By Chris Goff
A different type of weekend warriors continue to hit the road after 20 years, thousands of miles and hundreds of concerts.
With guitar and bass and the spirit of God in their hearts, brothers Dennis and Marvin Horine offer a unique style of music that both entertains and inspires. They are members of Woodlawn UMC in Somerset, Ind.
As their passion and crisp, relaxing acoustic sound produced a ministry all its own, many admirers prodded the Horines to make Christian music their full-time devotion. The brothers heeded the advice.
Ten years after producing their first CD "Journey Home," Brother 2 Brother are making the leap and expanding their outreach.
"We truly look upon this venture as a ministry of Jesus Christ," Marvin said, "and (believe) we are being led by the Father for that purpose. Our Lord has placed us both in circumstances in which going full-time is the obvious choice."
Dennis adds, "Since we started Brother 2 Brother in the 1990s, a lot of doors have opened for us. We just want to pray that this is God's will for us. You can work and work, but if it's not God's will, it's not going to happen."
The brothers are happy to be backed with Eddie Crook Productions. The Nashville, Tenn.-based recording company is a prominent name in gospel music.
The brothers are off to a good start. With two live-program recordings recently released under the Morning Star label. They're making noise in more ways than one. Thanks to Eddie Crook Productions, singles from their CDs are now hitting the airwaves on more than 400 Christian radio stations.
For the Horines, the journey into professional music began in their teens, when their father, the late Rev. Paul Horine, a United Methodist pastor in the North Indiana Conference, asked them to play on Sundays at church. Faith and music became enjoined then and remain so today.
"We've experienced on several occasions music bringing people to the Lord," Marvin said. "A lot of people, even if they get nothing out of the service, will get the music."
"Beautiful music just touches your heart," Dennis said. "Spiritual music is found all throughout history. The Bible talks about music, stringed instruments and so forth. People just love to hear music."
More than 5,000 people loved "Journey Home," Brother 2 Brother's first small-time release of which Eddie Crook will soon be reproducing.
"People tell us they've played that CD over and over," Marvin said. "It's probably my favorite of all we've done. Nationally, that CD could do a lot of people a lot of good."
Dennis said, "We feel that CD is what Brother 2 Brother is all about. Our songs are just all about life on earth and helping people come to Christ and avoid life's traps."
The Horines do not take their art lightly.
"I used to play in a few rock and roll bands," Dennis said, "but they never meant anything to me. I always felt empty. Now music is more than just music. There's a message behind it. We have a responsibility in our performance to get up before people.
"It just so powerful to do songs for Christ. There's a very real purpose. This is Christ's work."
Brother 2 Brother's style encompasses the best of many musical genres, including contemporary Christian hits, country and old-time gospel.
The final product is a collaborative effort. At times not even needing notes to finish a song, the process typically unfolds with Dennis supplying the clay, and Marvin making the mold.
"Dennis usually comes up with the music," Marvin said, "and I work on the mechanics."
And only God knows when Dennis will come up with the music. "The song 'Journey Home' just popped into his head at Lowe's one day," Marvin said.
Dennis responded, "All I do is wait for God's touch to help me. Sometimes I'll wake up in the middle of the night and write a verse. It can hit me at any time."
The Horines offer a complement to one another and enjoy a great working relationship.
"We mesh very well together," Dennis said. "My brother is a very smart person. He's such a powerful speaker when he talks about Christianity, as we do at so many of our live events."
For now, the brothers are doing things together, taking their life under a label one concert at a time. They are moving forward, spreading the word of God, brother to brother.
"We've always wanted to do music full-time," Marvin said. "We'd like to wind up with a full-time band, and we are in position to travel the whole country if God wants us to do so."
Brother 2 Brother CDs and DVDs are available for purchase by calling 765-669-1556 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Goff serves as a Butler University intern to Indiana Conference Communication this semester.