The Sacred Connection
Project Name: The GaSGA Sacred Connection
Volunteer Project Coordinator: Donna Dodd
Proposed Project Recipients: House of God Church Minister of Music,
Scope of Project:
2 House of God sister-churches located in the Atlanta, Georgia
GaSGA members would provide volunteer and in-kind support to the sacred
steel guitar players within our local community.
Donna's questions posed to Dante Harmon
Will you give us an overview of your ministry and the role steel
guitar plays in your worship service.
The main function of the Sacred Steelers role in the worship service
is to help usher in the presence of God through praise on the stringed
instruments. The steel guitarist role is similar to that of an organist
role at a Baptist church, except when the psalmist is through singing,
the steel player takes the lead role of the song, and leads the band
into what we call a 'spiritual jam', or simply praise music.
We want to want to know what your ministry’s musical equipment
needs may be?
1. Lap Steel Guitars
2. Pedal Steel Guitars
7. Picks and Bars
Do you see this as a positive enhancement to both your ministry
and the steel guitar community?
Absolutely! I have participated in a number of Master/Apprenticeship
programs, which allowed me to share my art form to the public, and community.
It has kept young men from taking a wrong turn in life. Most of the
young men who play this instrument fluently, are between the ages of
14-40. If you research these men, they are of the minority background,
not in jail, and leading worship service on a weekly basis. One young
man I mentored is now the worship leader for one of our sister locations
in Riverdale, GA. And personally for me, when I can practice, and mentor
a young man or woman into an accomplished player, it lets me know I
am doing something right, especially when I see the results. And secondly,
it lets me know that this art form will never die, because young and
old alike are trying to pick up this tradition, and take it to another
level. Lastly, the most positive enhancement to my ministry is that
I am not doing any of this for self-gratification; it is all done for
the glory and honor of the most High God, through His son Jesus Christ.
Could some type of mentoring between sacred steel players and
Yes! Right now, I have guys who love the country style chords I play
in church, and they ask where I get it from. What I told them is, from
the likes of Bobbe Seymour, Herby Wallace (one of my favorites), Buddy
Emmons, and Doug Jernigan. I personally know it would benefit, because
there are things we don't know as it relates to chord structures, and
blocking, and etc... I also believe that our style of picking, and playing,
power chord structure, and tunings can be very beneficial to the GASGA
members. So the mentoring process would be beneficial to both parties
in more ways than one.
What are the potential obstacles we might encounter?
None. Except the guys being overly anxious to learning a style that
can be used in our service of worship. The late Glenn Lee, a sacred
steeler was one of a few notably sacred steel players that actually
went to study in Nashville, under some great country players. He took
their style of playing and implemented it into our service. Chuck Campbell
is also a living testament of taking training from some of the country
players, and blending that style into our service. To me, that's why
music is a universal language, everyone can speak it, relate to it,
and share it with others.
History of Sacred Steel