Jon is the only original Voice Of Praise member still singing in the group. He has enjoyed singing from little up, and can still be semi-embarrassed when he hears the infamous recordings that his parents made of him as a youngster, as he lustily sang along to various recordings from groups such as the King’s Heralds, the Robert Shaw Chorale, the Sommers Quartet, the Hartville Singers, and others. In his early teen years he experimented with some extremely low-tech attempts at capturing himself on tape, singing all four parts, but not at the same time. Unfortunately for him, the 1st tenor part was just a little too high and the bass part was just a little too low, a little dilemma that continues to bother him.
He was excited when Dave Gingerich invited him and two of his friends to do some singing together. After all, there is nothing that quite matches the male quartet sound. He was even more excited as the group began to grow and develop and as he broadened his own musical training at Liberty University, took private voice lessons, and participated in various choral groups.
In addition to the satisfaction and blessings of singing in the group, Jon has also enjoyed doing various arrangements (or derangements, depending on one’s point of view) for the group over the years.
He writes, “I consider it a privilege to be able to be a part of a group like Voice Of Praise. Working together with other men who love the Lord and who desire to be used by Him ministering in this way is a blessing for me personally.”
On a more personal note–Jon first met his bride-to-be, Laureen Strite, at Faith Builders summer term in 1989. She was from Tylertown, Mississippi. Several years later both of them came to Faith Builders and began working in the bakery, which led him to discover how special this lady was. Wedding bells rang in October of 1994. After working at Faith Builders for a few months after they were married, they moved to Jon’s home area (Gladys, Virginia) where he began teaching high school at his home church’s private school. He continues to (mostly) enjoy the rigors of teaching, with all of its quirky challenges, but the bigger and much more enoyable challenge is being a good husband and father. He does his best to properly balance home, work, church, and Voice Of Praise.