When Aaron Scantlen and several others started Empty Hands Bible Church in 2013, it was because they didn’t want to do church the way it had been done, “but to say, I’m coming in [to worship] with empty hands.” he notes,
The young congregation has attracted individuals from a variety of cultures – some permanent residents of the Warsaw-Winona Lake, Ind., area where the church is located, and some who are students at local schools, including Grace College. That ethnic diversity has produced an equally diverse worship service.
As Aaron, who is pastor of the church, began to write songs for a new album, the people of Empty Hands Bible Church inspired him. “I’m writing songs that we do in worship,” he notes.
The album, All I Am Is Yours, reflects that diversity with both contemporary worship and gospel songs. It includes a Zimbabwe-inspired tune, Rumbidza Mwari (or Praise God), sung in the Shona language, the native tongue of Natasha, a Grace College student who worshiped at Empty Hands.
Produced in Nashville and Chicago by Aaron, the album includes keys from Ron Rawls, Grammy award winning producer and piano player; B. Reith, Rapper/R&B singer on background vocals; authentic Zimbabwean percussion; and the rhythms of renowned kalimba player, Kevin “KalimbaMan” Spears.
The album was pre-released at last week’s Flinch Conference, the national conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, in Newark, N.J. Tonight (July 31), Aaron celebrates the release of the album with the kick off the Ignite Us Tour with a 6:30 p.m. concert at The Hub at the Winona Lake, Ind., Grace Brethren Church (Bruce Barlow, lead pastor). The concert is billed as a Night of Worship + Generosity. A variety of nonprofit organizations, such as Water for Good, Our Father’s House, and Combined Community Services, will be available to share about their work.
While other dates have yet to be announced, he plans are in the works for concerts at local churches in places such as Chicago, Ill., Leesburg, Ind., Delaware, Ohio; and Johnstown, Pa.
The album of 11 tunes, which costs $12, is available at aaronscantlen.com. It will also be available for download at iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify on September 1. Fours song and a video from the album are available at noisetrade.com/aaronscantlen or preview the whole album at aaronscantlen.com.
Chords for the songs, which may be used for leading worship in the local church, are available by emailing Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org.