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I’ve met a lot of people who have a great heart for Christ, and I’ve met a few people who are gifted artists in song. Rarely have I met someone who embodies both of these strengths in such a complete way as Damaris Carbaugh. If you like good, Christ-honoring music from a gifted artist with passion, depth, and flair, then you’ll love Damaris’ ministry! — Joe Stowell, President, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids MI

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She has known the heights of success in the New York recording community. She’s sung on commercial jingles for some of the world’s biggest advertisers, including Coca Cola, Pepsi, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Minute Maid and Wrigley’s Double Mint Gum. Yet the desire of Damaris Carbaugh’s heart is to be a servant of Christ. “I don’t want a ‘career,'” she says, “I want to be faithful.”

Damaris’s many recordings, on the Discovery House Music label, reflect her broad musical experience and her personal spiritual journey.

Her gift to communicate and her zeal for the Word of God has expanded her ministry beyond singing.  She has now become a much sought after conference speaker as well.

Some history:

She was born November 4, 1955, in New York City, and was named for a woman who was one of Paul’s few converts on his visit to Athens (Acts 17:34). Her mother was an evangelist and her father a singer, and when they weren’t on the road or out of the country, they attended the Thessalonica Church in the South Bronx, which Damaris’s grandfather pastored.

When she was just three months old, her parents moved to Cuba to serve as missionaries in the days before Castro. A year later they moved to Puerto Rico and Damaris’s childhood years were spent between there and New York. At the age of eight, while living in Puerto Rico, Damaris gave her life to Christ. By the age of eleven she knew that all she ever wanted to do was sing.

As a teen, Damaris and her two sisters sang as a trio and traveled with their mother. At 15, she was asked to sing at a recording studio, and soon she was in demand by producers and advertising agencies in New York. In the years since, Damaris has sung with many well-known artists in recording sessions. She has performed vocals on countless advertising jingles and commercials, often in Spanish, which she speaks fluently.

In the early ’80s, Damaris was seeking a career as a secular performer, feeling that this was the way God would give her a platform and would use her talents. In 1982 she won the American Song Festival Talent Search and received a recording contract with CBS Records. The album was released in January 1984 but, in Damaris’s own words, “It went nowhere.”

A turning point came in Damaris life in 1988, when she visited a group of believers in Argentina who live in abject poverty. She was struck by their devotion to the Lord in spite of their circumstances, serving Him not for His blessings, but for the pure joy of loving Him. Damaris felt a need to give herself totally to the Lord, and began praying for ways to use her talents more fully for him.

The music:

Eventually, she was asked to sing on the “Day of Discovery” television program, produced by Radio Bible Class of Grand Rapids, Michigan. For years, she served as both a soloist and a member of the Discovery Singers on the Bible teaching program which airs weekly on network affiliates across the country. When viewer response convinced Radio Bible Class to form Discovery House Music to meet requests for recordings of the music featured on the program, Damaris was asked to be the label’s first solo artist.

Never Alone is the resulting first recording. Produced by Discovery House executive Brian Felten and a gifted arranger, the collection not only exhibits Damaris’s incredible vocal gifts, but her exuberant personality and her intense devotion to Christ.

Several more albums have been released since then. “We Have A Mission” is Damaris’s second solo album. Also produced by Discovery House Music, this collection of songs was arranged by J. Daniel Smith using all live instrumentation. It was released in the fall of ’92. Spring of 1994 brought the release of “All Embracing Love” and her first Spanish recording, “Yo Cantaré.” In March of 1996, “Giving My Life Away” was released, featuring a duet with Calvin Hunt from the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.“Joy To The World” is a Christmas album released in October of 1996 featuring many traditional classics, and some more recent favorites of Damaris’s. “Heart, Mind and Soul” was released in February of 1998. The ninth recording, “No Apology”, was released in March, 2001.

In June of 1999, a dream of the singer came true. A video was released of a live performance with a forty piece orchestra, a 125 voice choir, and background singers. Videotaped in Kentwood Community Church of Grand Rapids, MI, this seventy minute DVD captures her beautiful music set against a dynamic backdrop of superb musicians and scenery. Most importantly, however, Damaris gives her testimony and presents the gospel between the songs. The soundtrack, including her testimony, is also available on CD. The project is titled: “Damaris, Live. Not Ashamed.”

Her tenth recording, “Just Hymns,” was released in September, 2002. Arranged by master pianist David Huntsinger along with J. Daniel Smith, this collection of hymns has a wide variety of musical styles, always maintaining the integrity of the rich doctrine of Christ communicated in Damaris’s own way. Since the hymns are already translated into Spanish, “Alabanzas: Tus Himnos Favoritos,” was released in May, 2003 as her eleventh recording, and second CD in Spanish.

The twelfth CD, “The Call” was released in March 2004. Different from all of her other releases, the ten songs were commissioned and written specifically for the theme of the CD, which is the call to discipleship. The theme is taken from the discipleship course called MasterLife written by Avery Willis from Lifeway Publishing, an eight month course Damaris went through with her church in 2003.

“The Heart of God” was released in March of 2006, her thirteenth CD. It is unique in that all ten songs are reflective and contemplative, encouraging the listener to draw close to the Lord. With strings recorded in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, the arrangements are lush and stirring. Included are some John W. Peterson favorites, as well as new songs from contemporary writers. One very special song, “Be Aware,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, captured Damaris’s heart when she sat in on their live recording of it as a teenager.

With the advance of time, some of her earliest CDs are now out of print.  Because there are songs which Damaris still feels will stir people toward Jesus, “The Collection” was released in early 2011.  It has 12 songs which Damaris “just can’t let go of” which are from CDs that are no longer available.

Damaris has also sung with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and Singers as a soloist since the early eighties and appeared on many of their earlier albums.

“It’s easy to say, ‘I just want to be a servant,'” Damaris admits, “but that’s what I’m striving to be. God has been so merciful to me. I want to share His love and His mercy with others and encourage them to draw closer to the Lord.”

Damaris lives in Mt. Vernon, New York with her husband of over thirty years, Rod.  Their grown daughter, Ashley Rose (Wheaton College 2005) lives nearby.  Ashley is a charter school math teacher in NYC.  Their recently married son, James Christian (US Naval Academy 2007) is a Navy helicopter pilot serving in Monterey, CA.

In short:

Damaris Carbaugh’s depth of love and devotion for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is so evident through her special gift of song and powerful speaking ministry. You will be moved and inspired as Damaris reveals a true servant’s heart through her beautiful voice and infectious love for teaching God’s Word which reflects her personal spiritual journey. This talented musician was a featured soloist with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and regularly appeared on the “Day of Discovery” television program.  She is now in demand as a speaker and soloist. “The Collection” is the latest of her fourteen albums, with a new one to be released soon.