Terry & Debra Luna were recently inducted into the International Country Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame during the annual ICGMA Convention and Awards Show in West Plains, Missouri.
Mention “The Bakersfield Sound” and the first names that come to mind might be Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Tommy Collins or Joe and Rose Lee Maphis. Add to that list Terry & Debra Luna and their own style of West Coast Country Gospel. The husband-and-wife team of singer-songwriters primarily perform their own material; inspirational songs that are encouraging, uplifting, sometimes fun, some poignant and reflective; all with that “Bakersfield Sound.” “All of our songs come from real-life experiences,” says Debra, “We're honored that God allows us to share those life lessons and words of encouragement to others.”
Born in Bakersfield, Terry grew up in an exciting time of West Coast country music history, and was influenced by many of the local icons. Terry’s love of guitars was fueled by living only blocks from Semi Mosley’s Mosrite Guitar factory. At an early age Terry knew that God was calling him to the ministry of music; he was deeply influenced by The Christian Troubadours, The Gospel III , The Countrymen, Goodman’s, Hinson’s and the Rambo’s.
Debra comes from a rich family heritage of preachers, evangelists, pastors, singers and musicians in Central California. At an early age Debra recalls singing at her grandparents’ church, often times being lifted to the pulpit in order to see the congregation. Listening to her mother and aunt play the piano, Debra knew that she wanted to learn the instrument and play in church and youth camps, which she accomplished in her early teens.
Terry & Debra met as teenagers, singing in a local Southern Gospel group in the Sacramento area. Their similar interests and desire to serve the Lord through Gospel music drew them together and they eventually married. The Lunas continued to work in their local church as music ministers, worship leaders and choir directors as well as traveling part-time with their groups. “I have enjoyed the journey so far, I’m convinced it’s not quite finished yet,” says Terry, “I am grateful and blessed to be able to write and sing the songs with my best friend.” “I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Psalms 104:33,” quotes Debra, “One of my favorite scriptures. I have been singing in churches, concerts and conventions since I was very young. God blessed me with a Christian home with Christian parents who were very active in the local church. Every time the church doors were open, we were there! I am thankful for my strong Christian heritage. I am married to a wonderful singer, musician, worship leader, music director, husband, father and friend. Our plans, with God’s direction, are to sing unto the Lord as long as we live!”
Terry recalls a telephone call in 2011 from a woman telling of her tragic experience as a tornado devastated her home in Central Mississippi. “She tearfully described the helplessness of rummaging through what was left of her home and belongings, only to find her copy of the “Look Up” CD lying yards from the home, undamaged by the storm. She knew the message of the title track on that CD was to look past today’s circumstances, seek the comfort of the Holy Spirit and know that God has us in His protection.” She called to say thank you for the song, it helped her through several dark days after the storm. “Testimonies such as these, and there are countless others, are God’s way of showing us that we are in His perfect will, doing what he wants us to do for this season.” Every song has a story and the duo are often asked to share the “story behind the song” while ministering in church services.
Terry & Debra now reside in Middle Tennessee, a convenient location as they travel around the country and continue to write and record Country Gospel and Christian Country music.
They are blessed with three grown children, eight beautiful grandchildren that love to sing and play instruments and worship the Lord. They were recently blessed with their first great-granddaughter. “Yes, God is good!” says Debra, “Our pastor used to say, ‘it feels like God bent down and kissed the earth and we’re right in the middle of the smack!’ We are blessed!”
Terry & Debra have recorded several projects containing mostly original songs. Eleven singles have charted in the Top 20 on national Country Gospel Charts, three have reached Number 1. "Highest Hill" reached number 1 in September 2020 (Cross Country USA,) "He is Here" was the Number 1 song in July 2019 on four national Country Gospel Charts and "Don't Tell Me He Can't (I Know He Can) debuted at Number 1 in August 2014 (Christian Music Weekly.) Their latest project, "Side By Side" was released in July 2019. The CD contains new songs written by Terry & Debra, one from the pen of Legendary Country and Country Gospel singer/songwriter Freddie Hart. They round out the disc with a new song "The Cross and The Plow" written by Mark Ford, their updated version of "Today I Started Living," written by Jerry Short and the Number 1 song "Highest Hill."
Terry & Debra were previously contributing writers to Christian Servant Magazine, an inspirational quarterly magazine serving the gospel music artist and industry. They also hosted a weekly radio program on Camp Meeting Radio called "The Country Gospel Corral," as well as a monthly countdown show for the station.
Spend an evening in concert with Terry & Debra Luna; you will experience their joy, their love for one another and the genuine anointing of God in their songs.
For more information, schedule and product visit Terry & Debra online at: www.thelunasonline.com
Terry & Debra Luna are members of:
The International Country Gospel Music Association (ICGMA)
The Gospel Music Artists Association (GMAA)
Music City Christian Fellowship (MCCF)
American Christian Country Music Association (ACCMA)
Country Gospel Music Association (CGMA)