Religions and Spirituality

Making a Connection With Music

Doing what he loves is Bart Dyer on keyboards with his son Seth Dyer on guitar, Allen Venzon on acoustic, and Marty Bosak on bass.
Singing lead vocals for in the band is Tricia Dyer accompanied by son Seth Dyer on acoustic, husband Bart Dyer on keyboard, and Luis Farinas on acoustic.


If you have attended a service at Life Christian Church in West Orange, you have been treated to a live band playing everything from Christian standards to songs that were hits for secular groups.

The man behind the music is Bart Dyer, who plans the worship segments of the services, and disseminates the plan to the volunteers who form the band—a different band every week, and sometimes a different one on Saturday night than on Sunday morning.

Sign Up for E-News

“The backup band is a group of volunteers,” he said, “so they are ever changing.” Though Dyer has a list of people who regularly volunteer to sing or play an instrument, “I’m the only one who gets paid.”

Working out weekly musical plans with changing band members could be a recipe for disaster, but Dyer doesn’t have a problem with it. Though soloists have to commit for the weekend, other musicians sit in for whatever service they can, based on their own schedules.

Dyer has a few people that he calls when he has a special program planned that requires something specific; for instance, he has a jazz singer around whom he likes to build the offering. Usually, though, he uses the volunteers in rotation, which should be a real headache. There’s not much time for rehearsal, music has to be forwarded to the musicians and vocalists, and they have to pull it together pretty quickly.

Dyer, who is married and has two children, sees himself doing this job well into the future. “I feel really blessed,” he said. “I get to do what I love.”

In his youth, Dyer dreamed of being a Christian music artist and traveling the country and making music. He has always been an aficionado of Christian music. “I grew up in church—I was born on a church pew,” he jokes. “This has been a big part of my life.”

Dyer’s background is Christian, but he describes it as legalistic, a religion based on rules and works. “I now understand that there’s not anything I can do,” he said. The Christian faith to which he now subscribes is based on accepting Jesus into his life, and trying to follow in his footsteps.

“My passion is to connect people with God,” Dyer said. “I feel strongly that we experience God’s love and spiritual present through singing.”

Dyer’s choices are not limited to traditional Christian music in the weekend programs, but he can and does use secular music when it stirs up strong emotion. He can choose from any genre if the song has the right feel and passion. The audience at one of the upcoming services will be treated to his version of “World” by Five for Fighting. The song has language that supports the message of the Rev. Terry A. Smith, pastor at Life Christian Church, particularly in the chorus:

“What kind of world do you want?
Think Anything
Let's start at the start
Build a masterpiece

Dyer is from central Ohio, and received his degree in theology from Kent Christian College. He spent four years as a youth pastor in Houston, and 12 years as an assistant pastor in Ohio, and then decided it was time to move on. He traveled the country for 10 months with his wife Tricia and their sons Seth, 16, and Hayden, 11, both of whom are musicians themselves. In fact, Seth often sits in with the band on guitar. After so much time on the road, home schooling their boys, Dyer was offered the opportunity to work at The Life Christian Church. It was one of the churches he had traveled to during his nomadic time, and he was grateful to find a place that offered work he wanted to do.

The family’s home base was in Kentucky during this period, and Dyer found himself making the commute to New Jersey every week, driving for an hour and a half to Nashville to catch a plane to Philadelphia, then he would rent a car and travel to West Orange. After several months, Dyer’s family joined him and he has been with Smith for two years.

Dyer went through “lots of personal growth” during this period, and though he and his wife have had a solid relationship through 20 years of marriage, he said the upheavals and constant travel “proved what a strong relationship we have.”

Dyer’s dreams of being a traveling Christian artist have not died, and he wouldn’t turn down the opportunity should it come his way, but he believes he’s where he’s supposed to be right now. “My initial desire was not based in the right motives,” he said. “ I find my direction shifting to songwriting these days, and doing some recording. 

Dyer has respect for Smith and what he’s trying to accomplish at Life Christian. “I see Smith as someone who could be very influential,” he said. “He’s very real—not intimidating. When I think about the future of Life Christian Church, I’m tremendously excited to be a part of it. "

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Essex County Freeholders Celebrate African-American History Month

February 22, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – At its 2018 African-American History Month Celebration on Wednesday at the Hall of Records in Newark, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders commemorated the heritage, culture, resilience, and spirit of the African-American community.

Brendan Gill, board president and Freeholder At-Large, first acknowledged African-American contributions, both past and present, in ...

How Do I Decide Which College to Attend?

Now that college acceptances are rolling in, how do I decide which to attend?

Your hard work in high school has paid off. You took your SAT/ACT exams, got the best grades you could, and filled out as many applications as you needed to. Acceptance letters are starting to come in and you need to make a decision on where you will go in the fall. It's hard to decide!! Here are some tips and ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs During "Black Panther" Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, February 24, 4:00 PM

Lobby - Office Building, Livingston

Gun Violence Prevention & Congressional Candidates



Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

CycleBar, Livingston

Cycle Red for Heart Disease to Benefit Heart ...

Giving Back

Mon, February 26, 1:30 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Monday at the Movies: WILD OATS

Arts & Entertainment

NJ Acting Health Commissioner Cites Inglemoor as Example of Best Practices in Flu Prevention

February 22, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — With one of the worst flu seasons in recent history taking a daily toll across the nation, New Jersey Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal visited Inglemoor Rehabilitation and Care Center this week to meet residents and praise clinical staff for their success at keeping the flu at bay.

"There are best practices that Inglemoor has already implemented ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...