Note: For those of you searching for information on Jamie Parker (and you are legion), Jamie was the minister of music at First Baptist Church, Dyersburg, TN for a little over a year after he left Bellevue. (Apparently they don't ever update their website as he was never listed.)
As of January 1, 2011 he's at Cross Church (Ronnie Floyd) in Springdale, Arkansas. Watch.
May 2012: Jamie Parker is now at Bayside Baptist Church in Harrison, TN (suburb of Chattanooga).
It was learned this week that Minister of Music Jamie Parker is among the latest casualties left in Steve Gaines' wake. Without going into great detail (because no one but the parties involved knows all the details and that is not the purpose of this post) Jamie was reportedly informed by Steve Gaines in late March that he needed to seek other employment, but apparently it was understood he would be allowed to remain for a while until he could find another position. It was thought Sunday would be his last day, but that apparently changed.
The only question I have is what happened to that "covenant relationship" that Steve has stated he has with Jamie... the assurance that wherever Steve is, Jamie will always have a place? Steve brought Jamie from Gardendale with the promise of a secure future here. Jamie and Dana bought a large, beautiful home on several acres of land in the country thinking Jamie would eventually retire from Bellevue. Now they're stuck during the worst economic times in decades with a big mortgage and an uncertain immediate future.
It's no secret a lot of people were disappointed at the way Jim Whitmire was forced to "retire" when Steve Gaines came. No doubt that situation could have been handled a lot differently and much better than it was. Some said Jim was tired and needed to take it easy. So tired, I suppose, that when he left Bellevue he spent several months flying back and forth to Dallas every weekend to serve as interim minister of music at FBC Dallas, then took the full-time minister of music position at GBC, and now serves as full-time minister of music at FBC Jax. But life goes on.
Jamie came in January 2006 amid much fanfare and immediately made some changes in the music program which were unpopular with some. However, he seemed to hit his stride after a while and seemed to hit a happy medium with most people. In my opinion, Jamie is now being thrown under the bus, just like many fine staff members before him.
I think a lot of people saw this coming when Mark Blair was brought on board to handle "special productions." Then Mark was given even more responsibilities as evidenced by this letter sent to the choir. I take no satisfaction in the fact I predicted this outcome six months ago. Almost two years ago we learned Steve Gaines was trying to blame the declining attendance numbers on the music. Then Jamie and the music department took the fall for the infamous dance routine. Ryan Wingo and his trademark guitar have been increasingly "front and center" in worship services.
There is no doubt Jamie Parker loves the Lord, is very talented, and God has a better place for him. Dana, with her beautiful voice and sweet spirit has been an asset to the church and choir and will no doubt be a source of strength and support to Jamie during these uncertain days.
To Jamie and Dana, I wish you all the best and want you to always remember that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." It probably doesn't feel like it right now, but God has bigger things for you than Bellevue. Take your talent, that winning smile, and those big dimples and go... serve... Him! Remember that men will always disappoint you but God never will. Stay strong and always stay faithful. God has great things in store for you both!
Who can forget this?
The purpose of this post is not to criticize Jamie Parker or this blog. Please use the comments section to express your appreciation for Jamie's years of service at Bellevue and your fond or funny memories of Jamie and Dana Parker.