Singer, musician, songwriter, and actor Doug Allen is currently Pastor of Worship Arts at Dunwoody Community Church in Dunwoody, GA (www.dunwoodychurch.org). From 1985-1993, he worked in L.A. as a studio musician and was eventually signed to the Warner Brothers record label with the band Sun King. He now sings with the Atlanta-based Christian group Sons of Mercy.
In community theater, Doug has played Burl Sanders in Smoke on the Mountain in a run that yielded 26 sold-out shows. He also played the part of The Phantom from the Phantom of the Opera in Medallion Performing Arts’ production of A Broadway Showcase 2006. His church performances include Aslan in four productions of Narnia and Jesus in The Passion Play. On the lighter side, he has played Ralph Cramden in The Honeymooners, and he regularly appears as nerdy Kyle McGillicutty in the children's production called B.I.G. (Believers in God).
LeAnne: How did you get involved in music? Have you always been drawn to it?
Doug: You’re going to laugh but here goes. My first instrument was the trombone in middle school. I remember watching an episode of “Here’s Lucy” and in this particular episode, Mr. Mooney was playing the slide trombone. Well, I thought to myself (not knowing what the instrument was called), that is a very cool instrument, so I told the band teacher that I would like to play the instrument with the sliding thingy. I went on to play the trombone for many years. My main instrument now is piano and voice. I also play the guitar.
Yes, I have always been drawn to music. My mother told me that I broke the springs in the back seat of her car bouncing to the beat of songs on the radio. True story.
LM: You are Pastor of Worship Arts at Dunwoody Community Church (DCC). Talk a little about the vision for the Worship Arts Program.
DA: I started at DCC in 2000 as the worship leader and was ordained as a pastor on August 10th, 2002. My vision for the Arts Program at DCC is that we would all become authentic and zealous worshippers of our Lord and Savior Jesus—a people that worship God in spirit and in truth. It is our goal to utilize all of the art forms to inspire us to see the beauty of the One Who created everything, and I pray that in these moments of beauty, our eyes would be opened to truly see the One Who makes all things new. God Himself is the Ultimate Artist so He understands the value of the arts. I pray that through the arts, we would have a renewed sense of awe and wonder for our creative and loving God.
LM: You are also a songwriter. What inspires you to write?
DA: Yes I do write songs. I am a runner so I am most inspired by the beauty of creation and nature. I have a favorite running trail near Kennesaw Mountain called Cheatham Hill. This trail winds through beautiful, green forests and makes many twists and turns as it opens up into majestic, far reaching meadows. When I run there, I see God’s fingerprints everywhere I look. For me this has always felt like an anointed trail because God has given me so many creative ideas there, not only for music but for drama scripts, sermon ideas, etc.
A memorable songwriting experience for me came as I was working my way through a case of writer’s block. I had hit a wall while working on a song called “Freedom’s Calling.” I struggled for several weeks to finish the lyrics to this song when suddenly the creative floodgates opened, right in the middle of trying to place my order at the drive thru at Wendy’s. It was pretty funny actually. I was frantically searching for something to scribble on while ordering a Number 1 Combo with Cheese. I finished the song right there in the drive-thru line.
More from Doug about singing and acting on Thursday. If you’d like to hear him and the DCC band, go to www.dunwoodychurch.org.