I am Rob Evans - The Donut Man, known for my Bible story-songs. I'm actually a 'Donut Repair Man'... Why? I use a donut to illustrate how something can be good, and yet still have something missing. At the end of every presentation, after kids hear the good news of Jesus, they get to fill the empty hole in a donut with a round pastry and then eat it! This 'edible Gospel object-lesson' points to a simple truth: though we are made in God's image, our hearts have a "God-shaped empty-place" that only God can fill! I 'run' with that theme with everthing I do. That's why every 'Donut Man' CD, DVD and concert shows how God's love 'repairs' our lives. Using different Bible-based themes, my stories and songs promote knowing God personally, and God's people personally as well. (God illustrates this principle when He refers to Himself as "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob"). As we focus on the great heroes of the faith, by the grace and the Spirit of God, their examples fill our hearts with courage, prayer and love. The songs are both spiritually and creatively engaging because they are sung from the "first-person" perspective; Daniel is sung by the Lion, the Mustard Seed sings about faith, etc. Every CD in our "Just For Kids" series mixes "Songs That Teach, & Songs That Praise", to present a different aspect of God's character: "King of Kings" presents God is as King,; "The Farmer" presents God as a Farmer, with other themes such as a Builder, Shepherd and so on. On the DVD, "Barnyard Fun", we all help 'Uncle Jim' at his farm, and in the process learn that Jesus is like a farmer, working within us to produce the Fruit of His Spirit; fruit which he expects to find upon His return. This Integrity Music series has produced multiple platinum and gold awards for sales over six million units world-wide.
Background: My wife and I are both 'children of divorce'. I think it has given us much empathy for the feelings of children. As we suffered with, and pray for our families, so we also pray for healing and reconciliation in the Church of Jesus Christ. I don’t know if unity will ever occur in our lifetime, but meanwhile, I will continue to sing in Protestant and Catholic settings, doing my best to tell stories and sing about those things that are common to all Christians. (see my Concert Scrapbook for more concert details). My concert ministry simply tells the story of Jesus in song. I have references from all types of churches, so let me know what makes you feel comfortable, and I will deliver a concert that amplifies your tradition. It's that simple.
In Protestant circles, I try to be sensitive to the tradition and/or style that is in place. I always talk with leadership in advance to determine what their curriculum goals are, and welcome opportunities to craft the presentation in a way that reinforces the lessons the children have been learning. I have written many songs for the major VBS publishers; such as Gospel Light, Group, and David C. Cook, (who presently holds my Integrity Music copyrights.) I performed for the Billy Graham Crusades in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Portland, singing to 40,000 people at a time. (see my Concert Scrapbook for references and for more concert details) I sang for 12,000 people for the Assemblies of God in Singapore at their Indoor Stadium. Since 1982, I have been a regular children's minister at the 'Creation Festival', in central Pennsylvania, with average attendance of 75,000 per event. This year Harry Thomas, founder, and I celebrate my thirtieth year with him. He is a good friend who was the very first director to invite me to such a gathering. For twenty years I was a regular at the Children's Pastor's Conferences in Nashville, Denver, Orlando and San Diego, as keynote, and as recipient of their "Excellence in Ministry to Children" award. I even sang at the Ibadan Cultural Center in Nigeria, as we toured Lagos, Badagry, and Victoria Island. This ignited our popularity for Nigerian fellowships in the UK, where we have toured annually since 1998.
In a Catholic setting, I include songs that present lessons about the seven Sacraments with Scripture-based songs that illuminate and amplify their meaning. For example, my “Bath Song” illustrates baptism in a delightful way that the littlest children enjoy, as they scrub their hands. I have a concert that leads children step-by-step through a music-based, wonder-filled study of the Mass, pausing to consider each sequence in song. (Check out my “Liturical” page for references from DRE's and for more info and musical samples). And I am delighted to add, that EWTN has been broadcasting my videos world-wide since 1997; fifteen years.
Adoptive Parents: On a more personal note, in 1997, my wife and I, through Catholic Charities, went to Russia to adopt our sixth child, Tonya. She was five, had been starved and neglected, and entered our home with profound abandonment issues. Shelley and I have shared in Tonya's difficult journey, 'two steps forward and one step back'. We are committed to her fully realizing that she is a child of God, and our child, as we love her unconditionally. Tonya has had a constant struggle to accept that love and to believe in that love. As public speakers, we welcome opportunities to share in our adventure with Tonya, and of the prayer that has brought us close to the adoptive heart of God. Our zeal for the unwanted children and for special-needs children permeates all that we do, say and think.(We are a particular hit among the Downs Syndrome community; a gift of life which we affectionately call the 'Love Chromosome'. We now have eight grandchildren, seven boys, one girl. One of our grandsons has Noonan's syndrome which makes our lives all the richer.
In Conclusion, I just want to sing to kids about how wonderful Jesus is! I hope you enjoy my materials in your home and classroom, and that you consider inviting me to sing in your church or parish. Thirty years, six million CD's, videos, and DVD's sold, thousands of concerts performed, countless testimonies of lives touched and inspired.... I believe one Donut Man concert can impact children forever. That is why I do it, and why I approach each and every presentation as a high calling and a great privilege indeed.
Rob Evans, The Donut Man.