By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
GLEN BURNIE, Md.—Jamie Robinson wants to know what it would take to convert a mall-sized department store into a Christian concert venue.
He has a big vision, so he wasn’t afraid to ask the big question. Dressed in his typical casual jeans and t-shirt, he approached the Glen Burnie, Md., mall manager and simply asked the question.
“What would it take to lease this space and use it as a concert venue?” he asked, excitingly adding, “It would increase mall traffic. It is a safe location with plenty of parking. It could be used during the winter months.”
He paused, expecting the Marley Station mall manager to stop him in his tracks. But he didn’t.
Instead, he asked, “Who’s your backer?”
To which, Robinson replied, “If it is going to happen, God will make it happen!” Then he added, “It will happen, even if it is not here.”
In 2009, Robinson, an ultrasound technician at Johns Hopkins Hospital, obligatorily attended a Valentine’s Day dinner that his wife Laura helped organize at Faith Church in Glen Burnie.
A self-described “big hair” band music lover, Robinson went to the event expecting to be bored.
Instead, he met the church’s youth minister, who turned out to be a die-hard music fan, too. Robinson was flabbergasted at the energetic response he received every time he named his latest favorite band: Seventh Day Slumber, Pillar and Thousand Foot Krutch.
He had no idea that other Christians could appreciate the same music that he did.
“I can’t carry a tune, but I do know music,” he said, saying that as a teenager he remembers listening over and over to the rock music group, Poison.
Robinson, whose oldest child is 10, wants to promote music that would appeal to young people while being solidly Christian in principle.
“My ultimate goal is to introduce the youth and the unsaved to Christ through great Christian music,“ he said. “I want their first concert to stick with them like the hair bands stuck with me.”
He envisions something like a Ravens Stadium filled with worshippers and all genres of musicians on the stage. He also likens his vision to the Creation Festival, which is held annually on a local farm in Mount Union, Pa.
Though he has Madison Square Garden-sized dreams, Robinson has started out smaller than that. He booked a band to headline Unite, a worship gathering for youth groups held at Faith Church last October.
Then this past January, he led his church in hosting the nationally recognized band, Stellar Kart. The concert oversold and also featured Robin Eichelberger of the Baltimore Blast as well as radio station, Shine FM 95.1.
For Robinson, who oversaw 29 volunteers, including members of his family who had never been to a Christian concert, the event was a huge success. He learned so much in the process and even had the opportunity to lead a young man who came to the concert to the Lord.
“Jamie is one of the most humble guys I know,” shared Jeff Higgins, a worship, college, and missions pastor at Faith. “Everything went so smoothly because Jamie worked so hard to make it a great event.”
Remedy Drive, a four-piece, four-brother band from Lincoln, Neb., is the next big concert that Faith Church will host. The Christian rock band will perform their incredible, energetic live show at Faith Church on Saturday, May 8. Faith’s own “The 8:30 Band” will open.
Robinson says he wants to build a reputation for treating bands very well. He wants to be the choice venue when bands have the opportunity to perform in the region.
“Bill Gates had a great idea. He just needed the right person to make it happen,” he said.
“I believe God has a smile on his face when Eddie Van Halen plays the guitar,” Robinson added, pointing out that only God could have given the rocker his abilities.
“I hope he smiles on me as I do this too.”
Tickets for Remedy Drive are $10. Purchase tickets at the Faith Church’s office, or by calling (410) 761-5346 or (410) 428-7735. Tickets may also be purchased at itickets.com.