The founder-singer of the West Michigan-based Faithful Journey Quartet is branching out into a solo music ministry and will leave the quartet at the end of the year.
"I had thought about doing solo music... but figured it would never happen. I'm a quartet guy," said Visser, 53, from his Lowell area home.
"But it was a process – including struggling with God – and it was laid on my heart and God gave me some good music," he added.
Now the suburban Wyoming native, who runs a construction business, has a solo CD and dozens of concerts under his belt. But he continues to sing in Faithful Journey with Scott Roon, Dennis Deters and new tenor Tom Corkins.
"Scott, Dennis and I have been together the whole seven years in the quartet," reflected Visser. "This is not an easy decision (to leave) and I did not take it lightly."
Visser and Roon go back many years. They first sang together in the larger ensemble group Touch of Joy.
Visser once again worked with veteran producer-singer John Rowsey who contributed three songs for the artist's solo project, "I Won't Forget."
One of the tunes – the uptempo "I Can't Help It" – is part of a compilation CD that went out this month to Southern gospel radio stations nationwide. "I'm kind of hard on myself with my singing, but I was surprised on how well it went," he said of the overall sound (you can sample the CD and get other information at Visser's website, www.jimvissermusicministry.com.
A central theme of the CD is the cross – "I Won't Forget" is the title song that refers to what Christ suffered and bore in his ultimate sacrifice. "It's a great Communion or even Good Friday song... I usually reference Isaiah 53:3-6 and this song brings that out," he said of the power ballad watch the concert video online.
He also recorded a version of "The Old Rugged Cross."
Meanwhile, his work continues as lead singer of Faithful Journey which features its most recent album, "Find Us Faithful." The foursome has a concert at 6pm Sunday May 27 at Gun Lake Chapel on S. Patterson Rd. Wayland. Visser returns there for a solo concert July 29.
This summer Visser will attend a training week at the Steve Hurst School of Music in Tennessee. "Now that I'm more focused on solo ministry, there is more I can learn in techniques and in connecting with audiences," he said.
He's also busy seeking out places he can sing – churches, campgrounds, conferences or other venues. That's an organizational role he's had all along with Faithful Journey.
"What direction the quartet goes, I don't know," Visser offered. "I would hope they will continue on. If they can't find someone (a new lead singer), I would probably stay on 'til they do."
In his emerging solo ministry Visser finds himself living out the truth of one of his new songs, "Be Not Afraid."
"I really felt God saying, 'Be not afraid, step out there and put your trust in Me.'"