It was just a time that God wanted to move, He had some things to do there, and we feel so blessed to be part of it,” said Russ. “We’re no different from a keyboard, or a guitar,” Mark, who plays keyboards, says. “All the parts are there, but they are useless without a player. We’re the instruments, and God’s Spirit plays through us.”
They’ve seen God do some great things when they allow Him to use them. An ex-gang member at one of their concerts saw three members of a rival gang walk into the church. He knew they had come to do him harm. Though at first gripped by fear, he turned back to the front and said, “Lord, it’s up to You.” The anointing that evening was so strong that the three couldn’t stay, and left the building without bothering the young man. A woman at a recent concert rushed up to Bill exclaiming, “What is that? That haze on the platform?” It was the glory of God, Bill explained to her, being manifested before their very eyes. Often people are healed just sitting in their seats at a concert, simply from the anointing that is present. Frequently “churched” people, who have sat in services for years and years, suddenly awaken to the truth of God’s call on their lives. “Not us, not anything we do. Just His anointing.” “It’s so awesome what God can do when people allow Him to work,” says Bill. In the almost thirty years of the band’s history, they’ve traveled from one end of the country to the other. Long hours on the bus are filled in by such things as composing a list of “You know you’re in a Southern Gospel group when…
…your suit walks up on the stage before you do.
…you’re rushed to the hospital due to hair spray asphyxiation.
And so on!
Apart from being a great asset to the band as a talented bass player, Joe Underwood affords them with “comic relief” laughs his cousin Stephen. Joe was recently teased about the rocks in his head and retorted that the Bible says even the rocks cry out to Him. “Well, the Word says the joy of the Lord is our strength, but sometimes it’s our weakness,” they joke. The jokes and laughter flow freely from this group of talented men, but there is no question that first and foremost their desire is to be used by God, in whatever capacity He chooses. “We want to stay in a place where we can allow the Spirit of God to minister through us,” said Russ. A blessing to others, used of God, vessels, instruments of Him. All of these phrases are used by the Lighthouse Boys to describe what they want their lives to be. “We are the keyboard. God is the player,” says Mark. The Lighthouse Boys have sold out to God. They’re allowing Him to shine through their lives, through the darkness to bring light to hurting souls, and they’re having a lot of fun doing it.
January 22, 2003 – CCAuthority.com
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