It has been a tremendous blessing to utilize the gift of music to worship our God and Savior! As a worship leader, my aim is to remind all of God's amazing love, to reveal His wonderful plan of salvation and inspire glorious praise of Him! For a number of years, I have felt a special calling to senior communities. My belief that many seniors feel isolated and alone in many of these nursing homes has spurred the creation of Hymns Afresh. My hope is that through Hymns Afresh, all and especially seniors would know that God loves them and has not forgotten them. I pray that I would be able to freely give this music to all in the many nursing homes in our area and beyond who might be encouraged by it.
My upbringing included performing in musical theatre along with my parents and nine siblings. My Dad was a wonderful, loving father and family man, in addition to a terrific singer and entertainer. Everyone who met him loved both him and my mom. Unfortunately, he suffered from dementia in his final years. The start of my music ministry was directly linked to visiting my dad in the nursing home. Bringing my 2 dogs, it would take me so long to get to his room as so many people wanted to visit with my dogs as well. I decided that once my father had gone to be with the Lord, I would continue visiting with my dogs, as there are so many lonely people in nursing homes. Therefore, I had both dogs certified as therapy dogs and my visits continued at a local nursing home.
Soon after beginning my pet therapy visits, I joined the nursing home ministry at my church. This lovely group of servants would visit by doing a service that would include worship music, a bible reading, teaching and prayer. Soon afterwards, I began to lead the worship music portion of the visit. I would set up my keyboard and put a blanket on either side for each of my dogs. After a quick hello, they would take their spots under the keyboard and we would begin the service.
For next five or six years, this nursing home ministry grew from one home, to visiting many different homes each month. Furthermore, I began leading worship in multiple churches, Bible study groups and outreaches, including Spanish speaking settings. What started out as pet therapy visits, God has used to bless me with so many opportunities to worship Him.
In 2014, unfortunately my husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. In the years since this happened, God has proven Himself faithful to comfort, provide and encourage me. In the past, one of the nursing homes asked me to consider a career singing and entertaining. I quickly said no, as I wanted to only sing worship songs to God. But now, I believe God was calling me back to my roots as a way to provide for myself. Performing had always come somewhat naturally to me, since it was such a large part of my upbringing. My first show booked was June 23rd, 2015, my parents’ anniversary. How fitting that my 1st date I received to launch my career was their wedding anniversary. My dad would have been proud of my new career.
God used my upbringing and my volunteer service with and for Him in the nursing homes to prepare me for a new career. He gave me a heart and love for the older generation. A few of the homes I was volunteering in gave me my first dates and since then, God has opened many doors and helped me grow my business. Since then, I have booked upwards of 300 shows each year under my new business called "Mary's Melodies, Musical Encouragement for the Soul." For more information on my business, please visit my website:
When performing in nursing homes, my job is to bring fun and encouragement through music and I sing wholesome upbeat songs from the 20’s through the 90’s. Being a lover of God and worship music, God has spurred me to make a collection of hymns that would remind people that they are not alone, and that God loves them very much. My hope is to bring new life and excitement to these great hymns, and create a conduit for joyful worship. Now that God has given me access into so many senior homes, I would love to make Hymns Afresh freely accessible to all that would want a copy.
If you enjoy Hymns Afresh, please consider joining me in this ministry. Most of all, I need your prayers for continued opportunities to share the Good News to this hurting generation. At present, all my work has been shut down due to COVID 19. By purchasing music here on this website, you can help provide the funding needed to freely provide copies to seniors in nursing homes, and for the continued creation of additional music. This website gives the option for the purchaser to name their own price when buying music. Thanks so much for listening to my story. May God bless you abundantly!