Ramon RiveraAustin, Texas, is a long way from New Jersey. How did you end up where you are now?

My grandparents live in TX and would always tell us we should move there. We always blew it off. But we would sit at home in NJ and think, we need to get out of here! Price of housing and taxes were outrageous! The tri-sate area is run by the mob. We were just tired of it. Well one day we decided that instead of just talking about it, we should do something. So I put my resume on monster.com and found an opening in Austin. Got the job, sold, the house, and as they say, the rest is history. A short history, but history none the less.

You’re active in your church right now playing in worship. How did you get into playing music and what would you say is the biggest blessing you’ve experienced being part of worship in this way?

I started playing guitar back in highschool because of Josh Hallahan and Thad MacFarlane. It was something I wanted to do so I bought a cheap acoustic from the Berlin Farmers market and taught myself. I always had Josh to play with and through youth group/church I got the chance to do worship. Josh and I played for youth group, church and started a band called SPAM. Even after I left SUMC I always led in worship in some sort of way.

The biggest blessing I’ve experienced is just being able to worship on my own. Just me, my guitar, and my God. And second to that would be that I’ve been able to take part in some awesome times of corporate worship. I’ve played with many great musicians who have helped me become who I am today, but to be able to unite and help lead people to the throne room. That’s what its all about.

How did you start going to Delanco, what was your first memory of the camp and how long did you attend?

I started going to Delanco because my dad was the activities director for a camp meeting. I dont remember much of that year but I do remember I loved it and kept going back. That was probably in sixth grade. The last year I “attended” camp was the year I was on Perm. Staff. That was back in 2001 I think. Man I’m getting old.

Do you have a favorite Delanco Camp memory/memories or anything that you find yourself recollecting about?

I think back a lot about the things we did. Bible smugglers was always fun, the food was great, and the lessons I learned there have shaped me. But I think the thing I miss most are the relationships. The conversations we all had as friends. The staff just being able to hang out with each other. One reason why I love Facebook so much, even living in TX I can still keep in touch.

What would you say the impact of your time at camp has been on your life, particularly now that you are married, have a family and remain active in the local church?

Camp has definitely taught me a lot of things. Sermons, devotions, and any other chapel time we had is pretty obvious. But its the smaller things you learn from others that I think have had a big impact as well. Just the fact that it surrounded me with other Christians has shaped me. I’ve learned to lead others, teach kids, and learned what things are really important in life. Those are the things that translate into everyday living. Especially when you have a family or church.

What advice do you have for young people who want to get into doing music in church or ministry settings?

Be humble. I dont care how good you think you are, its not about you. Its about serving others, and ultimately God, through the talents he has given you. Be faithful. That means dont get to practice on time, be there early and ready to go when its time. Be excellent. Practice and give God only your best. Learn some theory. At least the Nashville numbering system (if you dont know what that is…it looks like you have some homework). And lastly, worship God in spirit and truth. Those are the worshipers He seeks.

What would you say your top five favorite worship songs are at the moment?

1 – God of this city – Chris Tomlin
2 – Hearts of Servants – Shane and Shane
3 – The Anthem – Planetshakers
4 – Facedown – Matt Redman
5 – Revelation Song – CFNI version
6 – From the Inside Out – Hillsong

Is there a particular passage of scripture or book that God’s been speaking to you about or using in your life lately?

Matt 6:19-21 I guess. I’ve been trying to stop thinking about and spending my time on things that have no eternal value and start putting my time, money, and effort into things and relationships that are.

2 thoughts on “Where is he now? Ramon Rivera

  1. Another great post!

    SPAM/leading worship at SUMC was a huge blessing on my life as well. Now we just gotta get Ramon back out here to lead worship at one of the camps!!!

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