Debra’s circle started on a Sunday morning watching a show called, The Gospel Singing Jubilee.
A piano sat across the room from the television, so the coffee table sufficed as a little girl would “play the table and sing her heart out.” Coming from a family of musicians, Debra sang her first solo in church at the age of eight. One of the most influential musicians was family friend, Gospel music’s own Conrad Cook. He encouraged Debra to pursue her dreams of music and writing, resulting in numerous originalsongs written from childhood to adulthood. The blessings continued for Debra to record with some of the most prominent recording companies, all the while, working with some of the best in the music industry. Charles Johnson (Charles Johnson and The Revivers) produced her first album. Anthony Burger produced and played piano on her second album, as Mike Pillow produced a third. Debra was voted ‘Christian Female Artist of the Year,’ by Airplay International, Nashville. In addition to cohosting the well-known TV program, Come Share The Joy, with Tim Ooten, she performed in the movie starring Theresa Russell, written by Penny Lobe, entitled Moving Mountains.
In the movie, Debra sang That’s What Love Is For, written by Bruce Carroll, as well as All Heaven Stood Still, an original work by Debra. She reached charting success with songs that have remained familiar to this day: Lord, You’re My Strength, Don’t Lift The Anchor, and When He Said It Is Finished. The years from 1988-2004 were good ones. Then, it appeared the circle would be halted, as Debra’s husband, suffering fromBlack Lung, would become gravely ill. Putting her music career aside, to be by his side, the years quickly rolled away until Bob’s suffering ended on August 7, 2017. Ministry, for Debra, does not end with music. She also serves on the board of the women’s ministry founded by Angie Rice, called S.C.A.R.F.S (Serving Christ and Ready for Service), living out this call ministering in drug recovery homes and reaching out to the homeless. Verily I say unto you, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40) Debra reminiscences, “I will never forget my first time on the street, feeding the homeless. I saw a lady holding a bowl of soup that had just been handed to her. She was carrying on a conversation with the several people in her head.
She looked up at me, as I asked her if she would like a sandwich. A sweet voice from inside her said, “Yes, please.” It was in that selfsame moment, I felt that I had placed a sandwich in the very hand of God! I have never been the same. We are all one bad choice, one circumstance, from being in another’s shoes.” For the past four years, Debra has filled the shoes of her husband. Bob pastored South Park Presbyterian Church in Charleston, West Virginia. At his going home, the church board asked if Debra would stay on as their pastor. With little hesitation, Debra agreed, “I felt it was the right thing to do.” How does one pick up, begin again, after so much time has passed? Simple really, you take it to Jesus. Written by Jonathan Bond and David (Stormy) Chaffin, Debra and Jonathan have released the new radio single, Let Me Take You To Jesus. Distributed by Millennium Music Group, the concept video and the song are doing very well, daily receiving the exciting news of how lives are being changed.