John Charles Jeffers was born December 5, 1951 at Sampson Air Force Base, Geneva, New York. His dad, Charles R. Jeffers was a Master Sergeant in the Air Force and his mom, Shirley was a housewife. John has one sister, Cathy Jean, who was born in September 1957 at Plattsburg N.Y. Since then she has grown up, gotten married to David Clifton and had a baby boy, Davey, who is now 14 years old, over six feet tall, on his way to 6'8' or so. As an 'Air Force brat' John and his family traveled from New York to Pennsylvania, to Illinois, to California to Hawaii. John attended several schools along the way, played basketball, bowled, swam, surfed and taught himself to play the guitar while in high school. This was quite a surprise for his sixth grade trombone teacher who decided after three weeks of lessons that John had 'absolutely no musical talent whatsoever, and should trade in his trombone on a pair of basketball shoes.' John wrote his first song at the age of 16. His writing was strongly influenced by his Christian parents and Simon and Garfunkel. Other musical influences were: Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver, Bill Staines, Leo Kottke and Harry Chapin. Spiritually his hero's are: C.S.Lewis, Oswald Chambers, John MacArthur, Charles Stanley, and Chuck Swindoll. John has combined his love for Christ, life, family and music in many of his songs. He has recorded three albums. The first album, 'Come Closer,' was recorded in Nashville, with the assistance of Gene Cotton and Jack 'Stack-A-Track' Grochmal. This occurred while John was a third year seminary student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was re-released as a CD when John came to Alaska and met Don Morrell. John's second album, 'Preaching to the Choir' was a joint effort with Glenn Gano. They wrote/co-wrote and performed the songs. Don Morrell, owner of Toneworks Music Production, Anchorage, Alaska, recorded, engineered, arranged and played on the CD. It is an eclectic mix of many types and styles of songs dealing with several topics including: love, food, complaining and God. On his third album, 'Portraits,' John returned to his acoustic roots and sings and plays 16 original songs. Several gifted Anchorage musicians added their talents to this project. Again, Don Morrell was invaluable in doing everything he does so well. Don's wife, Linda sings on a few songs and did the artwork and graphic design for this CD. Some of the songs are about life, some are Christian in nature, there are a few instrumentals and one very humorous song about a dog that was put together with spare parts. John is a full-time pastor at the First American Baptist Church of Anchorage, Alaska. He has been ordained since 1975 and has served churches in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois and Alaska. He is married to Patricia, has one son, Jarrod, a black lab named Velvet and two cats, Tiger and Blue. Why did you call your record label Diamond Willow Music? When I first came to Alaska and wanted to start a new record label, I wanted a name that was unique but told a story. When I learned how diamond willow is formed I knew I had found the answer. Diamond willow is formed when certain type of fungi attacks the willow. The bark on the branch splits, and the cracked wood grows darker and into unusual patterns. What is left as the branch heals are the beautiful 'diamonds' in the wood, which are revealed when the bark is removed. The cream-colored sapwood is contrasted with the beautiful grain of the reddish-brown of the heartwood in the diamond shaped depressions. I saw this as a natural parable for my life. In my 50 years, I have made some big mistakes. Some were caused by bad choices and others were the result of my sin. When I asked Him though, God forgave me and healed me. The scars are still there, but God has removed the ugly diseased parts and replaced them with something beautiful. The scars are a reminder of my sinfulness, but even more of God's love and forgiveness and the hope we have in Jesus Christ. They are also an eternal promise of hope to each of us. God can take our lives and heal them and turn them into something beautiful that glorifies Him. But first, we must be willing to ask for His forgiveness and give our lives to Him. He did that for me and He can and will do that for you!
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