When musical evangelist Ben Everson was a little boy, his grandma gave him a very special present—a bright red cassette recorder! The simple gift opened his ears to the possibilities of recording his own voice and singing along with himself—and eventually harmonizing with himself. “All these years later, although I use a computer now and sing 50+ a cappella parts, I still have the same passion for music as I did when I was five,” said Everson.
On March 23, Everson appeared for a one-night performance with his family in PCC’s Dale Horton Auditorium. Dr. Troy Shoemaker, PCC’s president, was thrilled to have Everson back on campus for another concert. “The music ministry of Ben Everson is spirit-filled and heart-touching,” he said. “We have him minister often at Pensacola Christian College where students, faculty, and staff enjoy his conversational style and humble spirit.”
For Everson, the concert mirrored his purpose for performing music: “I want people to have more faith in our great God. I want them to feel like they can make it another day, or week, or month because of something they heard. And I hope they smiled at points and had their hearts moved at others.”
The evening was certainly one for contemplation and reflection, especially because of its closeness to Easter weekend. Everson’s songs included resurrection-themed favorites “He Lives,” “What Manner of Man Is This,” and “It’s about the Cross.”
His concert also shared a heavenly focus for hurting hearts, including the songs “I’ll Pray Again” and “Time Well Spent,” a song written by PCC grad Lauri Lou Jones (English Education ’10, M.S. ’12), who also sang her song with Everson in the concert.
Another special song, “He’s in Glory Now,” debuted in the concert honoring long-time PCC employee Gregg Bryant. Everson shared how he remembered exactly where he was when he heard about Gregg’s passing and instantly felt a need to write something to encourage the Bryant girls.
In addition to the tribute, he shared the stage with his wife and children for a few songs including “God’s Word Will Stand” and “Jesus Says Come.”
Aside from ministering to the soul, Everson’s concert also included an intriguing special effect and a brand new music video. The audience enjoyed an illusion in which multiple Ben Eversons appeared on stage as he sang “Complete in Thee,” thanks to the work of PCC’s Video Department and the use of two transparent screens. The additional projections sang harmony as Everson sang the melody for the virtual ensemble.
PCC’s Spirit Singers also joined him on stage to give a sneak peek of their beachfront music video “Don’t You Fear,” which will be released to the public next month.
“I loved being able to work with so many people who are excellent in their fields,” said Everson. “The Spirit Singers’ collaboration was a lot of work (and it was freezing cold on the beach at 6 a.m.), but it was worth it!”
Audience member Sarah Hammond (Studio Art ’16) thoroughly enjoyed attending the concert. “I really liked the song Ben Everson sang with the Spirit Singers,” she said. “The message of the songs encouraged me to focus on God and go to Him for strength in hard times.”
For Everson, that was the point of his concert. “To be able to encourage so many people at one time is a huge privilege. I want to encourage as many as I can—that’s my life’s purpose.”
Even though his concert was one night only, Everson is making the concert available to stream on his website in the coming months.