Songs of God Life & Weiner Dogs
"A very, very, very, very abridged testimony" My music background is pretty well known by those who have followed me through the years, but for those who know not, this is the way I remember it................................... I was born in Lynnwood California on October 10th 1958. From that point on I pretty much grew up in Southern California. I am the 5th in a line of 6 boys no sisters, my Mom and Dad (Bonnie and John Copen, my Dad is home with the Lord) were saved in 1960, from that time on Jesus was more or less a part of my childhood, watching my Dad read the bible and my Mom being involved in one way or another in church was the norm in my house, but like so many of you, the example I was given by those around me was not always consistent with the Gospel. Music was in our home from the earliest of my recollections. Both my Dad and Mom were music lovers though not musicians per say. My brother Danny was the first to pick up the guitar I think around 1967 or there about, it wasn't long before I followed suit around 1969 mostly out of jealousy, he was getting all the attentions so being 5 years his younger I naturally hated him and wanted to show him up, so I started playing when I was 10 I think...................... It was something I found that I was well suited for, I couldn't put it down and so I would gravitate toward anyone who could teach me anything I didn't know, and believe me, that was quite a bit, so I learned from a lot of people over that next three years. At the age of 13, I started playing with a band called "Donnie Brasher and the country caravan" it was my first professional gig and I don't remember how long that lasted, but it was that same year that I met my first wife (Susan Gessling) she was 13 also and a lead singer in her Dads band, for which I also started playing. It was fun at the time, we played all over southern California and it was also where I was introduced to drugs and alcohol. The 13th year of my life was a pretty eventful one by any standard. Now, I had this friend that I went to school with (Randy Mathews) we would play guitar together and get into trouble, his Mother was a little Pentecostal woman named Della, and Della took me to a tent revival that summer there in Bell Gardens, it was that afternoon service that I gave my life to Jesus, the problem was, I didn't get any discipleship and so my life didn't look much different than anyone who was not a believer. By the time I was 16 I had been playing with Susie's dad's band for 3 years and it was at that time I found out that I was about to be a father, so Susie and I Planned to get married and I went into the army as soon as I turned 17. To make a very long story some what shorter, I was discharged from the army in October1978, and returned to southern California and began playing in the local clubs. Because of a lack of focus on Jesus our marriage was falling apart and so we found ourselves in Fort Madison Iowa which is right on the Mississippi river. I was 23 by this time, my wife eventually left for California taking my two daughters (Mandy and Amy, yes both were named after songs) with her. Six months later I met my future wife Ginny Stein, a beautiful mid-west girl who was easily miss-led, but it was at this time the Lord really began to work on my heart, Ginny had given her life to Jesus at work but didn't tell me, but I suspected something was up from all the gospel tracts and music I started finding around my apartment. In 1980 or 81? Ginny and I moved to Ohio to help my Dad drive his truck, he had a heart attack and needed help. I continued to play with local bands making a trip to Nashville, recording songs and just trying to "Make it". Late in 1982 my Dad died and my whole life changed, it really took this to get my attention, the Lord used my brother Danny to re-introduce me to Jesus and I re-dedicated my life to the Lord that same year. Ginny and I were married in 83, times were tough, but the Lord saw us through them all. I have been in the ministry pretty much from the moment I re-dedicated myself to Him, since that moment the Lord has blessed my wife and I with two more children, Doug Jr. and Charity our youngest daughter. In the 27 years since, I have pastored 2 churches, I currently Pastor Calvary Chapel Zanesville Ohio, I helped found and was C. E. O. of El corp Laboratories (Now retired). The Lord has blessed me to be in radio ministry for a great number of those years (I am heard daily on WTLL FM, also broadcast live via the web, at 3:00pm EST). The one constant that has been in my life through the years is that I have continued to play and record music for Jesus Christ. Space would not allow me to list every band that I have played with over the years or name all the albums and CD's I have played on, I have recorded at least 7 CD's by the grace of God. And have played with many a great musicians, the current band Shiloh Circle has been a great blessing to me, the Lord has used it to re-kindle a fire to write songs about Him, all the guys in the band and the "Girl" Vicki are great and a blessing to play with. Well this sure is a very very, very, Very abridged edition of my history which is really His-story in my life, if I were to write it all it would be a book, what I have written some may dispute to one degree or another, but this is how I remember it. Doug Copen Sr.