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 all would know that God knows them, loves them and has not forgotten them. I am thankful that I have been able to share this music freely to many in senior facilities in my area.
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. Once my father had gone to be with the Lord, I decided to continue visiting with my dogs, as there are so many lonely people in nursing homes and had my dogs certified as therapy dogs.
After about a year of room to room visits, I joined the nursing home ministry at my church and began to lead the worship for the services accompanied by my dogs laying on either side of my keyboard. 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 "Mary's Melodies" to upwards of 300 shows each year. For more information on my business, please visit my website: www.marysmelodies.com
When performing in nursing homes, my job is to bring fun and encouragement through music. My performances include wholesome upbeat songs from the 20’s through the 90’s, as well as occasionally slipping in one of my fun renditions of a glorious hymn, providing a moment of worship in the midst of my performance for the seniors as well as staff.
Unfortunately, most of my work has been shut down due to COVID 19. I pray that God will open doors up for opportunities to worship Him in song and share the Good News! Thanks so much for listening to my story. May God bless you abundantly!