Psalm 104:33 reads: “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;/I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.” In 2000 The Watchmen released the album WHAT KIND OF CHURCH recorded at Sound on Sound Recording Studio in Kitchener, Ontario. At this time the group members were: Doug Jones (lead), Tim Harden (tenor), Dave Yake (bass), Dave Jantzi (baritone), and Brian Winger (pianist).
The album begins with ‘We Represent the King’ which has a cheerful sound and an evangelistic message: “Hear ye, hear ye, people of all nations/We have all been called to spread the Word/To tell the whole world of His mercy and His love/So they might come to know the Master that we serve/Oh, we represent the King, He’s the reason that we sing/The life we live is dedicated to His majesty/From His mighty throne He rules by grace alone/We’re here to praise His Name in everything/We represent the King.” ‘Arise My Love’ is an inspiring ballad about the resurrection of Christ: “Sin, where are your shackles?/Death, where is your sting?/Hell has been defeated/The grave could not hold the King/Arise my love, arise my love/The grave no longer has a hold on you/No more death’s sting, no more suffering/Arise, arise, arise.”
‘I Will Build My Church’ penned by Tim Harden, has as its subject matter the Bride of Christ: “A shining light for you and a beacon clear/Over the years O Lord, you’ve seen our joy, our tears/Come fill our hearts anew with holy awe/As we exalt and lift Jesus high, Your people draw/And He said, ‘I will build My church, I will make it strong/I will manifest My glory as you worship and share My story/Yes, I will build My church.” ‘What Kind of Church’, the title track, is an upbeat, introspective Southern Gospel number: “How many times have I said I loved Jesus but turned a deaf ear to a need?/How many times have I said I’m a Christian but never one soul did I lead?/How many luxuries have I passed by to have more to give to the Lord?/Jesus I promise as long as I live from now on, I’m gonna do more/I wonder what kind of church would my church be if every member was just like me?/How many souls would be saved today/If it all depended on what I say?”
The familiar gospel song ‘In the Presence of Jehovah’ is next. It is about finding one’s refuge and sense of belonging in Father God: “Through His love the Lord provided a place for us to rest/A place to find the answers in the hour of distress/Now there’s never any reason/For you to give up in despair/Just slip away and breathe His Name/He will surely meet you there/In the presence of Jehovah/God Almighty, Prince of Peace/Troubles vanish, hearts are mended/In the presence of the King.” ‘Once in Every Life’ written by Brian Winger, is a song that lovingly calls out to those who are spiritually lost: “Once in every life we must realize that there’s a choice for all eternity/O come to Him today/Please don’t delay/This chance may never come again my friend/Won’t you let Him in, Christ the sinner’s friend?/God’s own priceless treasure given at Calvary.”
‘City of Gold’ has an upbeat country feel to it and looks forward to the eternal home we as believers will dwell in: “There will be no more sorrow, pain, sickness, or death/And the saints they will never grow old/How I long for that city.../Where the sun never sets/And the leaves never fade/And the righteous forever will shine, shine like the stars/In that beautiful city of gold.” ‘When the World Looks at Me’ is a ballad about living with a sure purpose: “I want my life to be a light to those around me/I want my life to be a roadmap that says home/I want my life to be a beacon on life’s raging sea/I want the world to see Jesus when they look at me.”
‘Out of His Great Love’ is a short, catchy ditty about God’s love, care, and salvation. ‘Great, Great Morning’ is however this album’s shortest track at 1:39. The song equates earthly faithfulness to God with eternal rewards: “O it’s a great, great morning your first day in heaven when you stroll down the golden avenue/There are mansions left and right and you thrill at every sight/And the saints are always smilin’ sayin’ ‘How do you do?’/O it’s a great, great morning your first day in heaven/When you realize your worryin’ days are through/You’ll be glad you were not idle/You took time to read your Bible/It’s a great, great morning for you.”
The album’s longest track runs 6:29. It is a decent cover of Ray Boltz’s 1986 classic story song ‘Watch the Lamb’. The song tells the story of Simon, the man made to carry Jesus’ cross for Him before the crucifixion. It is an emotional song. Here are some of the lyrics: “And someone said ‘There’s Jesus’/I scarce believed my eyes/A man so badly beaten He was barely still alive/Blood poured from His body, from the thorns upon His brow/It was running down the cross He bore and spilling on the ground.” ‘I Love to Tell the Story’ is a happy hymn: “I love to tell the story, t’will be my theme in glory/To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.”
The Watchmen say: “It is the deep desire of the group to minister to and for the Lord first, and then to provide good Christian entertainment as well.” WHAT KIND OF CHURCH is on the traditional side and features great instrumentation. The musicians are: Brian Winger (keyboards), Dave Lonsbury (guitar), George Lonsbury Jr. (bass), and Dale Lonsbury (drums). The album is well produced and fans of the 100 Huntley Street Trio should enjoy the vocals. I’m rating it 84%. For more info and to purchase visit: www.watchmenquartet.ca.