|Dr Ron Kenoly|
After graduating from High School in his birthplace, Coffeyville, Kansas, Kenoly ventured out to Hollywood, California. When plans to make it in the big city fell through, he joined the Air Force in 1965. It was in the military that he met and married Tavita, his wife of 42 years. It was also there that the humble beginnings of his music career were launched. Kenoly joined the Mellow Fellows, a top 40 cover band that toured military bases. In 1968, he left the Air Force and the Mellows Fellows behind and shipped out to the City of Angels to go after his passion- music.
"As a child I remember seeing Sammy Davis Jr. and Nat King Cole for the first time. I was so impressed as I watched two Black men grace a national stage. I knew right then that was what I wanted." So for the next few years, Kenoly poured all of his energy into making his childhood dream a reality. He sang demos of Jimmy Web songs, like the 70's hit "Up, Up and Away," for the Audio Arts label. The label also released Kenoly's first single, "The Glory of Your Love (Mine Eyes Have Seen)." Success in the R&B arena came after he signed with A&M Records. Under that label, he cranked out hits like, "Soul Vaccination."
All the success was taxing on Kenoly's family. His marriage suffered, he neglected his kids and soon the home was close to ruin. But then God stepped in. "My wife rededicated her life to the Lord in 1975 and began praying for our family's healing. I could see the changes in her life and that's when the
lights came on for me." Again, Kenoly had to enter into another transitional season of his life. The family stayed in LA for another year as he fulfilled R&B contractual agreements. Then they moved out to Oakland, CA. While working in a service industry position, Kenoly allowed the Lord to work on him, teaching him how to be a husband and father. While teaching music and physical education at Alameda College from 1978 to 1982, Kenoly tried unsuccessfully to get a gospel record deal. "Then one night I sat alone in church for hours playing, singing, praying and worshipping the Lord. I found the heart of God through worship. From then on, the record companies ceased to matter. The Lord met me and showed me so much that I felt I had gone beyond what any company could offer me."
So in 1983, Kenoly produced his custom-made album, "You Ought to Listen to This." He sold the album wherever he sang. Soon, offers to lead praise and worship came flooding in from churches in the area. In 1985, Pastor Dick Bernal who founded the Jubilee Christian Center in San Jose, CA, invited Kenoly to be the church's Minister of Music. Shortly after, Don Moen of Integrity Music heard about Kenoly's music. In 1991, Integrity released Kenoly's first gospel album, "Jesus is Alive." "Lift Him Up," "God is Able," "Sing Out," "Welcome Home," "High Places," "Majesty" and "We Offer Praises" all followed Kenoly's first surprise hit.
With all 8 albums, Kenoly sold more than 4 million copies. Two albums received gold record sale status and 3 live videos went gold. Kenoly received 19 GMA Dove Award nominations and won 1 Dove Award for "Welcome Home." "Every season of my life has had its own lessons. I think that's true for all of us. You never learn persistence until you have something you really want. You never learn faith until you have trials to test who you are and what you believe." Having learned and been tested, now with 8 successful records under his belt, Kenoly again knew it was time for change. In 1999 he felt the call to move from California out to the East Coast. Again, he picked up his family and moved them and his ministry out to Orlando, FL. It was after that move that he instituted new programs and endeavors. The Lord purposed in his heart to start the Academy of Praise, a mentoring program for Praise and Worship leaders and those in Christian music. The first conference was held at Kenoly's home church, Faith World Center, and more than 1000 people attended. Kenoly's goal is to take the Academy to different countries and regions of the world.
The new experiences in Kenoly's life even influenced his music. "As beats change, as technology changes, as the approach changes, I will change with them. I won't be like the people in the Bible who stayed in the wilderness and died because they weren't willing to crossover." So following the trend of progression in the music industry, Kenoly tried something different with his 9th album, "Dwell in the House." This is the only CD not recorded live. The studio album, released in 2001, has more radio and popular appeal than his previous projects. Kenoly calls it Praise and Worship with a new Millennium edge.
It's been quite a journey for the man who God has used to sow into the lives of millions across the globe. He's had to change and adjust along the way. But he says his purpose and his message have remained the same. "God desires His people to be in His presence. It's what He's been saying since the beginning of time. What I do is just a 21st century approach to getting God's people back to His presence through worship. For the remainder of my life, I plan to put myself in a position to lead others in worship and praise, and to help those that I lead realize a higher level in their praise and worship experience." "I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise will continually be in my mouth."
|Dr Ron and his wife|
Mathayo 6:33 Utafuteni kwanza ufalme wake na haki yake na hayo mengine mtazidishiwa.