By Ashley Perham
Baptist & Reflector
LOUISVILLE — After 65 years in music ministry at 13 churches, David Hyers retired in June as the worship leader at Beech Grove Baptist Church, Louisville.
Hyers, who attended Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., spoke of the evidences of God’s work in his life on his last Sunday at Beech Grove.
Hyers was 15 when he surrendered to the ministry, but although he had had some piano training, he did not know he was called to be in music ministry until he attended Carson-Newman. There, he joined the choir his first week, but didn’t start taking music courses until his third year.
“I had about eight or nine non-curriculum opportunities to get caught up and develop in music,” he said. “It’s just awesome how God did all those things.”
One of his favorite musical experiences at C-N was leading a boys choir at the Pikeville Reform School one summer. He had never done anything like that before but was able to find four or five boys for each part and put them together after two months. They sang concerts in Crossville and Knoxville.
His first church out of seminary, Robertsville Baptist in Oak Ridge, was a place God put him to build some confidence to overcome an inferiority complex, he said.
The church had had no music director before Hyers and was very supportive of his ministry.
Robertsville was also where he met his wife, Linda, who he describes as a “super helpmeet.” They’ve been married for 57 years.
After Robertsville, he went to First Baptist Church, Donelson, for three and half years. Then, God led him to his longest position, Concord Baptist Church, Knoxville, for 30 and a half years from August 1969 to March 2000.
Hyers said the Concord position was an example of God using a closed door in his life.
Right before taking the position, Hyers went to look at a church in Memphis that he was excited about. However, he said God put a “wet blanket” on him and closed that door. Soon after that, Concord called him to be their music minister.
During his time at Concord, Hyers’ choir took mission tours to places like Michigan, South Dakota, Gatlinburg and Myrtle Beach where they would give concerts and often help with Backyard Bible Clubs.
After retiring from Concord, he hoped to get in 10 years of part-time music ministry. However, God ended up giving him 20, 13 of which were at Beech Grove.
Hyers said his favorite part of his career was leading his choir. He specifically mentioned the musical “Celebrate Life” about the life of Christ as one of his favorites.
Hyers said some advice he would give to young music ministers today is to develop a strong attitude of gratitude and journal all the things God does in their life.
“Scripture says in many places that God’s got a plan for your life,” he said. “I’m gonna tell you, you better believe it because it’s awesome the way it’s worked out.” B&R