Randy was born in 1955 in Baytown Texas. “We moved to Sweeney and West Columbia Texas before moving to Overton Texas where my father began pastoring his first church. Mom and Dad are the reason I have any knowledge of who God is and how His Son Jesus saved me when I was not worthy of His grace. They have had the most influence on my life. Being raised in a Christian home is without description. I could only imagine where I’d be without that most important part of my life”. His first opportunity to sing was there in Overton at the church his father pastored. “At the age of 4 my mother would put me up on the piano stool so I could see the crowd and she and my older brother would sing the verses to “Until Then” while she played. When they would get to the chorus I would take the lead part because I couldn’t yet read and it was the only part of the song I had memorized”.
They moved from there to a small community 26 miles north of Jacksboro Texas called Squaw Mountain. “Daddy took a church there and we loved it. It was like the old west and some of the fondest memories I have are of that place”. It was there that Randy rode his first horse and fell in love with the cowboy life. He loves to tell the story of that first ride as it was not only his but also his brother’s. “It was a retired race horse and it ran away with my brother on it, all the way back to the owner’s house about a mile away”. It’s a hilarious tale that Randy loves to tell, so if you ever meet him just ask and he’ll be glad to tell it. Just be ready to laugh yourself silly.
As with most ministry families the Reeves were soon to be on the move again. From Squaw Mountain they headed back east to town of Sabine Texas. “Dad didn’t take a church there, we just moved and as a kid I didn’t understand why. From me earliest memory Dad was the pastor and I was the preacher’s kid. Yeah, I know..PK’s are the worst. But I was different. I was the worst and then some. Just ask my brother” says Randy. “At that time Dad led the singing at my uncle’s church in Chapel Hill, about 30 minutes from our house”. It was at that time that Randy began writing songs. “I remember the first time I ever wrote a song that rhymed because it got me in so much trouble. We were driving in the car and passed a man mowing his yard and I began making up a song. The next to the last line of the song ended with the word “grass” and it was the rhyming word in the last line that got me in hot water”. In his defense Randy says that the word is indeed in the Bible. Randy’s brother Ronnie and their cousin began singing together at that same church in Chapel Hill. “We would practice on Sunday afternoons while driving around Chapel Hill and Tyler. It was great! Three part harmony. We even had matching blazers to wear. We thought we were the real deal”.
From there the Reeves’ were off to Grandbury Texas where Randy’s father had taken another pastorate. “What a relief”!! explains Randy. “My reputation as a mean little preachers kid was once again secure”. But it was a culture shock moving from the country to one block off the town square. Even if it was as small a town as Grandbury. One Christmas there he received his first musical instrument. “It was a snare drum and I beat the hide off that thing. One day I walked into the church and there was a whole set of drums. I thought I had died and gone to heaven” said Randy. Unfortunately, they belonged to another man and Randy wasn’t allowed to play them. Bummer, but it wouldn’t matter though as his drumming career was soon to be over.
Moving to yet another “too small to be on the map” town in Texas called Tarkington Prairie Randy was introduced to the instrument that would help kick start his songwriting skills. Randy’s brother Ronnie had had an accident in wood shop while in school in Grandbury, and had lost three of his fingers. Randy’s father bought him a guitar to help with therapy. “Dad played the guitar and piano, only in the key of C but could gin out some mean boogie woogie on them keys. One day a friend of mine picked up that guitar and showed me how play some funky licks on it and I said goodbye to the drums”. Randy spent every minute he could working on those licks and all this was for him the beginning of what God, in His time, would bring him to.
It was at Tarkington Prairie that Randy’s father would take his last pastorate. “The Lord had showed him this and as a fledgling teenager I was sick of moving, so when he shared this with the family I was so happy. We could finally stay in one place and I could quit taking a whooping for being the new kid at school.” Randy made new friends and settled in. Everything was going very well for the Reeves family when 3 1/2 years later God called his father home to heaven. “I was turned upside down. Having no house to live in, only the parsonage, we had to find a place to live. The church offered to let us stay as long as we wanted but momma knew the church needed to look for another pastor to replace Dad”. So the Reeves moved to Chandler to live with Mrs. Reeves’ sister.
After the death of Randy’s father, the family carried on in ministry. “Many times and in many churches after that we would sing to the glory of the Lord. I knew I was to sing for Jesus. I did have my rebellious years but never pursued trying to be famous or be a “singer”. I’ve always felt the call of music ministry and sang with different groups. All of whom were a growing experience of me. I guess I never felt conformed to traditional church music. It’s not that I don’t like it, I just feel a different beat and style in my heart and head. I don’t try to be different it just comes out that way. Singing some o the songs God has given to me in traditional churches makes some folks uneasy. But not me. All music is from God but some of it has been polluted to reach the flesh and not the spirit”. According to Randy ” to stereotype “church” music and say “this is how it should sound” is like saying “if you’re not working for Jesus the way am, then you’re just wrong. We all have a calling, if your serving Him”.
Randy met and married the girl of his dreams over twenty eight years ago. They have three children and four grandsons and Randy says “I know I am the most blessed man alive”.
Randy finished up things by saying..”I can’t say enough of how grateful I am to the Lord for choosing me to give these songs to. They come to me in the same way you feel the urge to eat your next meal. You get the sensation it’s time to eat and you eat. Sometimes I get the title and then the song and sometimes I get the whole song. I can no more take credit for these songs than the pen can for the writing of the constitution of the United States of America. It was in the hands of me, who were in the hands of God. My prayer is to glorify the Lord God for all He has done for me and to encourage, up-lift or inspire others to be all they can be for Jesus. If CrossFire can do that then……Praise God”.
Ron Pardue – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Keyboards, Mandolin, Vocals, Exortation
Born in 1948 in Exeter California, Ron Pardue is affectionately known as “PawPaw” amongst the other members of the band. Ron was born into a Pastor’s family that remains close to this day. When he was in the second grade the family moved from California to Arkansas where Ron lived until well after finishing college at the University of Arkansas. During college Ron took the path of many a child sheltered in the arms of the church and stretched his wings in the wrong direction.
“I started singing in clubs when I was 18 years old and started college. I started to learn to play the guitar at about the same time. I have no formal training in music but because of my wife I have learned to appreciate all kinds of good music”.
Originally it was all country for Ron and simple country at that. Until the age of 30 he kept playing and singing in honky tonks and clubs locally and did a few touring gigs here and there. After 30 years old Ron quit playing professionally and as a matter of fact rarely picked up a guitar.
At the age of 45, just like the prodigal son, Ron Pardue returned to find his Father in Heaven was waiting with open arms and so was the church. By this time he had moved to Texas and married the love of his life, Alice Forrester Pardue, who is an excellent musician and singer in her own right. He began playing music again every week and eventually met Brad Allen at church when he moved back into the area. They struck up a fast friendship having so much in common and for the better part of 12 years played in the church worship band together along with Alice.
Ron and Alice became worship leaders for a time at a church in the Terrell Texas area where they met Chris Bigley and his family who was playing bass for the church. Needing an extra musician to fill out the band the Pardue’s invited Brad Allen and his wife Lee to come out and help. Thus 2/3 of CrossFire Gospel Band had met and began making music unto the Lord.
When asked about being a musician now as opposed to playing in clubs Ron said “Playing music is so much more now than just the music. It is a ministry, and I am truly blessed to be playing with the best bunch of guys ever, not to mention the musical ability each member brings to the table”.
The band feels the same about Ron. CrossFire is blessed to have him not only for his musical ability but maybe even especially for his spiritual maturity. Ron has the most unique sense of humor of anyone you could meet. A constant source of laughter and joking in the band, he is a very self effacing person. He kids allot about being a little vertically challenged and it’s difficult to get a straight answer to exactly how tall he is physically. But if you spend much time at all with this man it’s not hard to see that spiritually he is a giant.
Brad Allen – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Vocals
Born and raised in Garland Texas in 1963 to a musical family, (According to Brad, his father Don Allen is still one of the best guitarists he’s ever known). By the time he reached high school there was little doubt in his mind what he wanted to do. From the first time he touched one, the electric guitar was his passion and hard rock and heavy metal was the outlet for it. Brad began playing professionally by the time he was 17 years old, playing local bars and clubs in the Dallas area with a band formed with high school friends. He spent time on the road with that band before joining full time touring bands from Detroit, Oklahoma City and Houston. In late winter of 1984, after years of touring and drug and alcohol abuse he found himself at the end of his rope although he didn’t yet even realize it.
“I think I’d tried it all and seen it all by then. I had become so jaded and cynical, completely strung out on cocaine and booze and had nothing of hope to hang onto except the dream that one day I might hit it big as a guitarist”. God had begun dealing with Brad and not being raised in church and completely ignorant of spiritual things he really had no idea of what was going on. “I found myself so curious about God and was consumed by the question of the existence of a God. If He did exist, then who was He and what would His existance mean to me?” One night in the late winter of 1984, after having been strung out for close to 10 days, Brad’s body began to react very badly to the abuse. “My heart was beating very erratically. It felt as if it was starting and stopping and I assumed that this was the end for me. I didn’t know anything about eternity so I didn’t even have enough sense to be afraid. All I could think of was the question, “Is there really a God?”
That night, lying on the floor of my apartment, I prayed my first real prayer. It was simply, “God, if You’re real, please just show me that You are”. Things began moving quickly at that point. Leaving the band in Houston overnight and joining a band from Chicago he ended up laying over in Dallas for a week. The question was burning him up at that point and while on the way to the airport to meet his new band in Chicago the dam finally broke. “Turn the car around and take me home, I have something I have to find out” he told the driver. The very next night he attended a local church service and ended up at an old bench style altar and gave his life to Jesus Christ. “It was like I had been in a dark room my whole life and someone suddenly turned on the light”. Everything changed immediately. “Jesus changed my heart and gave me a new vision of what life was all about”.
Shortly thereafter Brad met his wife of 25 years while she was a music major at Jackson College of Ministries. “Lee has been my best friend and life partner all these years. She encourages me, challenges me, and has shown me how real love in marriage is an earthly expression of God’s love for his bride”. Brad and Lee have been involved in ministry almost their entire marriage. From youth pastor’s to worship leaders to associate pastor’s and even pastoring a church for a short time. All the while continuing to play in various Christian rock bands and worship bands in various forms. They have two sons, Aaron Michael and Remington Chase, both of whom are musicians, Aaron having recorded with the Youth for the Nations group at CFNI where he attended Bible college and Chase studying the bass guitar.
In September of 09 Brad was asked by long time friends Ron Pardue and Chris Bigley to come and check out this new country band they were playing in. “I don’t play country music and I can’t do this is what I told them. Because they didn’t give up I decided to go out and prove to them that I was the wrong guy for the job”. That was about a year ago now and CrossFire has welcomed Brad with open arms. “I’ve never felt more in the will of God before” said Brad.
Albert Garcia – Bass Guitar
David Brooks – Drums and Percussion, vocals