Local News

March 5, 2014

In Russia, ‘the world came to us’

Local band shares bluegrass, Jesus during Winter Olympics


Music and prayers as gifts

After two days as tourists in Moscow, the band flew to the town of Sochi where bluegrass was a big hit with the locals.

“They loved it,” said Jenny Godwin, a non-musical member of Brackin’s church who went to “talk to strangers while the band played.”

“One person came up and said, ‘It just makes me happy in here,’ and touched her heart,” Godwin said. “Most people would just start dancing. It was kind of comical how many people came up to us just to dance and flock to get their picture made with us. They were very receptive. We got so many people laughing and hugging us.”

People were especially receptive, Godwin said, when she told them “we were praying for Sochi.”

“That really seemed to touched them,” she said. “And it wasn’t just Russians. I talked to people from so many countries. The world came to us. Most of the people were from Moscow or Sochi or surrounding areas. But everyone was so touched. They thought our music and our prayers were like giving gifts.”

Most Russians they met were Russian Orthodox, a branch of Eastern Orthodox, or secularist like atheists and agnostics, Brackin said. So his band — protestant evangelicals with ties to Wesleyanism — stood out with their faith and the few Gospel songs they played.

“The thing is, we were mostly there because we love bluegrass,” he said. “We like to play the music. We were there doing what we enjoy doing and the people loved it and it was able to give us a bridge.”

From AC/DC to talking about Jesus

“We were up in the Mountain Cluster (a mountain venue for ski games near Sochi) and we found spot where we could play. We started playing and the folks loved it,” Brackin said. “When we finished, this tall, young Russian came up and he spoke some English. He came and said, ‘I play guitar, not like that. I don’t know that.’ He didn’t know bluegrass. And I said, ‘What kind of guitar?’ and he thought for a second and said, ‘Metal.’

So the band played AC/DC songs on mandolins and banjos.

“And he immediately went, ‘I know that!’ And so he followed us the rest of the day and we made a connection with him and talked,” Brackin said.

Lynn Murphy, a retired assistant professor from Dalton State College and friend of Brackin who went on the trip, said music can be “used as a communication tool” that transcends different world views.

The band’s bluegrass music allowed Godwin to speak to people about Christianity, she said.

“I really didn’t want to shove the Gospel down anyone’s throat,” she said. “It was mostly about just getting to know them. If the opportunity provided itself, than we would talk about Christ.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Sheriff: Inmates don’t ask to vote

    In his 21 years of service, Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said inmates have never asked for the opportunity to vote.

    July 28, 2014

  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Avans.jpg Three arrested in arson plot to claim insurance money

    Three people have been arrested for their role in a fire at a Chatsworth home as part of an insurance scam to collect money, officials said.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Investigation into MFG chemical accident continues

    An investigation is still ongoing after a MFG Chemical employee was injured earlier this month at a plant on Kimberly Park Drive.

    July 25, 2014