Orange Family Ministry History
The guitar, banjo, bass, and other various instruments are not solely what started the Orange Family Ministries. Though they are a large part of what the Orange family does, they are only a part of the larger vision.
The Orange Family Ministries started because of a man with a guitar, a banjo and a burden. This burden began as a nursing home ministry, ministering to those who were unable to attend church, thus bringing church to them. Bro. James Orange was saved at the age of 14. And in 1997, after surrendering to the call to preach, and at God’s direction, Bro. Orange, began going to these nursing homes with a guitar and a Bible, preaching and singing to share the Gospel. As time progressed and his family began to grow—in number and in age, the girls began going with their dad to the nursing homes.
The girls had their singing debut at their home church, Skyline Independent Baptist Church, from the time they could get the words out of their mouths. Though not always on key, Courtney and Sarah began to learn their harmony notes, thanks to the many encouragements and to their grandmother’s patient teaching. She became a key instrument in the girls’ vocals, teaching them the highs and lows, pitches and tones and how to blend their voices in harmony.
The Lead Guitar
At age 6, Caleb, the eldest son of the Orange family, found an interest in the guitar. With this interest, his dad showed him a few chords and how to do rhythm to get him started. It was not long and he was showing his dad how to navigate the guitar. A few years later, the fiddle sparked an interest in Caleb adding that, as well as the lead guitar, to the Orange Family sound.
Introducing the Banjo & Bass
Now with the rhythm guitar carrying the music, Bro. Orange could play his banjo which was his first passion anyway. Shortly thereafter, the Orange Family began going to various places to sing. Shannon, a.k.a. “Mom,” introduced the upright bass to the group to complete the bluegrass theme: a guitar, banjo and a bass. This would bring everything together and they would be well on their way.
Now the Dobro (Resonator Guitar)
One of the Orange Family’s most adamant encouragers has been, “Pa.” This is Bro. Orange’s dad. From the start, he has played the dobro with the group, complimenting all the other instruments with its unique resonating sound. This only added to the Orange family’s Bluegrass style and is featured on all of the CDs.
Introducing the Keyboard
At age 12, Courtney added the keyboard to the mix after taking a few lessons from her church’s piano player. It started as more of a filler to give the music a fuller sound but has migrated to an integral part of the “Orange Family Sound.”
Introducing the Mandolin
At the age of 10, Nathan, the second to oldest son, took an interest in the mandolin. With help from his brother, Caleb, and lots of encouragement from his grandpa, he quickly learned how to accent the group with the mandolin.
Encouragers Along the Way
As they worked out songs amongst each other, the Orange family began to occasionally play at benefits and wherever God would open the door. There were many encouragers starting out, and have been along the way. Often, other singing groups would give up a portion of their time in their own shows, asking the Orange Family to come on stage and sing as well as recommend them for future events. It wasn’t long and churches began to call and request The Orange Family for revivals and other church events. This would also open many doors for Bro. Orange to preach God’s word. With the help of the Lord and much encouragement, the Orange Family Ministries have been greatly used for many years to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to be a blessing to many of God’s people.
The Lord began to bless, expanding the horizons and opening doors. As the Orange family traveled, often, they would be asked if they had CDs for purchase. With the reply always being “no,” making a CD became a matter of prayer, and under the direction of the Lord, their first CD released in 2008. The reluctance to make CDs has been replaced with a joy and feeling of responsibility to provide a God-honoring, up lifting music that Christians can listen to and worship our Heavenly Father with. Now all proceeds go to keep the ministry going and pay expenses for new CD releases, travel, etc.
Then to Now
Since the first CD release, the Lord has blessed the Orange family to have three additional releases. They continue to travel the roads near and far, counting it all joy for the cause of Christ. Seeing many souls come to Christ has always been, and will continue to be, the vision and burden that keeps The Orange Family going. As the Children of Israel in Babylonian captivity replied, “How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a strange land?” in Psalms chapter 137, we are encouraged how the songs of Zion remind us of “Home”. While in this strange land, lest we forget how wonderful our Saviour is, and the grand and glorious home which awaits all those who have been born again, The Orange Family will continue, as the Lord leads, to endeavor to preach the gospel and share the songs of Zion. Proclaiming to all who will listen.