Dony McGuire & Reba Rambo-McGuire
The River At Music City is so honored to follow the inspiring
leadership of Pastors Dony McGuire and Reba Rambo-McGuire.
With his upbeat personality and vibrant boyish grin, Pastor Dony
McGuire’s provocative teaching style has certainly won the hearts of
not only the congregation of The River, but countless people
In 1983, Dony and Reba broke from the concert hall circuit and began ministering primarily in churches around the world. They realized the need for the local church as a source of spiritual strength and felt compelled to minister to the wounded body of Christ.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the youngest of seven children, Dony was raised in a talented musical family. Quite the child prodigy, he performed his first piano recital at the ripe old age of five. Along with four gifted brothers, he spent his early years traveling on weekends and summers throughout the United States, performing in churches and concert halls. At sixteen, Dony left home to pursue a full-time career in Gospel music.
Almost immediately, he was embraced by some of the most popular singing groups of the day. For several years he performed exclusively with the award-winning, legendary group The Downings. Dony’s abilities in the recording studio suddenly shifted his focus from traveling to virtually living in the control rooms of Music City. God had gifted him not only in performing, but in producing and arranging as well. But that success came with a price.
The pressures and demands of his new lifestyle opened the door for new ways of coping. Relying on God took a backseat to alcoholism, drug addiction, and eventually dealing drugs. “Nobody sets out to be an addict,” Dony explains. “For me it started with abusing cold remedies…to drinking…to smoking pot…to popping pills…to snorting…to shooting up. You never believe you’re an addict until it’s too late. It took getting a D.U.I. and going to jail to begin my wake-up call.”
When Dony and Reba were married in 1980 he was well into his addiction, and she was oblivious to the extent of his disease. What appeared to be a storybook romance quickly became a nightmare. “The insanity of addiction really does become a family disease,” says Reba. “I soon became as dysfunctional and sick as Dony. We both had already gone through the hell of divorce and now a second one seemed inevitable.”
But God had other plans. Through a series of miracles (Biblical in proportion), Dony was delivered from his addictive lifestyle and their marriage restored. (You can read their amazing story in Pastor Reba’s book, Follow the Yellow Brick Road.)
Reba Rambo’s roots can also be traced back to a family of ministry and music. Born to Gospel music legends, Buck & Dottie Rambo, Reba’s earliest memories were of a house filled with music and traveling with The Rambos from storefront churches to the largest concert stages of the world. The critically acclaimed recording, “Lady,” launched Reba into a whirlwind solo career performing before presidents and kings; battle-worn military troops; maximum security prisons; college campuses; concert halls and before millions of viewers of Christian and mainstream television shows.
It was in 1980 that these two outstanding careers were united when Dony and Reba joined their lives and music together in marriage. Having received recognition as recording artists, writers, and producers for many of their compositions, the highlight of their career was receiving the 1981 Grammy Award for “Best Contemporary Gospel Album” for their musical “The Lord’s Prayer,”which they performed at the 1982 Grammy Awards. They also received a Dove Award that year for the same project. Their albums have sold millions, their songs have been performed by some of the most famous artists, and their recordings have garnered some of the most prestigious honors.
However, when Pastor Reba is interviewed about her greatest achievements, she simply points to her family. “My most cherished treasures are my husband, Dony… our laughing children, Dionne, Destiny, Israel and God-daughter, Grace… our son-in-love Scott and awesome grandson Dyson. Father God has given us these, along with His indescribable gifts of ministry. We are such wealthy people!”
While attending revival meetings in Florida in 1993, Dony and Reba heard God distinctly ask, “Will you let Me interrupt your lives?” and “Do you have time for revival?” They immediately abandoned their one service only mentality and began conducting extended revival meetings in churches around the nation, some lasting as long as 22 weeks.
After decades of traveling around the world in powerful, evangelistic ministry, Dony and Reba launched The River At Music City in February, 2001, a thriving young church in Nashville, Tennessee. With the love and support of their children and a dedicated pastoral team, they are successfully pastoring The River and continuing their lifetime vision of making disciples and thrusting them into marketplace ministries.
For more information on the music and artistry of Dony and Reba, visit www.RamboMcGuire.com.