Apr 7, 2009

Hair metal and Ecclesiastes: campus church music session explained

by Emily DeFosse

“That doesn’t sound like the praise band,” senior Beth Lee said as she entered the Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC) sanctuary for what she thought would be a typical Wednesday night Campus Church service.

Instead of David McKinney and the rest of the praise band, Lee heard D.O.G.S. of Pray, a Christian gothic rock band, or as President of Liberty Theological Seminary Dr. Ergun Caner refers to them, a “hair metal” band.

The band is comprised of Bobbi and Eddie Folk, Doug Zirk, Tom Meadows and Eric Walter.
Eddie Folk said the band’s history began years ago when the members all played for various secular bands out west. The original band was made up of different members but that group fell apart, paving the way for the group that is currently together.

The band was excited to finally have the opportunity to play at Liberty.

“Everybody’s heard of Liberty so we knew a lot about Liberty and we also knew that we’re different than most bands that come here,” Folk said. “We thought we could make an impact and show people that you can be Christian and still be crazy like we are.”

Bobbi loved the crowd of students who were expecting a normal church service. Some students left, but many remained for the entire night to enjoy the unique and unexpected concert.

“(The students) were having fun and relaxing and listening to the music and getting the lyrics at the same time,” Bobbi said. “Sometimes you just have to let your hair down and have fun. It’s okay to do that as a Christian.”

The concert was not without a point, however. Whether Caner is shaving his beard on-stage or allowing himself to be shocked with a taser gun, there is always a reason behind his unconventional tactics.

Caner’s sermon revolved around the phrase in Ecclesiastes 10:1, “A dead fly gives perfume a bad smell.”
Caner reversed the connotation of the phrase to say that one Christian can make a positive difference. He shared a story about street evangelism on Bourbon Street in New Orleans during Halloween.

He felt sorry for himself because he was unable to get through to anyone but then he saw one man playing Christian music on the side of the street with a box full of gospel tracts and New Testaments.
Caner found out the man played on the street three nights a week and he persevered despite the fact that he was not wanted there.

Caner continued the sermon by quoting Salvation Army founder William Booth who believed that Christians should stand just outside the gates of Hell.

Christians should not be hiding in churches and trying to pull away from the world, according to Caner. Instead, Christians should be out on the front lines sharing the gospel in places no one else is willing or able to go.
D.O.G.S. of Pray is a group of Christians who take the gospel to the front lines by playing in venues that typical Christian music artists could never get into.

“Our mission is really to get into places with our look and our style of music and really touch a lot of people for the sake of the Lord,” Eddie Folk said. “We just hope they feed off the music to get the message.”

Contact Emily DeFosse at


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