Shaun 17 Reshana 15
Tasha 13 Dave 43
The McDowell Family, 3 eldest and father pictured here, in 1995
How the gospel music began ...
On September 1, of 1995, The McDowell Family entered a gospel singing ministry, Dave McDowell, his wife and eight children launched out on a journey that would take them through thousands of miles, a myriad of emotions and tests of faith unlike anything they had ever known. The three eldest (13, 15, and 17, pictured above in 1995) were full of excitement and enthusiasm for the coming adventure.
The decision to step out in faith was not lightly made. After all, they were stepping out into foreign territory, even the father, David, with his musical roots, had never done anything like this before, much less with his children! With the family's help, Dave had developed and operated a Christian RV campground, offshoot of a Florida based international ministry. The work was hard, but the job was secure and the rewards, many: a lovely home, a lake, a swimming pool, a playground, hay rides, fishing, boating, 150 acres of woodland and campground activities were at their disposal. For the five younger children it was vacation all the time, new friends each week and unending succession of exciting things to do.
Did God really want them to leave everything behind as Abraham
did and go--where? A man just doesn't pull up a family of ten and
go off without knowing how to provide for them. But Dave couldn't
get away from the knowledge that this is exactly what he needed
to do. The decision was made and they set about
preparing to "hit the road." To start off a 1973 GMC bus was
purchased and converted. Family and friends pitched in to help
make it suitable for this family of 10.
road--the trials begin. During the first six weeks out, The McDowell
family experienced three major breakdowns with repairs totaling many
thousands of dollars. After the third breakdown in Oct of 1995, they had
to travel in a twelve-passenger van for seven months, towing the music
equipment behind them. They made every engagement throughout the states!
The Lord always provided their needs through those difficult days. Dave
noted, "You can get very close as a family, in more ways than one, when
you travel full time in a van for seven months!" Adjusting to life in a
bus after having an entire campground in which to play, was difficult for
the younger children, But after seven months in a van, the bus seemed
like a palace! Finally repaired, the old bus gave them a ten-month respite
before it turned ornery again. Then, in five months came three more engine
rebuilds, major breakdowns and thousands of dollars more in repair bills.
Again, the Lord provided ways for them to meet their engagement dates.
long after, The McDowell Family's prayers were answered again, not only
purchase of a beautiful 45ft Eagle coach, to replace the 1973 coach, but also the
a second bus, a 35' GMC for the married children to use.
During 2001, The McDowell Family made a decision to quit traveling. At that time, this decision was made in part due to a health situation, but mostly realizing a 3rd marriage was soon to happen. During this time good health returned, and the oldest was married. Although continuing to play in their regional area they also involved themselves with praise music in their home church. In 2002 they realized the need to go back to the band's original sound and roots in Country music. So they proceeded to prepare their songs in the Country and Southern Music genre. By the end of 2002 they were in full swing again with their new genre... returning to the original sounds of Sweet Water Junction Band, The McDowell Family once again settled in Florida until moving on to the Border hills of the Carolinas and Tennessee in 2012.
pursuing their passion for music. At this they
are accepting bookings on a limited basis and primarily in parts of Tennessee, Virginia, the Carolinas,
Georgia and Florida. The McDowell Family still offer many
musical projects on CD and cassettes from their gospel music traveling
days. Sweet Water
Junction Band is a Family tradition. The group provides fantastic entertainment for
show clubs, business and civic events such as; concerts, weddings, family
reunions, church and corporate functions, city and state festivals,
along with a variety of other celebrations. They perform a variety
of song selections; New / Classic Country & Southern