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Toured with Phil Collins, Sergio Mendes, Helen Baylor, Herb Alpert, Kirk Whalum, etc.
Toured with Donna Summer, Nell Carter, Deneice Williams, Amy Grant, etc.
Bill and Mari :
Latest CD: Love Wins, GIC Productions (2006);
Married 15 years.
CBN.com Both Mari and Bill lived in Los Angeles as keyboardists and composers.
“We saw each other perform,” says Bill. “But we didn’t know each other.”
One day after Mari got home from a tour with Amy Grant, Bill called her to hire her as a keyboard player for a gig. They talked for 30 minutes when Bill thought, “I could really like this girl,” he says. “But even if we don't end up dating, I want this girl in my life. ”
Mari, on the other hand, was not really interested. “He wasn’t my type,” says Mari.
As they got to know one another, Mari said to God, “He’s really nice, but this relationship is boring.” Mari says the Lord said back to her, “No, this is healthy.” [Mari was used to the dysfunctional behavior in her home growing up.]
One day when Mari realized Bill really liked her, she asked him what was going on with them. Bill said he wanted to pursue the relationship. Mari wanted to tell him that he was really nice, but that she wasn’t really interested. Instead, what came out of her mouth was, “Let’s just take this slow.” Mari says she feels like the Lord changed the words out of her mouth because she knew what she was saying in her head!
Fifteen years later, Mari and Bill are happily married.
“He is the kindest man I’ve ever met,” says Mari. “She’s completely honest,” says Bill. “And she makes me laugh.”
Schedules are always changing as professional musicians. They had a good marriage and always got along well.
“We were in a season of bickering when Louise DuArt asked us to take the 40 Day Couples Who Pray Challenge,” says Mari.
While both of them prayed individually on a regular basis, they sometimes prayed together, but not everyday. They were surprised by the effect praying together had on their lives.
“Everyone fights when they’re married,” says Mari. “But I think what happened was there is something about intimacy with God that lets you see the other person’s heart. It makes you put down the weapon.”
By praying together, Bill and Mari say they saw breakthrough in certain situations that they had been going through for a long time.
“There was a change in our circumstances,” says Bill. “We could see stuff happen on our behalf. We were taken back. We both knew it had to do with our praying together.”
Though they have completed the 40 Day Couples Who Pray Challenge, Bill says they have not stopped praying together.
“We didn’t lay that aside,” he says. “It became a habit and a part of our lives.”
Bill grew up in a Greek Orthodox home in San Diego, California. His sister got involved in the Calvary Chapel movement in 1980s and introduced Bill to a different level of Christianity. He listened to Keith Green’s music and was highly impacted. One day when Bill was 17, he began leading a small group and started to become serious about his faith.
Mari grew up in a Lutheran home. Her mother was an alcoholic.
“Everything was drama and turmoil in our home growing up,” she says.
Her grandparents and aunt and uncle, all of whom were Christians, were huge influences in her life. One summer when Mari was in sixth grade, she went away to camp and the counselors asked, "Would you go to heaven if you died tonight?"
Mari thought, "You mean, I can actually know?" So Mari gave her heart to Jesus that night. “It changed everything forever,” she says.
In 2000, Bill wrote a song for Mari when she was out of town. He will sing “Give Me That Smile.”
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.