“Five-hundred inmates clapped and shouted praises to the Lord … it continued into our concert and at times was so loud, we couldn’t hear ourselves,” shared Michael Naluai, founder and director of His Voice, reflecting upon one of their out-of-church experiences. “It was a life-changing experience. We went there believing that we were going to lift their spirits by sharing God’s amazing love through music … instead their joy overflowed into our hearts teaching us that even in adversity, joy can be found because God is there!”
Besides an occasional prison visit that turns the table on who-blesses-who, This Christian men’s chorus sings regularly each month “to Share His Love and Follow His Voice” at churches, senior care centers, and hospitals — no matter the size, distance, or faith. The monthly concert schedule each second weekend of the month is grueling yet strangely strengthening to the men. Surprisingly, their mission is not only to inspire listeners, but to encourage one another, giving the men a special bond of Christian brotherhood that is evident when they sing. It is not an uncommon sight to see the men wheel in their buddies or hand over a tall stool to help each other. His Voice bass Buddy Fisher, confined to a wheel chair since his teens, has a special bond with the elderly residents of senior care centers, “I was nineteen years old when I took a bullet that paralyzed me and I spent a year recovering in a place similar to this. It brings back a lot of memories. I am blessed to be sitting here in front of you in a wheel chair and understand what many of you are going through.”
A long-time informal leader of the group, His Voice bass Don Gwinn spent most of 2007 in the hospital after a near fatal bout with peritonitis that began shutting down his organs. A year later in Palm Springs after many prayers by his friends and wife Julie, Don Gwinn was able to come back to sing with His Voice. He used a wheel chair at first, then graduated to a walker, and uses a cane to help him through the concerts now. Don is a reminder that God honors His promises:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” John 1:27, 28
These twenty-five plus men of His Voice come from all over Southern California, ordinary Christian men with a love for singing. Their beginnings stretch back to a retreat at Pine Springs Ranch in 2004 when Hawaiian musician Michael Naluai was encouraged to start a new men’s singing group originally composed of men from a couple of Seventh-day Adventist churches in Southeastern California. The group has continued to grow as listeners have become singers, bringing together men of every vocation and nationality.
His Voice’s concerts of old hymns and gospel favorites eventually lead them to record their first CD, Written in Red, followed by a second recording two years later, Almighty God, both of which are given out as gifts to concert listeners. His Voice is now preparing for a third CD that should be out in 2014.
It is the chorus’s desire to be a faith-based ministry and thus share the heart of Jesus with all who will listen. His Voice is has also been featured on LLBN-TV on the Music Manna program from time to time.
Occasionally, a miracle of no small proportion is witnessed, for at the end of their concert at one assisted living facility, a patient who had been listening listlessly muttered, “That was beautiful!” The nurse who was attending her excitedly shared that these were the first words she had heard from this patient since she arrived there three months previously
The families of His Voice are eager to participate wherever needed. Wives Sonia Dias and Joyce Leal formerly assisted as pianists for several years, and Karen Knight and Sue Langford scheduled concerts as Assistant Marketing Directors, plus other family members like Angela Gutierrez who maintains the His Voice library, Nancy Troyer functions as Communications Director writing articles and taking concert photos, Plus many other family members and friends who are always willing to help out. Currently, musician Jerry Albritton accompanies the men on the piano and organ and His Voice baritone Gary Kerstetter works tirelessly scheduling concerts each month.
It’s a happy journey sharing Heaven’s music with new friends in far away places, whether in facing a congregation, circling senior citizens, or encouraging prison inmates, the story is about remaining grateful to the Source of their strength. There are many men’s singing groups of varying degrees of vocal perfection. The story for His Voice begins where they stand. Each Thursday night after practice at the Valley Adventist Church in Menifee, the men of His Voice form a circle of prayer, lifting prayer requests to God that are gathered from concerts and their website www.HisVoice.us The men of His Voice never forget that they sit at the Cross, listening to the Master’s Voice.
THE HIS VOICE STORY – Following His Voice
Nancy Troyer, His Voice Communications – Updated 4/17/2013