Brian Angus remembers the experience of being saved as though it just happened.
Raised in church, he met someone while working at Camp Cowen, a Baptist youth camp in West Virginia, in the summer of 1975. Her name was Debbie Jones.
“I was expecting a kiss, but she asked me what it meant to be a Christian. I really thought she wanted my advice so she could be a Christian like me, so I told her it was someone who went to church, was kind to old ladies and didn‘t kick dogs. Her response changed my life forever,” he said.
“She said those were things Christians did but that doesn’t make you a Christian. … Her words went straight to my heart and for the first time in my life, I was under conviction.”
She explained to him what having a personal relationship with Jesus meant and, he said, it “blew my mind.”
He said it fought it, but eventually really became saved.
Now, Angus, a 53-year-old licensed minister and who leads music and Bible study and continues to preach occasionally at New Life Southern Baptist Church in Cowen, W.Va., has found success as a gospel artist, too.
The ASCAP singer-songwriter has had eight radio releases; his current CD is receiving airplay in Northern Ireland. Although his music is classified as gospel, he said there is a folksy quality to it.
“A big part of the Jesus movement of the 1970s was the music,” he said. “I led the music for our Christian fellowship group, but we were also buying record albums and introducing each other to the music of many those early Christian artists. The direction of those songs was horizontal in that the message they shared went from one Christian brother and sister to another as they encouraged us with their real life Christian experiences through the media of that Jesus rock music. There was magic and awe as I listened to the music and as I grew in spiritual strength.
“Today’s Christian music is vertical, from man to God, and doesn’t quite have the same effect on me as the music did back then. Horizontal music leads itself to Christian growth through share Christian experience whereas vertical music brings us into worship of God.”
Angus performed with Mike George in a duo called The Love Express, writing music and playing throughout West Virginia for 10 years. He taught business at Webster County High school starting in 1978 until he retired a few years ago. He also led music in local churches and youth groups and continues to perform.
His CDs can be heard on Spotify or Amazon.
Brian Angus will perform at 7 p.m. March 28 at KYOVA Gospel Music Association at U.S. 60 and Ky. 5 in Ashland.
LEE WARD can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2661.