The Stutzman Family Singers
About The Stutzman Family Singers
Steve (or “Padre” as he is frequently called) is the oldest (and did we mention wisest and best-looking ) one of the bunch…. At least that’s what we tell him to ease the path of being the oldest. ;) Steve is always Mr. Practical, seeing the world very clearly, and sighing dramatically at us when we insist that another pair of shoes is necessary for that 8 week tour! ;) Ironically, he is also our eternally optimistic one, assuring us that life is good and God is great, and things most definitely could get worse. That loud voice singing praise songs at 6 AM coming from the front of the bus? That would be Padre! :) Steve does most of the driving while we’re on the road… which, of course, takes it’s toll on his sleeping hours count… But he also seems to enjoy those long lonely hours to connect with God who is calling us across the miles. Often mornings that he is driving will include the entire family crowded into the front of the bus for devotions. We tease him that we’re his guinea pigs for turning bits of revelation into the sermons & messages he shares wherever we go. But we don’t mind. :) We quite enjoy it.
Steve also sings tenor, and lead when it’s solo time, as well as playing the guitar.
Tanisha is the former lead singer and stage anchor of the group, also affectionately known by her family as "Ivy" (her slave name) and the more endearing nickname "Mimi." She was recently swept away by a tall, handsome man she got to know during a missions trip to Africa (moral of the story--don't let your children go to missions if you don't want them to get married 😉). Tanisha officially became Mrs Benjamin Gingerich in Dec of 2016. ❤️ They reside now in her childhood home of Kalona, Iowa, where though they'd grown up only miles apart from each other, had never met. Tanisha enjoys being back in the Midwest, warming up their cute little rental house with home decor, walking down long country roads again, tending to the fruit trees and perennials in their yard, and welcoming her husband (and the rich scent of black-earth and diesel fuel that comes with him) every evening. Benjamin thoroughly enjoys his job of earthmoving and field tiling, a family business he does alongside his father and twin brother. Benji and Tanisha consider themselves to be living a life rich with blessing, especially since welcoming a healthy, beautiful baby girl in Sept 2017, Verona Annalise. Though they're committed to "normal life" in Iowa for as long as God calls them there, they both feel they will one day be involved in missions and look expectantly to the day God points them that direction. When she is in the same area as we are singing, she willingly joins in!
Dorcas is generally affectionately called “Madre”. She is the fizz in our coke, if you know what I mean, we would be quite bland without her to keep things fizzy :) Madre is the one singing songs from “Back in the day” (the kids simply call them “old people songs”) loudly as she goes about her daily life in the bus. For those of you who are homemakers, I’m sure you can appreciate what a chore it is to keep a “home” as small as a bus clean and livable, while home schooling the youngest two children, keeping everyone fed and happy, while maintaining peace amongst the stress of tight spaces, lack of privacy, emotional drain of constantly being around people, and continuous attacks by the enemy as we minister. But even with all of the pressure filling the better part of everyday, and a lot of her evenings including singing and ministering, she still somehow manages to laugh at our ridiculous jokes at the end of a long day, and tell us all how she doesn’t think life would be pleasant or possible without us. (How do you figure THAT one ?! haha) Her bubbly warmth and caring personality are the gooey sticky stuff that holds the family together in tough times!
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In 2009, discussion began about the possibilities of the Stutzman Family becoming an independent agent. In November 2009 a board was formed, and a meeting held in Florida over New Years. Jan. 1st the Stutzmans became officially hired by SPF. Time is leased to Gospel Express or Door of Hope as needed, and the remainder of the time is underwritten through Strait Paths Foundation.
Gianna is …. Well … Gianna. :) She would be the one in the corner sipping her latte, with a twinkle in her eye and possibly a faraway look on her face. She is always full of ideas, dreams, and new perspectives on the things all around us. Gianna will be the first one out the door in a new city, camera in tow, ready to explore, take pictures of things that amuse her, and of course navigate herself to the nearest coffee shop (where she will generally pull out her recyclable coffee cup and mutter something about saving baby penguins). Although she seems to attract awkward situations, and takes joy in easing (or sometimes yanking) us out of our comfort zones, you would be surprised to find out how much she enjoys alone time and quiet. (Ironic, huh?) Gianna has horses at home, and they are her best friends. She says they’re the only normal things in her life. :)
Gianna sings lead and high tenor most of the time. Gianna has written a number of songs on the girls’ last project.
Benji, Tanisha & Verona Gingerich
Jevan is lovingly referred to as “chubb chubb” by his siblings. One look at him makes his nickname all the more humorous! But it didn’t originate with weight, it came from Korina’s in ability to say “J” which resulted in “Chubbin”, eventually evolving into “Chubsy” and “Chubb – Chubb”. Jevan is the life of the party in his dry-humor sense of communication. He and Jalon communicate almost entirely in quotes when they get in one of their moods, and the keep the rest of us healthy from laughter. ;) Jevan loves sports, especially soccer and basketball. He is very athletic, and it can get quite interesting with all that energy cooped up in the bus for extended periods of time! Jevan recently graduated high school, and is glad to be done with book work. Jevan is our main ‘roadie”, and handles most of the sound system set - up and tear - down, as well as any tech work Daddy needs done (projectors, computers, etc.) Jevan also builds the majority of the power-point presentations that Steve uses to illustrate his teaching. The stick man on the screen acting out what my dad is saying? That’s a Jevan original :)
Jevan is our bass singer, as well. We’re quite proud of him.
Jalon is our little mastermind. Well…we can’t say “little” anymore, because he’s outgrowing everyone! But a mastermind he is! Always inventing something, and piecing it together, Jalon makes sure there is never a dull moment in our house! Jalon would be the one (and only ! hahha!) that chooses his words and when to speak very carefully…. And always makes us laugh with the way that he sees things. Jalon is a math - minded person, and very practical, which is nice to have around! He can also tend to be quite sarcastic and teasing, but we all love it about him! He’ll be the one to give you a hug and tell you something encouraging when he can see that you’re down, which is always a huge blessing. Jalon also loves sports, including soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, Ping-Pong (yes, I’m pretty sure that’s a sport) and many others. :) Jalon is a “roadie” and helps manage sound set –up, tear – down, and carries heavy things around for his mom and sisters. He’s also a huge help taking care of Karina for us during programs.
Jalon is just getting past voice change, and we’re planning a song especially for him on our next family project!
Karina is the youngest by 5 years, but I don’t think she knows it. She has an abundance of nick names, most of them from her older brothers who LOVE to tease her. It’s fairly common to hear loud shrieks from Karina as she dashes through the house (or bus!) with her brothers in pursuit, laughing loudly as they go. She’s quite brave about wanting to join in their games, even though the results are almost always the same. Her response to our scolding her brothers for picking on her is usually a satisfied smirk, followed by starting up the same game 5 minutes later! :) Karina enjoys our travels and makes friends quite easily. She loves meeting new people regardless of their age. She is unaware, it seems, that age gaps cause communication gaps, and will pour out her little heart on anyone who will befriend her. :) Karina dreams of having her own horse someday, and is always eager to ride one of Gianna’s horses. Karina sings a few of her own songs, and loves to travel.
Anthony, Gianna, Genna, Irnya & Zionna