Pastor Gayle Montgomery gives a tribute to John Leon Lewis at his 50th Anniversary Concert. Celebrating 50 years as a Minister of Music.
I was blown away when I read the July Blog by Lynn Ivey, the Founder & CEO of The Ivey Wellness Day Center. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my name in the Blog title. She wrote about the impact of my music and how it touches the lives of everyone at The Ivey. Even the Staff. Thank you Lynn and Janet LeClair for your powerful thoughts about the importance that music plays for those who are suffering with memory concerns. Please read below:
Celebrating the Music -- and Lessons -- of John Leon Lewis
by Lynn Ivey
On May 20th, I attended “This One Man” – an uplifting event celebrating the 50th Anniversary of John Leon Lewis as a Minister of Music. The Ivey is so fortunate to count John as a member of our team, bringing the power of music and dance to our members. Our very own Chief Operating Officer, Janet LeClair, also attended the event, where she delivered some beautiful remarks about our John. So enjoy these excerpts from Janet’s message. – Lynn Ivey
“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.”
- Maria Augusta von Trapp
“It’s not often in life that you meet someone who so profoundly impacts you and those around you. John Leon Lewis is one of those people.
At The Ivey we provide daily Life Enriching activities and support for individuals who have some form of dementia, primarily Alzheimer’s, as well as deliver vital support to their families. Three days per week, John brings his musical gifts to The Ivey, and his impact is immeasurable.
Most people don’t associate a Memory Wellness Center with fun, laughter and joy. However, The Ivey is unique, and John plays an integral role making it a special place for our members and their families.
John Lewis’ own mother lived with dementia, and as the disease progressed, his only connection with her was through music. She would wait longingly for his visits, and music was their connector throughout her life. John’s experience with his mother launched his foray into music ministry serving the senior population, specifically those experiencing the devastating effects of dementia.
It is often said that the gift of Alzheimer’s is that it enables you to be present – to treasure the moment, to embrace the experience and to value the human connection. So, in those special moments, how does John make our members feel?
- …by making people feel they are present, alive with every song, every crazy dance move, all uniquely for them.
- …by connecting with people so intently and so authentically – the magical way people light up with familiar tunes…by making everyone feel as if THEY are the only person in the room.
- …for members who have lost their ability to speak, through gentle prompting that enables them to sing like no one is listening and dance like no one is watching.
- …for members who can no longer recognize their spouse or adult children, music that awakens memories closed off years ago and rejuvenates their soul.
- …sensing when someone is having a difficult time – staff or member – and reaching them in a way that others cannot.
- …through warmth, welcoming and engaging ways, reluctant prospective members and their family understand and feel that The Ivey is the right fit for them.”
Thank you, Janet, for articulating lessons for all of us through your tribute to John. At The Ivey, we are constantly learning, and John’s lessons reach broader than just those living with dementia. I hope you find heartwarming lessons here for peace in your loved one’s journey.
John’s closing invitation to all families who are looking for a place of QUALITY CARE:
Are you at a loss for where to turn with your loved one who has memory issues? I highly recommend The Ivey to all Families with aging parents. Memory issues won't go away but the Ivey helps keep some of those "memory doors" propped open a little longer. Please contact The Ivey for a TOUR. You will be amazed at the care they give to their Members and the "peace of mind" and "freedom" you will feel should you decide to use The Ivey's services. I sing and entertain at the Ivey 3 times each week. Set up a visit during the time that I’m entertaining. I'd love to see you.
Contact THE IVEY at 704-909-2070.
Thanks for reading Lynn's Blog, John Lewis
Behind the scenes Producer, Brian Felton, of my lastest Album - GRACE. The NEW Album is set to be released on JULY 4th!
The Producer for my latest Album is Brian Felton. He is currently the minister of music at Grace Community Church in Hudsonville, Michigan, but in his former life he was the music producer for Radio Bible Class and the television program Day of Discovery (Our Daily Bread Ministries) and Director of the Discovery Singers. He founded Discovery House Music and worked with several artists including producing all of Damaris Carbaugh’s projects (former lead singer for the Brooklyn Tab), all CD’s for Wintley Phipps including the Favorite Hymns of Billy Graham, and have worked with Larnelle Harris, Matthew Ward, Scott Krippayne, Bob Carlisle, even Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. to name a few. Now add John Leon Lewis to his list. Brian has produced over 200 records.
Here's what Brian had to say about my new recording - GRACE:
"A few months ago, I received a call from an arranger friend of mine, David T. Clydesdale, asking if I would be willing to work with him on a recording project. Little did I know what a blessing would come from saying “yes” to that request. At the time, there was no mention of the artist or nature of the project, just that we would be recording the orchestra overseas using The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. As the details unfolded, I was introduced via email to the artist, John Leon Lewis. That started an amazing journey that is nearing its completion! What started out as an opportunity to produce an orchestra turned into the privilege of overseeing the recording process through the final mix. And along the way, I finally was able to meet John and get to know him, his heart, and his passion for the Lord. It has been an amazing experience and I pray that you will be able to capture the love, hope, and joy in Jesus as you listen to this wonderful collection of carefully selected songs. It is in John’s DNA, it is his ethos, it comes through with every encounter with him and flows through every note! May God draw you to Himself and ignite in you the same passion and affections for Him as you listen to the John Leon Lewis GRACE recording!"
Thanks Brian for your hard work in putting all the pieces together to make a "masterpiece for His GLORY". John
On May 11th and 12th this year, I flew to Nashville and recorded my 12th Album. What a great but tough experience. The Producer on my Album has worked with Artist like Larnelle Harris, Wintley Phipps and many others. He had me sing each song several times in order to get the best that my voice could give. I left Nashville happy that I had poured my blood, sweat and tears into this recording project. Prepare yourself to be swept away.
15 songs arranged, orchestrated and conducted by David T. Clydesdale. The arrangements are outstanding and they were written in my style and for voice. On top of all that, we used The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra to record the music on this Album. That alone is worth hearing. I'm blown away by the sound of that Orchestra adds to this Album
The New Album and New LIVE Recording DVD will be released on July 4, 2018.
50th Anniversary Celebration as a Minister of Music
God has blessed John to serve as Minister of Music for 50 years. His music ministry has impacted the lives of people in churches, in prison, in retirement communities, in nursing homes and everywhere God sends him.
You are cordially invited to this special celebration
50th Anniversary Concert
Full Orchestra and Special Singers
Come and celebrate with John as he sings his PRAISE to God in various styles of music. He will sing Hymns, Gospel, Standards, and Broadway.
River Hills Community Church
104 Hamiltons Ferry Road
Lake Wylie, SC 29710
Sunday, May 20, 2018, at 4:00 pm