5A_relvents_maskIn Relevents, you’ll take a deeper look into the hearts and minds of Salvationists in the Eastern Territory as they express their take on the world, on The Salvation Army, on ministry, and on life. In this first installment, Doug Berry, territorial director of contemporary music, talks about coffee, childhood vacations in Maine, and the role God plays in his musical talents.

My Gretsch White Falcon guitar is not just an instrument that I like to play. It’s also a way to worship the Lord and a reminder to rely solely on Him. In college, I majored in trumpet performance. I practiced all the time; it was all I wanted to do. Then, around the end of my college career, my chops gave out and I could no longer play at the high level needed to be a professional. So, I felt the Lord draw me to the guitar. My relationship with the Lord is far more important than my music.

The Bible provides guidance for my life. The back page of my Bible is special because it involves these prayer circles I added to it. The idea came from a book I read called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. He talks about writing down your prayer requests every day and circling them. I have a prayer request, I bring it to the Lord, and when He answers it, I mark it with a highlighter. Some requests are more heavily circled, some may be there for years, but that’s just part of the discipline of continued prayer.

Relevants_insThere’s a coffee shop in Manhattan, in the West Village, called the Roasting Plant. They make my favorite coffee, by far. They have conveyors and tubes in the ceiling that use air suction. When you order, the beans get sucked up through the tubes and come down, ground, and into your cup. It’s like a little coffee factory. I’ve had so many meaningful get–togethers there with close friends. It’s where I had my first date with my wife. We even took our engagement photos there! Those memories, along with their awesome coffee, makes the place dear to me.

I have this necklace from my wife, Resa. She is half–Chinese, and, when we were first dating, she went on a mission trip to Malaysia. She brought back this necklace, and written on it in Mandarin were the lyrics to the Beatles song ‘All My Loving.’ This necklace reminds me of her love both for her culture and for me. I always wear it.

I have a tattoo of a calligraphy B. It’s an exact replica of the initial that my grandparents had on their retirement house in Old Orchard Beach. My brother, my cousin, and I all have the same tattoo. It reminds me of family, vacations in Maine, and the pilgrimage we all took to see our grandparents every summer and at Christmas. That B was the first thing we always saw when we arrived at their house. That B is on my chest now, always close to my heart.

‘Revolver’ by the Beatles is my favorite album of all time. This one has a lot of songs that people don’t know. It really got me into songwriting. I love ‘I’m Only Sleeping’ and ‘And Your Bird Can Sing.’ Everyone gets into the Beatles from their hits and their No. 1 songs. Their not–so–popular songs are what really got me into the Beatles. I love their No. 2s and No. 3s even more than their hits.

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