It all began with a conversation between two students: senior Dustin Ginn and Bobby Laumea, who is taking a semester off. Laumea joked about getting a band together to perform over the summer. Ginn, on the other hand, took him seriously and the two discussed actually getting a group together. Originally, this was intended to be a temporary worship team that would go around to churches and perform over the summer. However, by the end of the summer, the thought occurred to them that perhaps God wanted to do something more and maybe, through them, He could accomplish incredible things.
Ginn and Laumea started to gather up names of people they knew who could participate, planning out bank accounts and getting in to a serious mode in order to strive to make the worship team, Haven Place, professional.
“I didn’t want to have to convince people to be part of the team. It needed to be their passion,” Ginn said.
At this point, the team transitioned from a small temporary group into a long-term, serious group consisting of alumni friends, except for current student Ginn. All of the alumni were part of Vanguard Singers and Band during their time at Vanguard.
The team is now touring around Southern California, performing mostly at Assemblies of God churches. They have performed across the state from Santa Maria, to Lancaster, to Huntington Beach to Hemet, California. They are currently in the process of getting President Carol Taylor to partner with and help them in this new endeavor. They’ve also been involved at home churches, performing music, getting to know people and sharing the love of Christ.
“The heart of Haven Place couldn’t be more simple. We simply want to be faithful with the gifts God has given us and to follow His guidance. We also want to provide a practical service by performing while weekly worship teams are enjoying a break, doing music for special music for events, and filling voids when music is otherwise unavailable. My hope is that we will be a legitimate, traveling ministry group,” guitarist Tom Geris said.
Goals for the future are to be involved with the Assemblies of God, traveling at least 3 weeks a month. They also plan on making a recording, performing not only at services but also retreats, camps, and conferences several times a month by summer 2011.
In the long-term, the team would like to be an ‘in house’ Southern California Worship team. They want to infuse both original and current worship when they perform.
“We exist to create, through music, an environment and an atmosphere where people can feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable with God, thus allowing space for life lasting change,” Laumea said.
Currently, none of the members are paid. They merely ask churches to pay their expenses and anything more is considered a blessing.
“We’re really just trusting God to take us to where He wants us to go and we’re really excited about following His lead and seeing what He has for us. This ministry isn’t about us, it’s all about Him and expanding His Kingdom,” Ginn said.