About Debbie L. Rice & Faith:REFINED
Faith:REFINED is a band made up of members who have faced the Refiner’s fire and emerged stronger in their Faith than they were before. Led by Debbie L. Rice, herself a cancer survivor, their unique blend of pop/country/rock Contemporary Christian music tells the story of a faith made bolder each time a crisis is faced.
Located on the shores of the Texas Gulf Coast, Faith:REFINED is made up of vocalists Pamela Bieri and Melinda Bedrich, guitarist Tommy Meador, bass player Nick Benavidez, and keyboardist Debbie L. Rice. Faith:REFINED’s mission is to bring God’s message of Faith to believers and non-believers alike. Main songwriter Debbie L. Rice shows through her music the wonderful things God has done in her life, and the growth she has experienced by placing her trust and faith in Him during times of difficulty. Having faced cancer, bankruptcy, foreclosure, divorce, loss of her house to a tropical storm, the death of her father, repossession, and being forced to move herself and her infant son 4 times in 5 years, you would think her music would be full of anger, grief and sorrow. Instead, she tells of the love, provision and blessing God gives to you when you put Him first in your life and put your life in His hands. “We had a wonderful time with Debbie Rice and her band” says Melanie Daigle, Director of THE REFUGE COFFEE HOUSE in Seabrook, TX. “It was incredible to hear all the songs she wrote from her own heart and her own experiences on her journey with God and to freedom. She ministered and shared wonderful testimonies of what God had done along the way.” Melanie states.
In 2005, while still a solo artist, Debbie was nominated in two categories for the prestigious “Momentum Awards” sponsored by Indieheaven.com. In 2006, her song, “Building Idols in a Fallen World”, won the Honorable Mention award at the Unisong International Songwriters Awards. As the band started to grow, their success continued with the nomination of “In Your Silence” for “Best of SongU” at SongU.com. “In Your Silence” was also selected for Indieheaven.com radio airplay, and made the chart in Christian Radio & Retail Weekly (CRW) magazine in the Indieheaven “Hot Top 40” category. Their single, “I Want to Know You Lord”, is currently climbing the Indieheaven Radio Chart. Debbie L. Rice & Faith:REFINED were selected to play at the Houston International Music Conference & Festival in February 2007, and their debut CD, “By Faith”, has recently been added to i-tunes and several other major digital distributors. The band has seen their online presence explode in over 20 different countries, and their songs are at the tops of the charts on several online radio stations. They are currently working on their sophomore CD, and have released 3 new singles as a preview of the great songs to come.
Debbie began her songwriting career just a few short years ago, after losing her ‘secure’ job in the medical research field. “The way the Lord wove the circumstances together to bring me home was just awesome”, says Debbie. “I was at a job in one of the best hospitals in the world long enough to get treatment for my cancer. Then the area I was working in experienced a cut-back in employees. My career was my safety net, and I wouldn’t have left willingly” she says. “So God put an end to my job for me” she laughs. Shortly afterwards, while still deciding what to do next, Debbie began to feel the urge to write music. Although she had dabbled in writing before, this time it was different. “The music just seemed to pour out” she says. Debbie put together a demo band, and produced a CD titled "By Faith" to shop around. The CD quickly caught on, and requests were made for them to perform. At first, Debbie ignored these requests, explaining that she was just a songwriter, not a performer. But as the requests kept coming, she decided to approach the others about actually performing a live concert. They all agreed, and the rest....as they say.....is history. "I never meant for this to happen", says Debbie. "But God had other plans for us!” In addition to performing with her band, Debbie leads Children’s Worship for the 3rd-6th grade Wednesday night BreakOut program at Willow Drive Baptist in Lake Jackson, and she also serves as a small group leader for 6th grade girls. She is one of the Worship leaders for Children’s church on Sunday’s, and sings part time in the Choir. Darren Rice, Debbie’s husband, is the group’s manager, producer and photographer. Darren & Debbie’s children, Hayden, Emma and Joshua, also participate by performing a few children’s songs at the band’s live shows.
Vocalist Pamela Bieri brings a sound all her own to the band. Pamela also sings for a well known Rock band in the Gulf Coast area, and her signature rock style adds highlights to several songs. “Pam is able to hear the melody line in a way I never anticipated&.and that’s a GOOD thing!” says Debbie. “It took me a while to convince her to sing with us”, Debbie notes. “But I can’t imagine doing this without her!”. Pam lives with her husband, Bret, and daughter in Dickinson, TX. Mother and daughter earned a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do together, and Bret is a drummer with yet another band in the Clear Lake area. Pam somehow also finds time to be a full-time aerospace engineer with NASA.
Guitarist Tommy Meador was the first ‘live’ musician that Debbie added to the band. Debbie heard Tommy playing with another area Christian band, and asked him to do some demo work for her. She found a kindred spirit in Tommy, and soon asked him to become a permanent member. “Tommy is our Spiritual backbone” says Debbie. “I call him Chaplain” she says. “He hates it, but he deserves it! He has more wisdom in his little finger than I have in my whole body”, she laughs. “Tommy is also a very gifted songwriter” Debbie continues. “I’m so blessed to have him as part of this band” she adds. Tommy lives with his wife, Alfreda, and their two children in Pearland, TX.
Debbie has known Vocalist Melinda Bedrich since 1st Grade. "We've come in and out of each other's lives several times over the years", says Debbie. "But this time we are following God's plan, instead of our own. He's brought us together again for a reason!". Melinda has always had a heart to sing for the Lord but didn't start singing until about seven years ago. Since then, she has sung all over South Texas. She is also one of the Worship Leaders at Willow Drive Baptist Church in Lake Jackson, and is married with two children.
Debbie first met Bassist Nick Benavidez when they both served as counselors at Church camp. Nick was then a member of the Youth group, and although Debbie had seen him play bass with the Youth band at their church, this was the first time she had a chance to get to know him. “My son, Joshua, was in Nick's cabin at camp, so I was able to hear all about the fun Nick brought to their group&. probably more than I needed to know!” Debbie says. Nick began playing bass at the age of 14. He played for the Willow Drive Baptist Youth for 4 years, and has played for various Churches and festivals along the way. He lives in Lake Jackson, and is currently attending college.
“Our music is about Faith” says Debbie. “It’s about having the faith to get through difficult circumstances, overcoming trials and times of God’s silence with faith, having the faith it takes to begin and grow in a relationship with Christ, or having the faith to put yourself and your life completely in His hands, instead of following the world’s lead. Our music aims to inspire the believer to lean on their faith and encourages the lost to just ‘let go, and let God’ take care of them&by Faith”.
Faith:REFINED has partnered with Relay For Life (American Cancer Society), and the St. Luke’s Texas Heart Exchange (Heart Transplant Recipients) for the 1st Annual “United In Him” Christian Music Festival & Bazaar to be held in April of 2007 in Lake Jackson, TX. Together with several other Indieheaven.com bands, local area church youth bands, and nationally known speakers, this event promises to be a great annual event for the community. The band will be releasing their 2nd CD in the spring of 2007, and are currently booking shows in the Lake Jackson, Houston, and Clear Lake area. Faith:REFINED has also recently been nominated for “Contemporary Artist of the Year”, “Worship Artist of the Year”, “Song of the Year (In Your Silence), and “Female Vocalist of the Year” for the 2007 Indieheaven.com “Momentum Awards” to be held in Franklin, TN March 30th, 2007. Says Debbie, “We have been seeing some awesome successes, and we give all the glory to God. Each day is a gift, and we just can't wait to see what God has in store for us next!"