J. Rod McClellan
Luthier

 
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Handmade Instruments Built For The Musician
5558 E. Freedom Ln. Clinton, WI 53525 (608)365-2624
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Cornerstone Festival 2008 Link

Copyright 2006-2008 by J.Rod McClellan.All Rights Reserved.

There's been no real news to report here, but to say that God continues to sustain us and for that we are thankful. Mary had knee surgery on New Year's Day after a couple weeks of debilitating pain. It took a couple of months, but she's back to work and walking pain-free. Thanks are due to many friends who helped us through that time, and of course, to the God who gives us friends and family.

We had a trip to JPUSA planned for the end of February, but that had to be rescheduled for numerous reasons. We finally made it down to 920 W. Wilson Ave. in Chicago to spend the weekend on March 29th and 30th. It was a great time to see firsthand what life in a community of believers is like. Of course, there's no way to really know the full impact of living 24/7 in a community of 500 believers by spending a weekend, but we had a good time of fellowship and worship together nonetheless. John Herrin kindly escorted us around the city on Saturday to see the various working of JPUSA in and around the uptown area. We also made our way down to Tone Zone Studios and met up with the GKB bunch and got to hear the final mixdowns of a couple songs from their current project.

We've also got the Cornerstone 2008 Guitar Raffle on track, so please be sure to purchase a ticket at the festival. If you can't make the festival and want to be included in the drawing, drop me an email and we'll see if we can work out a way to make that happen. Remember, all money goes to help cover the cost of the Festival. Look me up at the Cornerstone Tshirt Booth in the Main Tent during the day, or at the Main Stage each night.

It's been some time since I've had any real news to post, and I don't like to just invent news for the sake of posting something. This past weekend, we had the pleasure of delivering a custom-built, handmade guitar to Kyle Goodman of Pekin, IL. As mentioned in the previous news post, Kyle won the raffle which was held on the main stage at Cornerstone 2007. My wife, Mary and I met up with John Herrin (Cornerstone director) and Glenn and Wendi Kaiser (of Rez band notoritety), who represented Jesus People USA, the sponsors of the Cornerstone Festival. We were able to meet Kyle and his parents at their home, present the guitar and talk and play and pray a little. We also got some pictures and a little video footage of Glenn playing the guitar and talking with Kyle. It was truly an honor to be able to say thank you to all those who helped to support Cornerstone finacially this year.

Thanks to Kyle and everyone who gave. I wish I could give a guitar to each of you. We've confirmed with John Herrin that we'll be doing the raffle again in 2008, so please come out and support JPUSA and Cornerstone.

Well, we're back from Cornerstone. It was a great time with lots of great music and encouragement. The weather was hot for a couple days, wet for a couple more, then great for the remainder. I think the raffle went very well and am waiting to get the info on the final numbers. JPUSA did a great job again, and I'm hoping to be included in the event next year also.

Saturday night at the Main Stage, I drew the winning ticket: Kyle Goodman of Pekin, IL. I was able to contact Kyle via telephone right away, and will be working with him to build a custom guitar just for him.

Time to get back to work. Thanks to JPUSA and, above all, Jesus.

We're leaving for Cornerstone today and will be there for the duration. My wife, Mary and my sister, Laura will be helping with the sale of raffle tickets at the Cornerstone Merch Booth in the Main Exhibition area during the day. We will also have a guitar and amp there, and a few more guitars back at the trailer for those who want to see more examples of instruments. Please stop by and see us there.

Also, each evening, once the Main Stage opens, I'll be in the Cornerstone Merch Booth there, with a guitar or 2. We look forward to meeting lots of new disciples and musicians, and to helping support Cornerstone together with you. Many thanks to Glenn Kaiser, Scott Knies and Rex Carroll who will be playing instruments I've built; and to Lisa Weyerhaeuser and Jim Warren, who graciously are lending their personal instruments to display for the week; and to John Herrin, Wendy Kaiser and others at JPUSA for your help and encouragement in making this happen.

Unfortunately, the raffle of a JR McClellan Guitar at Lifest 2007 had to be cancelled. Festival promoters felt that they wouldn't have time to appropriately promote the raffle this year. They have asked if we could try again for Lifest 2008, so that's what we'll shoot for.

My summer schedule is filling up fast. I'm donating (2) guitar builds to be raffled off at (2) different Christian music festivals this year: (1) at Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell, IL and (1) at the Lifest in Oshkosh, WI. I'll be displaying guitars at both festivals to give attendees a sample of the quality of guitar I'll be building for the raffle winner. If you are at either of these festivals, please stop by and say hi.

The raffle winners will each receive a certificate which can be presented to me as payment for a guitar I will custom build for him/her. The base value of these guitars is $2450.00 and will include a K&K Pure Western pickup and hard shell case.

My hope in doing this is, first of all, to support the message these festivals bring to those attending. I also hope to make connections with musicians who see the power of music as I do and who might be interested to have me build an instrument for them.

As I start a new year, I'm so thankful for the opportunities which God has given me in the past year, and those that are on the horizon for 2007. I've been able to stay busy, and the instruments I've built, by God's grace, have encouraged my customers to continue to share with their friends and colleges their satisfaction. This has bought new friends into my life and more work.

My wonderful wife, Mary, had the suggestion to donate the guitar for the Cornerstone Festival, and that led to donating one to Lifest also. This may become an annual event if the festivals do well with the raffles. I'm so thankful that the Lord put that idea into Mary's heart.

I'll be building my first archtop mandolin this year, and am looking forward to it. I've also got an experimental prototype guitar in the works. If things go as planned, I should add another guitar model based on this prototype. There are also some real orders on the books and several threatened ones. I keep trusting the Lord to bring along those people who I can serve with this work He's given me to do.

I pray that God will continue to lead myself and each of His children into a deeper relationship with Him, a deeper trust of His power and purpose, a more unquenchable hunger for His Spirit and a more complete submission of ourselves to His will as we learn how to love Him and each other by following Jesus obediently. Thank you Jesus.