Mission and Vision Statement
“To bring equity, equality and education to children
and their families using music as a focus..”
“As musicians and artists, we will network and jointly use our talents to find ways to meet the needs of God’s children and to help equip them to meet the needs of the world around them.”
The Mission and History of Kolaiah Productions, Inc.
When I was 12 years old, I felt called to preach, teach and reach through music. I remember having a dream… no, a vision.
It was the summer of 1968. Once again we headed back to Arkansas for our annual visit with family. With Dad being a school teacher (and I believe that this was his last year as a music teacher, thanks to the State of California) we were able to spend several weeks visiting everyone in the family back home.
On our way to Arkansas we stayed several nights at my dad’s sister’s house. It was a fairly big Texas house with lots of room to spread out. I had some room to myself and I had a notebook with me so that I could capture thoughts and ideas for songs and such. Late one night I lay there as I was praying and God gave me a vision as clear as John the Revelator’s.
I stepped into an open air concert. There was a feeling in the air. There was something about the music that was drawing me closer to a view of the stage. The music was rock and roll but the lyrics were different.
I could finally see the stage as there were so many people it was difficult to even move around. I could see on the stage what seemed to be hippies… long-haired, freaky type… and the music was simple yet loud and pulsating. I could hear the words more clearly as I approached the stage. They were singing about Jesus. Their facial expressions gleamed with a sense of freedom that I had never witnessed. They were so in love with Jesus that it flooded from the stage as they played.
This was music that would be relevant to the tastes of young people expressing love and gratitude to Jesus. This was a radical concept. I could feel my heart pounding as I saw the potential in what was happening and how it could affect the whole world. Rock music was everywhere. It indeed was more popular than God with the youth worldwide so why not use it to tell the world about Jesus? My heart was beating with excitement and it was breaking at the same time. Why was my heart breaking?
My vision was filled with people singing new songs to the Lord. They were sharing their love for Jesus and His love for them. It was hippies singing to hippies about Jesus. It was flower children telling flower children about the love of God through Christ. It was about radicals being radical about the truth. It was people seeking the truth and finding it. It was children calling out to their Father and hearing His voice.
It was not about the pious and mighty church looking down on these children and telling them they were going to hell. It was not about condemnation; it was about salvation. I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame.
From this point on I worked in everything that I did to bring the word to everyone through music. I wanted to sing out to the unsaved on the streets and in the parks. I wanted to sing to the church people and encourage them to sing a new song to the Lord.
There were many incarnations of Kolaiah throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s. I helped to bring contemporary worship to a church whose pastor was against rock and roll. Now he is as much, if not even more, a rock’n’roller than I.
Kolaiah moved to Arkansas during the 90s and became the Wildey Family Band. My son Joshua and daughter Kimberly joined Reneé and me as we traveled from church to church in the Bible Belt to teach contemporary worship music to many different denominations. We were adopted by so many different churches and each one did not want us to leave when it was time for us to move on.
We became part of and joined in membership at an all black church (Mt. Zion Methodist Church) in Horatio, Arkansas. Our family was the first white folks to join an all black church in an area that is still somewhat segregated. We fellowshipped with and ministered in several black churches and we found the same response there… they did not want us to leave when it was time to go.
Teaching about worship music, contemporary and traditional, is my heart. I love to teach what it means and how to approach it musically. I love to teach the theology of worship and what the Bible tells us about worship. Now many of us are aware that the same root word that translates in scripture as worship also means service. This means that if we are worshippers, then we better be servants.
Now we are located in Visalia, California. Our son and daughter are doing their own thing and serving God in other church settings. Reneé and I are continuing to follow where ever God leads us. We have found that no matter where we are, we will be leaders whether we have been designated to do so or not. Somehow God continues to put us in that role even when we occasionally take a sabbatical.
It is 2010. We are in our mid-50s. Are we needed? Yes, even more than ever. Has God brought that wonderful rock and roll into the church as I longed for when I was 12? Yes, He has. Is it all that He wants it to be? Not by a long shot… but we are getting there.
I look to our founding fathers of the Protestant faith. I look to those who brought the movement at the Azusa Street Revival in 1906. I look to those who brought in the Jesus People Movement during the late 60s. I honor Maranatha, Hosanna Integrity Praise, Vineyard Ministries, Hillsong and others for all that they bring to the table for worship. Each one has taught me so much. Each one has enriched my life when I needed it so desperately.
Where do we go from here? Onward and upward, my friend. Onward and upward.