Shaun 17      Reshana 15     Tasha 13         Dave 43

The McDowell Family, 3 eldest and father pictured here,  in 1995

  How the gospel music began ... 

 On  September 1, of 1995, The McDowell Family entered a gospel singing ministry, Dave McDowell, his wife and eight children launched out on a journey that would take them through thousands of miles, a myriad of emotions and tests of faith unlike anything they had ever known. The three eldest (13, 15, and 17, pictured above in 1995) were full of excitement and enthusiasm for the coming adventure.

The decision to step out in faith was not lightly made. After all, they were stepping out into foreign territory, even the father, David, with his musical roots, had never done anything like this before, much less with his children! With the family's help, Dave had developed and operated a Christian RV campground, offshoot of a Florida based international ministry. The work was hard, but the job was secure and the rewards, many: a lovely home, a lake, a swimming pool, a playground, hay rides, fishing, boating, 150 acres of woodland and campground activities were at their disposal. For the five younger children it was vacation all the time, new friends each week and unending succession of exciting things to do.

Did God really want them to leave everything behind as Abraham did and go--where? A man just doesn't pull up a family of ten and go off without knowing how to provide for them. But Dave couldn't get away from the knowledge that this is exactly what he needed to do. The decision was made and they set about preparing to "hit the road." To start off a 1973 GMC bus was purchased and converted. Family and friends pitched in to help make it suitable for this family of 10. 

Faith grows strong by testing and God becomes more real to His children through hard times. The McDowell Family has seen daily what kind of God they serve. They came to understand just how much He is in control of circumstances they couldn't begin to handle. Dave's faith grew immeasurably.

 


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On the road--the trials begin. During the first six weeks out, The McDowell family experienced three major breakdowns with repairs totaling many thousands of dollars.  After the third breakdown in Oct of 1995, they had to travel in a twelve-passenger van for seven months, towing the music equipment behind them. They made every engagement throughout the states! The Lord always provided their needs through those difficult days. Dave noted, "You can get very close as a family, in more ways than one, when you travel full time in a van for seven months!" Adjusting to life in a bus after having an entire campground in which to play, was difficult for the younger children,  But after seven months in a van, the bus seemed like a palace! Finally repaired, the old bus gave them a ten-month respite before it turned ornery again. Then, in five months came three more engine rebuilds, major breakdowns and thousands of dollars more in repair bills. Again, the Lord provided ways for them to meet their engagement dates.  Not long after, The McDowell Family's prayers were answered again, not only with the new purchase of a beautiful 45ft Eagle coach, to replace the 1973 coach, but also the addition of a second bus, a 35' GMC for the married children to use.  
From the beginning, the youngest would join the family on a song or two, but by 1998, five of the children were on the stage fulltime playing and singing with the family.

During 2001, The McDowell Family made a decision to quit traveling. At that time, this decision was made in part due to a health situation, but mostly realizing a 3rd marriage was soon to happen. During this time good health returned, and the oldest was married. Although continuing to play in their regional area they also involved themselves with  praise music in their home church. In 2002 they realized  the need to go back to the band's original sound and roots in  Country music.  So they proceeded to prepare their songs in the Country and Southern Music genre. By the end of  2002 they were in full swing again with their new genre... returning to the original sounds of Sweet Water Junction Band, The McDowell Family once again settled in Florida until moving on to the Border hills of the Carolinas and  Tennessee in 2012.

Today they are still pursuing their passion for music,  looking again, in the future, for a full time musical career.  At this they are accepting bookings primarily in parts of Tennessee, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. The McDowell Family still offers many musical projects on CD and cassettes from their gospel music traveling days. Sweet Water Junction Band is a Family tradition. The group provides fantastic  entertainment for show clubs, business and civic events such as; concerts, weddings, family reunions, church and corporate functions, city and state festivals, along with a variety of other celebrations.  They perform a variety of song selections;  New / Classic Country & Southern  Rock.
Visit 
Sweet Water Junction Band,  link on this site.  On that site you will  learn more about this musical family group  including  their musical  Country roots, starting way back n 1946.  Plan to hear them soon
and see why this family is  carrying on with the family tradition.