By Lori Culpepper
Photo by Brit Huckabay
While Kevin Derryberry may not have planned to land in Alabaster, it’s clear 30 years later that this is where he was meant to live; start his ministry, Kevin Derryberry Ministries (KDM); and where he would begin making Jesus Christ known in the immediate area and far beyond through the power of music.
Originally from Selma, Kevin’s love for music started when he was about four years old, and he knew that his life would always involve music somehow. As he began playing in bands in his teens, Kevin started experimenting with alcohol and drugs, and while his music was successful especially with the regionally well-known band Telluride, his life was not. In 1996, while living in Birmingham, God changed Kevin’s heart, saving him from what he says would have been a certain death from alcohol and drugs.
To put physical space between himself and the toxic environment he was living in, he moved to Alabaster just hoping to get away from it all in Birmingham. “When I moved to Alabaster 30 years ago, I was just getting out of there,” he says. “You could move to Alabaster and buy a house without it being too expensive.” Kevin married his wife, Connie, in 1999.
Since moving to Alabaster, Kevin says he’s enjoyed watching the area grow and getting to know people who come from many different walks of life. “It’s a great place to live. I love Alabaster,” he says.
Kevin’s ministry has grown as well. Under Kevin’s leadership, KDM ministers to youth homes, homeless shelters, orphans, the sick, transitional facilities, prisons, rehabs, and more. He regularly visits facilities like the Lovelady Center, Safety Net, King’s Home, the Foundry, Jimmie Hale Mission, and Jessie’s Place. He also travels to perform at concerts, conferences, churches, crusades, outdoor events, and festivals.
It starts in Alabaster and goes wherever the door is opened to share the gospel through music, scripture, testimony, and just loving on people, as he puts it. Kevin has seen thousands of lives transformed by the power of God’s love. “It’s kind of endless. Wherever God opens the door for us to go, we will go. We do it with the platform of music and sharing God’s word,” he says.
In recent years, sharing this message was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. But there was no way Kevin was going to stop. With his recording studio, Seraphic Sound Studio, he began a live event on Facebook and Youtube every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The show includes Kevin’s original music and interviews with guests such as Rick Burgess and James Spann. “Sometimes it’s me by myself, sometimes it’s with the band. We’re set up like a TV studio with anywhere from three to five people behind the scenes,” Kevin says. “We chat with each other, and it’s a great community of people who gather every week.”
Some nights there may be 300 viewers, and others there may be up to 9,000, and Kevin says they have no plans to stop the show. “We can’t see stopping at this point. When we couldn’t go out and meet people and do in-person events, we needed another way to reach them,” Kevin continues. “We get a little better every year, a little more professional, although we’re not trying to be professionals.”
He says it’s a great opportunity for those who can’t get out or just want to be a part of something special that’s based on music. “Everybody loves music, and it’s easy to connect through music. If you have a positive message in music, it has a positive effect,” he says. “It’s almost like God placed a love for music in us as a blessing and gave it to us as a way to reach people and touch people. He used music through David and his psalms, and we’re still singing the psalms today. Music allows you to escape your troubles and find encouragement.”
In addition to sharing his ministry throughout Alabaster and other areas, Kevin is the Worship Leader at Westwood Baptist Church, where he’s been serving for 15 years. In this role, he coordinates worship every Sunday for three services and approximately 1,500 people who worship with him and his team. Kevin’s son, Cameron, plays drums, bass, and guitar. He’s either onstage with Kevin in Alabaster or playing at Lakeview Baptist in Auburn where he attends college. Kevin and Connie also have two daughters and two grandchildren.
KDM hosts two popular fundraisers each year: a sporting clay tournament at Selwood Farm Hunting Preserve in Alpine, Alabama, each fall that he’s been doing for six years; and a golf tournament each spring at Timberline Golf Course in Calera. Going into its eighteenth year, the KDM Golf Classic attracts around 150 golfers for each event.
Through these tournaments, his studio, and taking music to those in need, Kevin and the team at KDM continue working to share God’s love and hope with those who live in Alabaster and far beyond. Read more of Kevin’s story, find additional details about events, and tune in to Seraphic Sound on Tuesday nights at kevinderryberry.com or email Kevin at [email protected].