A Song in His Heart
Newkirk, Kristine M., Independent Banker
Oregon banker spends weekends ministering to legions through his music
s his work week ends, Denver Huff leaves Home Valley Bank in Grants Pass, Ore., for work of a different sort-a labor of love far removed from banking. As a member of the Wings of Love, a mixed gospel quartet, Huff travels the West Coast on weekends bringing his group's vocal ministry of country gospel music to churches, convention halls and concert arenas.
A typical weekend of ministering for Huff, Home Valley Bank's president and CEO, and his musical partners involves long hours and a lot of miles on the road. After leaving the bank in southern Oregon on a Friday afternoon, Huff and his wife, Earlene, and a second couple, Darrel and Marilyn Miller, board their weekend home, a converted Greyhound bus fully equipped with necessities. They pull into their first destination, Merced in central California, shortly after midnight.
By early Saturday afternoon, the ensemble tests sound equipment and limbers its voices for the first engagement, an evening church concert. The next morning, the drill begins anew as the group prepares at the church to sing during Sunday morning services. After services, the group sells Wings of Love recorded tapes and compact discs in the church entry hall before reloading the bus for the drive to the third engagement of the weekend, a Sunday evening concert in a roadside town on the way home to Grants Pass.
Huff admits that weekends on the road to the countless destinations are a grueling way to spend his time off, but he couldn't imagine anything he would like better. "My wife and I are doing something we like to do-sing-and doing it together with good friends," he notes.
WORK AS USUAL
Back at Home Valley Bank the following Monday morning, Huff focuses on the daily operations of the $40 million-asset community bank he helped build during the past 15 years. With a branch recently opened in Grants Pass, Huff's weekdays seem as hectic as his weekends.
"The new branch has grown rapidly in the three years since it opened," Huff says. Home Valley Bank's assets have almost doubled since the branch opened. …