An open letter from Brandon K. Tiek:
Life is truly all about seasons. I learned that many years ago, and I’m glad that I did because I’ve certainly lived through many different seasons since then! One season began almost 12 years ago, when a group was formed by 3 men that sat on the 3rd row of the church choir at the First Nazarene Church in Indianapolis, IN. At first, they simply desired to be a group that could open for other artists coming to their church on tour, but by doing so, they quickly found God’s favor and began singing outside the walls of that church. Looking for a name for their group, they thought, “why not just call ourselves the 3rd Row Boys!” The name caught on…and stayed.
While the group started as a trio, I had the absolute honor of joining them to form a quartet in 2012. What a thrill! Having been in other groups over the years, I knew that this one was different. Not only was I impressed that the group was completely focused on ministry, I simply loved being with these guys, and we quickly became great friends! To my surprise, and just a few years later after some personnel changes, I found myself inheriting the management of 3RB. I knew that I had a big responsibility to carry a torch that was brightly lit. To my amazement, each year brought us an ever increasing number of blessings. Most recently, we adventured into the world of southern gospel radio, and after only 3 single releases, had a top 40 song entitled “Grace, Love and Mercy”. Wow!! We never thought that would happen! With it came so many new friends, fans, and connections within the southern gospel industry and community. However, along with a bigger level of success, came an even bigger amount of work. We began to travel more than we ever had, and we were dedicated to creating more music that we hoped would encourage everyone that had come along with us on this journey. We were busy!
On a personal level, that’s where some difficulty began. Those who know me well, know that I don’t like sitting around. I LOVE to be busy. I love to create. I love to push the limits of what I can do. It is what has driven me to see just how much 3RB could accomplish. However, over this last year, and through God’s gentle (and not-so-gentle) nudges, I started to realize there is a limit as to what I can do. Being a husband, a father of 4 busy kids, and a full-time dentist owning and managing a very busy practice, I quickly realized that the amount of time I had to manage a growing music ministry on top of that was very small. In utter humility, I realized that I simply can’t do it all….at least not all right now. I also felt very strongly that because of my limited availability, I was holding back the talents of both of the other current members, Sean Barber and Jon Hopkins. I’ve always known that God has amazing things in store for them, and I wouldn’t want to ever be in the way of that. So after many weeks of prayer and healthy conversation, I knew that for the benefit of everyone and everything in my life, something had to give.
So, in an effort to honor everyone who has been a part of this, Aaron Baker, Dave Bittinger, Leighton Bittinger, Steve Adams, Mark Heskett, Josh Ranke, and Daniel Rivera, and also with the blessing of both Sean Barber and Jon Hopkins, I’ve decided that it is time to press pause on the ministry of 3RB. Notice that I said “pause”. I don’t believe this is an absolute end, but rather just a break for a season. So many of you over the years have messaged, emailed, called, and told us about how much our music has meant to you, and that makes our hearts glad! So even though we won’t be traveling, you will continue to see and hear our music out there. From the very beginning, the purpose of this ministry has been, and will always be, to encourage. In fact, years ago our group verse became 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” Even if there is just one more person that is strengthened by our music, it will have been worth it. Let me also add that I know you will be hearing more from Sean and Jon as God takes their talents into new areas of ministry. I love those guys as brothers, and I’m excited to see them soar! And just to be sure, I’m not going away either, I just won’t be traveling around as much.
Lastly to all of you, our friends, family, and fans who have poured so much into this ministry, and on behalf of all the members of 3RB past and present, we cannot thank you enough! You have allowed us all to experience something so amazing over these last 11 years. Lord willing, perhaps we’ll experience it again down the road someday, but for now, we simply say thank you. May God richly bless each and everyone of you and may He grant you the desires of your hearts! He most definitely has for me. Love to you all!!