Former Kansas Vocalist John Elefante Teams With “Online For Life” For Powerful Pro-Life Message!
The band Kansas has been one of the most original and legendary arena rock bands in history. Former Kansas front man John Elefante has traveled many literal and figurative roads along the way. Through the years, John has maintained his flawless vocals, has helped build a loving family, and has chosen the path of recording Christian music.
John recently completed his fourth solo album titled On My Way to the Sun. Some say this is the best work of his long career. But the song that is getting most of the attention is “This Time.” The song was written about his adopted daughter and has a strong pro-life and adoption message.
The video for “This Time” received over 100,000 views in just a four-day period. I spoke to John from his home in Nashville, Tennessee, and asked him about the impact the song and video is having around the globe.
Where were you, and what was it like for you, the moment you decided to become a Christian?
I was twenty years old. My parents really believed in my music career. They gave up parking their cars inside to convert their small garage in Long Beach, California, into a small studio. There I recorded bands and my own music.
A friend of mine from the fourth grade named Mark Ambrose the founding member of Idle Cure reappeared in my life. He was noticeably different and began sharing the message of Christ with me over the course of six months to a year. It was in 1980 I accepted Christ and had many questions. What’s this going to mean to me? Do I have to give up music altogether, become a preacher, change my friends? I was somewhat confused. What I learned was that unless you just let go and let God those questions are impossible to answer. We’re not capable as baby Christians to answer those questions.
I was just a young rock & roll kid. I’ll never forget when I accepted Christ in the control room of that little studio. I just couldn’t deny His existence any longer.
Why after all the years preceding the adoption of your daughter did you write the song “This Time?”
I didn’t really set out to write a song about my adopted daughter. As soon as I began writing the song, I realized this was not a typical song. This song needed to go somewhere different; it was a story type song. It came to my heart at that moment: my daughter, it’s time to tell her story! I normally write out all the lyrics at once, but not this time. It was like God was speaking the lyrics, several lines at a time. I kept thinking back and the only facts I had were that this thirteen year girl got pregnant, she didn’t tell her mom, and the birth father’s parents wanted to mandate an abortion. The mother was ready to abort her daughter (now my daughter). She changed her mind while at the abortion clinic, called her mom using the clinic’s phone, and told her she was pregnant.
Since those were the only facts I had, I had to try and imagine what it might have been like that day. It never really crossed my mind I had just written a song about adoption or abortion. I was in such a hurry to lay down a vocal scratch track that I made an error and had to re-record the vocals. It was then that I realized what I had written.
How did you meet up with Online for Life?
Online For Life found me. I received an email from Michael Kadrie. Michael said, “I have your new record, and I love it.” Michael focused in on the song “This Time.” He said, “That song is crying out for a video. Have you thought about making a video for it?” I replied explaining how interesting it was he asked, because I wanted to raise the funds to make a video. I agreed with him. I told him we had to make a video; the story had to be told visually.
Micheal Kadrie contacted me because he was familiar with the organization Online for Life. He asked for my permission to present them with a proposal to partner on the song. Online for Life knew who I was and was already familiar with my music. They immediately got on board after hearing the song and within days I received a check to fund the video.
The video for “This Time” is not a big budget video, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about the content, not the production, though the production turned out very well. It is simply about how my daughter Sami came in to the world and how she almost didn’t. The video takes you through the birthmother fading in to a light dream and envisioning Sami as a three year old, taking the viewer all the way up to Sami as a young women, well-adjusted and in a happy home setting.
There are people who are going to ask me, “Did you do this to get yourself back on the radar screen?” If I wanted to do that I would have self-promoted myself all over the video, but I didn’t. I made a very conscious decision not to appear in the video. It’s not about me!
What made you decide to adopt?
My wife and I were told we could not conceive a child. I was singing at a Harvest Crusade in California and discussing our consideration to adopt with someone backstage. , the wife of the pastor of Calvary Chapel Downey in California, overheard the conversation. Karen runs House of Ruth. House of Ruth is not in the adoption business as much as they are into getting young girls on their feet when they’re in trouble. The very first thing House of Ruth attempts to do is get these girls on their feet. They work to get their lives back intact so they can make comprehensive decisions. You can’t make a decision to keep your baby if you’re strung out on drugs or erratic in your thinking. Many of these girls keep their babies and many decide to put their babies up for adoption because of the great work House of Ruth does. In our case, the girl was just too young to take care of a baby at only thirteen.
Karen approached me and asked if I would be interested in adopting a baby in five weeks. I called over my wife and told her we’d have to pray about it. We prayed about it and were grinning from ear to ear the entire way home. House of Ruth had already had an adoptive family, but they conceived and fell off the list. So Karen set up a meeting with the birth mother and grandmother.
Three years later we adopted a little boy from the same agency. Karen again called us and asked us to pray about adopting a young boy. This time we didn’t have to pray about it. The answer was an automatic yes.
What can people do to help the cause of Online for Life?
Donate. This organization has saved over one thousand babies! Online for Life understands just how powerful the pro-abortion industry has become. Their goal is to cut it off at the knees. Share, Share, Share, that’s my mantra for video of “This Time.”
Just recently we received an email from Online for Life President Brian Fisher. In the body of the email it read, “A baby was saved!” I’ll paraphrase the rest of the email: “A female correctional officer, who works in a woman’s correctional facility, was taking one of the women for a pregnancy ultra-sound. She just received the video in an email a few days before. The correctional officer was looking for an opportunity to witness to the pregnant girl about Christ. On the return trip to the correctional institution, the pregnant girl confided in the correctional officer that she was considering an abortion. The correctional officer harkened back to the video she received several days before and played it for her.” This is a quote from the letter: “We watched the video together, and right there she promised me she was keeping this baby and was going to share this with others, and she thanked me. I told her, ‘Thank God, and thank you for following God’s will.’”
If all our effort was for one saved baby, then we’ve achieved our goal. If there is one human being who is going to live because of this song and video, then it was all worth it!!
At the time my wife and I were trying to get pregnant we were going to Calvary Seal Beach. I asked Pastor Ron Wilkins to pray for us to conceive. At the end of the service he announced my prayer request, he then invited my wife and I to come up before the congregation. I was so nervous. Out of nowhere everyone (about 300 to 400 people) began to lay hands on us.
God didn’t answer that prayer right away. God is God. He does what He does, and He knows what He’s doing! Eleven years ago my wife got pregnant, so we do have a biological child. God wanted us to adopt the other two children first. Just right, His timing!!
I would ask you to please support this video. I personally ask you to pass this link through your social networking connections and to EVERY church, asking them to add the video “This Time,” somewhere throughout a service, and explain it to the congregation. This video is for those seeking guidance when faced with a decision to either abort or CHOOSE LIFE, we believe there is only one choice, to CHOOSE LIFE. Let’s share the word of God through John Elefante’s message and video. Let’s be God’s messenger to the world!