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Faith:REFINED: Bio

Faith:REFINED is a band made up of members who have faced the Refiner’s fire and emerged stronger in their Faith than they were before. Led by Debbie L. Rice, herself a cancer survivor, their unique blend of pop/country/rock Contemporary Christian music tells the story of a faith made bolder each time a crisis is faced.

Located on the shores of the Texas Gulf Coast, Faith:REFINED is made up of Lead Vocalist & Bass player Jason Elkins; Lead Guitarist Ray Miller; Drummer Jesse Sawyer, and Keyboardist & Vocalist Debbie L. Rice. Faith:REFINED’s mission is to bring God’s message of Faith to believers and non-believers alike. Main songwriter Debbie L. Rice shows through her music the wonderful things God has done in her life, and the growth she has experienced by placing her trust and faith in Him during times of difficulty. Having faced cancer, bankruptcy, foreclosure, divorce, loss of her house to a tropical storm, the death of her father, repossession, and being forced to move herself and her infant son 4 times in 5 years, you would think her music would be full of anger, grief and sorrow. Instead, she tells of the love, provision and blessing God gives to you when you put Him first in your life and put your life in His hands. “We had a wonderful time with Debbie Rice and her band” says Melanie Daigle, Director of THE REFUGE COFFEE HOUSE in Seabrook, TX. “It was incredible to hear all the songs she wrote from her own heart and her own experiences on her journey with God and to freedom. She ministered and shared wonderful testimonies of what God had done along the way.” Melanie states.

In 2005, while still a solo artist, Debbie was nominated in two categories for the prestigious “Momentum Awards” sponsored by Indieheaven.com. In 2006, her song “Building Idols in a Fallen World”, won the Honorable Mention award at the Unisong International Songwriters Awards, and in 2007 “They Chose Me” was awarded the same honor. As the band started to grow, their success continued with the nomination of “In Your Silence” for “Best of SongU” at SongU.com. “In Your Silence” was also selected for Indieheaven.com radio airplay, and made the chart in Christian Radio & Retail Weekly (CRW) magazine in the Indieheaven “Hot Top 40” category. “They Chose Me” reached the Number One spot on the Indieheaven Fan Faves chart and stayed there for 2 weeks in June of 2007. The 2007 Indieheaven.com Momentum Awards saw Debbie nominated in an unprecedented 4 categories, including “Song of the Year” for her song, “In Your Silence”. Debbie L. Rice and the band were selected to play at the Houston International Music Conference & Festival in February 2007, and their debut CD, “By Faith”, was added to i-tunes and several other major digital distributors. The band saw their online presence explode in over 20 different countries, and their songs are still at the tops of the charts on several online radio stations.

The year 2008 started off with the band being nominated for "Contemporary Artist of the Year" at the Annual King Kat Music Awards in Kansas City, KS, and also saw the group nominated again for “Contemporary Artist of the Year” and “Country Artist of the Year” for the 2008 Indieheaven.com Momentum Awards.

The band released their sophomore album, "Alleluia", in January of 2009, and it features the hit single "They Chose Me". Early in 2009 this song was awarded Honorable Mention by the 15th Billboard World Song Contest. The single "Alleluia", on the CD of the same name, was named an Honor Award winner in the 10th Annual Great American Song Contest in Feb. of 2009. Their latest single, “Healed By Faith”, made it to the top of the Indieheaven.com Fan Fav chart in June of 2009.


“Our music is about Faith” says Debbie. “It’s about having the faith to get through difficult circumstances, overcoming trials and times of God’s silence with faith, having the faith it takes to begin and grow in a relationship with Christ, or having the faith to put yourself and your life completely in His hands, instead of following the world’s lead. Our music aims to inspire the believer to lean on their faith and encourages the lost to just ‘let go, and let God’ take care of them…by Faith”.

Faith:REFINED partnered with Relay For Life (American Cancer Society), and the St. Luke’s Texas Heart Exchange (Heart Transplant Recipients) for the 1st Annual “United In Him” Christian Music Festival & Bazaar that was held in April of 2007 in Lake Jackson, TX, and led the Festival again in 2008 & 2009. The band is currently booking shows in the Lake Jackson, Houston, and Clear Lake area. Says Debbie, “We have been seeing some awesome successes, and we give all the glory to God. Each day is a gift, and we just can't wait to see what God has in store for us next!"

Jason Elkins - Lead Vocals, Bass

Jason Elkins is currently a U.S. Marine stationed in Houston, TX. He got his musical start singing in his father, Lon Elkins’ church at an early age, also learning a few years of piano and sheet music theory along the way. His music career progressed further, however, in August 2004 when he became the Music Minister for the Chaplain of his unit, Lt. David Dinkins, while deployed in Iraq. Jason learned the bass guitar, and led traditional a-cappella services and contemporary services with his band, the Euphrates River Revival. This brought him much closer to God, and he chose to continue to learn and write music. While recruiting in Houston, TX, Jason was a major part of the choir and music ministry at First Baptist in Huffman, TX. He continued his path to Lake Jackson, TX and is currently involved at Willow Drive Baptist Church, where God directed him to Faith:Refined.

Debbie L. Rice - Songwriter/Keyboards

Debbie began her songwriting career just a few short years ago, after losing her ‘secure’ job in the medical research field. “The way the Lord wove the circumstances together to bring me home was just awesome”, says Debbie. “I was at a job in one of the best hospitals in the world long enough to get treatment for my cancer. Then the area I was working in experienced a cut-back in employees. My career was my safety net, and I wouldn’t have left willingly” she says. “So God put an end to my job for me” she laughs.
Shortly afterwards, while still deciding what to do next, Debbie began to feel the urge to write music. Although she had dabbled in writing before, this time it was different. “The music just seemed to pour out” she says. Debbie put together a demo band, and produced a CD titled "By Faith" to shop around. The CD quickly caught on, and requests were made for them to perform. At first, Debbie ignored these requests, explaining that she was just a songwriter, not a performer. But as the requests kept coming, she decided to approach the others about actually performing a live concert. They all agreed, and the rest....as they say.....is history. "I never meant for this to happen", says Debbie. "But God had other plans for us!” In addition to performing with her band, Debbie leads Children’s Worship for the 3rd-6th grade Wednesday night BreakOut program at Willow Drive Baptist in Lake Jackson, and she also serves as a small group leader for 6th grade girls. She is one of the Worship leaders for Children’s church on Sunday’s, and sings part time in the Choir. Darren Rice, Debbie’s husband, is the group’s manager, producer and photographer. Darren & Debbie’s children, Hayden, Emma and Joshua, also participate by performing a few children’s songs at the band’s live shows.

Ray Miller - Lead & Acoustic Guitar

Raymond Miller lives in Lake Jackson, TX with his wife Bridget and three children: Colby, Ragan, and Dalton. He is a member of Willow Drive Baptist Church where he also plays in the praise band. Ray is a veterinarian and the Medical Director of the veterinary hospital where he is currently working. As a former college baseball player, Ray is very involved in the sports his children play and with three kids someone is always playing something! When he is not on the playing field or strumming his guitar, Ray enjoys camping, hiking, biking, and fishing.

Jesse Sawyer - Drums

Drummer Jesse Sawyer rounds out the group. "Jesse has a heart of gold" says Debbie. "He is one of the most talented drummers I have seen, and at such a young age!". Jesse is a life-guard in his spare time, and also plays in a Jazz band in his home town of Dickinson, TX.