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
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
The decision to step out in faith was not lightly made. After
all, they were stepping out into foreign territory, even for the father, David with
all his musical adventures and roots, had never done anything quite 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 place with 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 kids
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 40 ft 1973 GMC bus was
purchased and converted. Family and friends pitched in to help
make it suitable for this family of 10.
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.
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.
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 40' coach, but
soon after that purchase came the addition of
a second bus, a 35' GMC for the married children to use. Now
they were traveling down the road with two buses.
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.
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.
In 2017 the oldest daughter, Reshana successfully came through Chemo treatment and
survived after being diagnosed in the spring of 2016 with an in-operable
cancerous brain tumor.
continued on until it's
retirement in July, 2019. Although the Sweet Water Junction Band
retired in 2019, the oldest daughter, Reshana Marie is now appearing for
acoustic shows as "Reshana Marie".
The McDowell Family still offer many
musical projects on CD and cassettes from their gospel music traveling
days. Sweet Water
Junction Band is a Family tradition. The group provided fantastic entertainment
and Reshana Marie has carried on that tradition appearing acoustically 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. She performs a variety
of song selections; New / Classic Country & a touch of Classic Rock.
Sweet Water Junction Band,
on this site. On that site you will learn more about this
including their musical Country roots, starting way back
n 1946. Plan to hear Reshana Marie as she is carrying on with the family tradition.