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Character and Spirit Worship Series – Tony Melendez
February 10 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EST
Every Sunday through March 3, 2019 Campus Ministry will be hosting its Character and Spirit Worship Series. Each of these events will highlight a character with spirit. It will begin at 7 p.m. with a short presentation, followed by discussion and prayer, and closing with a pizza party in the Chapel of St. Matthew’s first floor student lounge. All students and employees are invited, and urged to bring a friend with them. Below is information on this week’s character(s).
FEBRUARY 10 – TONY MELENDEZ
(born January 9, 1962, Rivas, Nicaragua)
Tony is a Nicaraguan American guitar player, composer, singer, and songwriter who was born without arms. His mother took Thalidomide while pregnant, which caused his disability. Meléndez has learned to play the guitar with his feet. Tony began playing and singing in the Los Angeles area in 1985. On September 15, 1987, he sang Never Be the Same while playing the guitar with his feet in a special performance for Pope John Paul II. Visibly moved, the Pope descended from his chair and embraced him. The Pope told him, “My wish to you, is to continue of giving this hope to all, all the people,” which inspired him. His band, Tony Meléndez and the Toe Jam Band, has a busy concert schedule, he gives motivational talks and has written a book, A Gift of Hope. Tony has won Unity Awards’ Male Vocalist of the Year UCMVA in 2000, 2002, and 2004. And in 2002, he took Artist of the year. He received the Branson Entertainment Award for Best New Artist in 1999, the “Inspirational Hero Award” from the NFL Alumni Association at the Super Bowl XXIII. He now resides in Branson, Missouri with his wife, Lynn. In 1991 he wrote a book, A Gift of Hope.