When I first met Bob Mulloy I was petrified...scared to death, shy and at the tender young age of 18 years old. Bob was the Director of the Belmont Reasons at Belmont College..which is now Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Belmont Reasons was a group of singers and musicians whose job it was to promote the college and encourage young high school students to come to Belmont. Well, when the Reasons came to Franklin High School..and I saw three of my friends already in the group... I thought to myself....that's it.. I have to be in that group, I have to sing and dance in that group... I have to be a Reason!
The summer after I graduated from high school.. there was an audition to be in the Reasons...and I went to the college¹s huge stage..and sang my heart out. And Mr. Mulloy at first thought I was a huge snob...because I was so quiet...but he had no idea that I was so nervous, and painfully shy ... To make a long story short, I found out that I passed the audition 2 months later....and 2 weeks before Reasons ³training camp². Mr. Mulloy put me through the baptism of ³FIRE². I thought he hated me...he would make me practice over and over again...read the theory...recite it back to him..and the torture went on and on! BUT...oh the things that I learned from this Man!
The Reasons performed Pop shows for the various high schools across the state and then we would also have a Gospel show for the churches.... It seemed that every weekend...we were on the road traveling back and forth to various concerts and events. We had different outfits for the different shows...had to learn 10-15 songs per show..using no notes...and everything was fully choreographed. I had never gotten so much exercise in my entire life. We eventually recorded several records in the Belmont recording studio...which gave me such invaluable experience in the studio..how to sing with others and blend...stage presence..and how to work with a team of others.
I spent 5 years under the leadership of Bob Mulloy...who very quickly became a dearly loved father figure after my first year..when my father died very suddenly during that summer break! Bob came to the funeral and knelt down and told me that he was there for me..and then we were locked into each other¹s heart from there on! He took me under his wing like no other person that I had ever encountered, he grew me up...he "kicked my butt" as he would say, forced me to learn, forced me out of my shell! And he changed the course of my life forever. Had I not passed that audition back in 1979, I never would¹ve attended Belmont, for it was also a partial scholarship, which I desperately needed. And I definitely would not have had the skills or the confidence to pursue my dreams of singing today. Mr. Mulloy passed away several years ago from cancer...and his passing affected us all who passed through his life. I'm more sad for the men and women that will never know him and his influence that I could ever be for myself. He was a life changer! Some of the folks that he influenced during his time at Belmont University were myself, Steven Curtis Chapman, Dann Huff, David Huff, Gary Lunn, Gordon Kennedy, Tricia Yearwood..and the list goes on.
If there is someone in your life, even your own child....that you can mentor, whether it be spiritually, physically, musically..creatively or artistically...whatever...then take them under your wing...support their dreams, be there for them...be honest with them....and light their heart!
You will find the blessing of being poured out..and being Jesus to someone else...who will eventually take your baton into the next generation! So whatever else you do in your life..... Mentor, Mentor, Mentor!