Above, the Sowell family, L-R: Guynn; Naomi – age 18 (bass); John-Mark – age 13 (fiddle); Abigail – age 18 (mandolin); Jacob – age 21 (banjo); Justus – age 12 (dobro); Joshua – age 20 (guitar); Cindy
January-February 2019 – What can connect a Serbian, a ukulele, and a Texas family of eight? The answer is passion. Passion for music and passion for Jesus.
We’re together, the Sowell family silently communicates with their matching t-shirts. Together, they travel across the U.S. and around the globe to play music and share the love of Jesus. The six Sowell kids range in age from 12-21, and every single one of them picks and plays a stringed instrument. Not to mention, each one is also busy singing, songwriting, handling media, designing art, or writing books.
Working with the band is the fulltime job of Mom and Dad, Cindy, and Guynn Sowell. Guynn gave up his previous job to work fulltime with his family as booking agent, financial manager, and road trip navigator. Cindy uses her performing arts expertise to handle sound and choreography. She also homeschools her children as they continuously travel.
With a busy touring schedule in the U.S. that keeps them on the road for 75% of the days in a year, most homeschooling, artistic families of eight would have enough to keep their hands full. But for the Sowells, that is only a small part of what they do. Their mission and passion also takes them internationally to teach and play gospel music.
“We always wanted to serve on a mission trip as a family,” Cindy told AFA Journal. It seemed like a coincidence when a missionary from Serbia visited the Sowells’ home church in Katy, Texas, to share about kids’ camps he led. That’s when Cindy had the idea for her family to go to Serbia in 2013 to lead a music camp, teach the kids to play ukuleles, and end by gifting them with the instruments.
“In Serbia, less than 1% of the population is evangelical, and some of the kids we minister to and connect with may be the only Christians in their schools,” said Jacob, the oldest Sowell sibling.
“It was our first real opportunity to become friends with kids who were not believers,” Joshua, second eldest, added. “It allowed us to share the gospel and to encourage Christians younger in
Keeping the show on the road
Okay, we went on our mission trip, and it was fun, Cindy thought, as they returned home. But God was far from done with their ministry. For the past four years, the entire Sowell family has returned to Serbia to share their musical gifts – and the gospel – in kids’ camps, churches, and public concerts.
“We’ve had many pastors tell us, ‘There are people here at your concert today who haven’t been to church in years,’” Guynn said. “People will come listen to gospel music when they won’t set foot in a church. So we have an avenue to spread the love of Jesus.”
Each family member agrees: they have a deep commitment to their family and to their music, and they are all planning to keep the family show on the road for the long haul. But now they have an even stronger commitment to making a difference in the lives of people who have never heard the gospel.
“There are kids overseas whose lives have been changed,” Cindy said. “My kids are praying for them, equipping them, sharpening them. God has given us this job. It’s a calling He has placed on our family.”
Find out more at thefamilysowell.com or call 281-682-8352