In this edition of Beyond the Song, Jantina Baksteen talks to Rodger Lemley, songwriter.
Through Bonita Eileen, I came in contact with Mr. Rodger Lemley, the writer of the song â€œMountain.â€ I was in the studio with Bonita last year when she recorded this song and it holds a special place in my heart.
Jantina Baksteen: I came in contact with you through the song “Mountain” that Bonita recorded, written by you. Could you give a short introduction of yourself?
Roger Lemley:Â I am a 64 year old retired coal miner, having worked underground for 37 years mining coal. I still work part time as a welder helper for a contractor. I am married to Almah and have 4 daughters, Amber, Elizabeth, Ashley, Amy and a step daughter and son, Armando and Amanda. We also have nine grandchildren. I also am in a Christian band called “His Royal Blood.”Â
JB: How did this powerful song come together?
RL: With The Holy Spirit’s help, I wrote Mountain in 2014. The reason for writing it is a very powerful testimony regarding my step-son Armando Saenz. Armando was in the military having served two tours in Iraq and then was in Afghanistan. When he came home to San Antonio, Texas, from Afghanistan, his wife had left (him) and had gone to live with her father in New Mexico. Armando had PTSD from the war, and not having his wife with him anymore, he had gotten into drugs and was addicted to heroin. It got pretty bad for him, selling almost all he had for the drugs. He would call his mother(my wife] and she would pray for him, but we lived in West Virginia, 1600 miles from San Antonio and that was the only way for her to help him, with prayer and encouragement. But then one Sunday night he called and told his mom he was so tired of everything abd that he was going to end his life. She was beside herself not knowing what to do and she looked at me and said, “God has to move this mountain!”
So I know we prayed and I told my wife to bombard Heaven with prayer by calling all the prayer lines she could and have them pray for her son. And she did! All the next day she called and they prayed! We didn’t know if her son was dead or alive, but later he called his Mom and told her that his wife and Dad were coming from New Mexico to take him back with them to New Mexico.
He got off the drugs, enrolled in college, and not too long ago he graduated from Pre-Law and is now trying to go on to law school to become a lawyer! God moved that mountain for that boy!
JB: Who else recorded it?
RL: The band I’m in recorded “Mountain” in 2016 and it was sung by our lead singer Candy Mayle. We put it out to radio and it was No.2 in October, 2018, on Branson Gospel Radio. In February, 2019, Bonita Eileen and I came in contact with each other via New Journey Radio. Bonita had heard “Mountain” on the radio and wanted to know if she could record it. She did and did a great job! It’s now on many radio stations promoted by Randall Wildes.
JB: Have you written more songs?
RL: I have written many songs and it’s amazing to me that God has allowed this song “Mountain” to be played on radio. I hope and pray it’s touched many people.
JB: Has this song touched you personally?
RL: There have been “Mountains’ in my own life. Iâ€™m diagnosed with CML cancer. So, I have my own mountain in my way. But by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus, itâ€™s going to move. I hope it has helped someone else to know there is a Savior whose name is Jesus Christ and that faith can move mountains!
As for Bonita Eileen, she shares she recorded that song in 2019, and she just brougt it out as a single. It has been well received by listeners and is often requested on New Journey Radio.
Thank you, Rodger Lemley, for sharing your story with the readers of SGNScoops. We hope you can use your writing gift to bring out more songs that will bless the listener and bring people to the Jesus.
By Jantina Baksteen
You can reach out to Bonita Eileen through
Visit Bonita Eileen’s website HERE.
To contact Rodger Lemley click HERE.
For more Gospel Music News, read the latest issue of the SGNScoops MagazineÂ HERE.