A BRIEF HISTORY | 1976-1978

The Servant story began in late 1975 in Victoria, British Columbia where the initial members of Servant met. The venue was one of those proverbial “Upper Rooms” located on the third floor of an old building with plenty of character, and served as a drop in center and coffeehouse for transients and misfits. It was during the early months of 1976 that the band began to take shape, consisting initially of Bruce Wright (lead guitarist and songwriter), David Holmes (drums), Rob Martens (bass), and ourselves, Owen and Sandie Brock (rhythm guitarist and song writer, and vocalist respectively). Within a year of its inception Bob Hardy joined the fledgling community that Servant was a part of, and eventually became a vocalist with the band. Matt Spransy whose skillful keyboards would round out the band’s sound, joined in the summer of 1981.

1977-1st band trip. Lou St. Cyr, congas
1977-Rob Martens
1977-Bruce Wright

Apart from Bruce, who was a versatile and seasoned musician, the band that emerged was young and inexperienced. Several years of coffeehouses, parks and playing in bars four or five hours each night, helped change all that. And while the band members were growing in their skills, an intentional community was also growing as well. The band’s manager, Jim Palosaari and his wife, Susan, had worked together with Sandie and I in Europe and we shared a vision for a common life similar to what we had experienced while overseas. As the story would unfold, the community’s role would become foundational as our lifestyle and music reflected our shared beliefs about the world, the church, God’s kingdom and the importance of Christian community, simple living, compassion and justice for the poor.

1978-concert poster
1977-Vancouver concert
1978-early poster
1978-San Francisco
1978-San Francisco
1978-San Francisco concert
1978-San Francisco concert
1978-San Francisco concert

Life for the band and community was nomadic those first few years, and after a brief sojourn in San Francisco in 1978, the group finally settled in Grants Pass, Oregon in April of 1979, where we bought property and began to crystallize our vision of a missional community base.

Photos: S.Cowper and unknown

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