Thomas K. Macomber
Tom Macomber, an attorney who served in the Riverside County District Attorney's office and was an instructor at La Sierra University until he retired in 2008, is also an accomplished banjo player and songwriter. A player with the bluegrass band Rural Free Delivery, he became a founding member of the gospel band Summer Church in 1994.
Summer Church traces its origin to 1993, when Dick Walker, a fiddler later associated with the Wedgwood Trio, enlisted Christian musicians Macomber and guitarist Wes Knox to achieve his goal of witnessing to non-Christian studio musicians by enlisting their help in recording a gospel CD. An outgrowth of this effort was a CD, Summer Church: Gospel Songs for Fiddle and Banjo, initially released through Chapel Records. It became an international hit and led to the formation of Summer Church. A fourth member, Pete Lorentz, bass player, was added as the new group was formed.
From 1994 to 2008, Macomber toured throughout the U.S. with Summer Church, performing gospel songs and compositions by him and other members of the group. In 2004, they played for the annual fall council meetings at the General Conference headquarters for the Seventh-day Adventist church in Silver Spring, Maryland. Since that first CD that launched the group, they have released four more under the Walkin’ on Water Records label.
Their follow-up CD, titled Walkin’ on Water, was released in 1996. It was even more successful than the initial CD and led to the establishment of a recording studio bearing its name. Heaven's Front Door was released in 1999 and featured new member Vidal Hulbert on fiddle. This CD debuted six new songs written by the band and featured some of Summer Church's best work. A Compilation, featuring some of the best tracks from the first two CDs, Summer Church and Walkin' on Water, was released in 2003. A fifth CD, Reunion, featuring musicians who played on their first four CDs was released in 2008.
Macomber owns the Walkin' on Water recording studio which has also released CDs by other artists, including Pamela Mashburn Rathbun, Joe Savino, and Lennox Fleary. He currently resides in Arizona, where he produces weekly hour-long gospel bluegrass radio shows that are provided free to non-profit radio stations.
Sources; Contact by and information from Tom Macomber, 2009; Pacific Press profile of Summer Church; Walkin' On Water Records website; Adventist Book Center.com, Notes on A Compilation CD.