Payback time
October 12 2001 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Payback time | Friday, Oct. 12, 2001

Friday, Oct. 12, 2001

Payback time

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor Tamra Comstock didn't set out to become a Christian entertainer, but she is both. We chatted briefly between performances at the Oct. 6 "Super Saturday" evangelism event at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

When your stage folds out from an 18-wheeler parked by a sloping and muddy race track, there is no "back stage," but we worked in a reasonable conversation on some nearby steps.

Comstock's music has country roots with decidedly Christian lyrics. Not being well versed in the field, I asked if she played mostly to Christian or to country audiences. "I mostly sing Christian music in secular venues," she said. "It's my redemption for the 15 years I spent singing to drunk people in bars."

Comstock lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for 10 years and developed quite a local following. "I was the 'Queen of Billy Bob's,'" she said, referring to a popular nightspot that bills itself as "the world's largest honky tonk."

After moving to Orlando, where she performed at Disney's Pleasure Island and Church Street Station, Comstock developed a spiritual yearning. She accepted Christ after a Methodist minister came to visit her where she was performing, unaware that she had also visited his church.

Comstock said she couldn't feel comfortable continuing to sing in bars. Still, she felt God leading her to take her newfound faith into secular settings. In the past year she has performed for NASCAR fans at 21 races, and has worked with Bill Glass in 12 large prison ministry programs, along with appearances at fairs, trade shows and other events.

Sports and entertainment have become America's worship, she said, providing appropriate venues for sharing the gospel. "God came to me where I was," she said. Now she wants to carry the gospel to where the fans are.

In her church, Comstock is working with young artists to train up future "musicianaries" committed to sharing their faith in similar settings.

Comstock joined "CrossCountry The Band" for a foot-stomping, hand-clapping crossover blues number that stirred the crowd. "Oh, they call me a crazy Christian," she crooned in a rich, throaty voice, "and I do believe it's true ..."

And I do believe it's true.

(Editor's note: learn more about Tamra Comstock at www.tamratunes.com, and CrossCountry The Band at www.cross-country.org.)

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10/12/2001 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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