A love for music and a love for the community led to the grand opening of “Music Makers Plus” in Vandalia on Main St. this past Saturday.
Several members of the community, of all ages, enjoyed food, the opportunity to browse and try out instruments, and several jam sessions throughout the day.
The Rev. Jeffery Mims, Sr., who is the listed owner, opened the location with the support of his family, which includes his son Jeff Mims, a Hall of Fame musician from Oklahoma.
The two, along with the younger Mims’ wife Sophie, jammed out to a selection of songs during the event.
Rev. Mims, Sr. said the opening of the store gave him a chance to market the collection he has.
“I’ve always been buying and selling guitars,” Mims Sr. said. “Something was always in the back of my mind and the opportunity presented itself to market the stuff I had.”
Current instruments on hand include keyboards, drum sets, guitars, amplifiers, and more.
Mims, Sr. said the store can order a wide variety of instruments for the public.
“We have all instruments and what we don’t have we can get,” Mims, Sr. added. “We want to be an asset to the community.”
Guitar and drum lessons will also be offered for any style of music. Clinics will be offered in the future for players of all ages on both instruments.
He said the lessons are geared towards making it easy to learn how to play the guitar, with reading chords or without reading chords.
“You can come here to take guitar lessons and learn to play, just not what only the book says,” he said.
Future plans include selling Christian CD’s and soundtracks.
Mims, Sr. is also working with the owners of the Blue’s Deli in Vandalia to add a musical element to go along with their name in the future.
Mims, Sr. said he enjoyed the Grand Opening with several kids in the community showing up, with some of them having good music skills.
“I have a love for music and children that love music,” he added.
Hours of operation are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays. The store will be open from noon-7 p.m. on Saturdays.
Mims, Sr. said the public can expect jam sessions on Saturday afternoons.
While he’s thankful for the opening of the store, Rev. Mims, Sr. is quick to give credit to God for making it happen.
“This is bigger than me,” he added. ‘This is bigger than Second Baptist. God is in this. I’m obeying God. When He directs you, He makes a way.”
“Everybody should have a place like this in their community,” the younger Jeff Mims said. “Everybody that’s great had to start somewhere.”
For more information on Music Makers Plus, call 573-795-2337.
Profile of Jeff Mims
According to the website www.reverbnation.com/jeffmims, destiny called Jeff into music on December 9, 1984 when his mother went into labor on the front row at his father’s concert.
This country boy, born and raised in Spencer, Oklahoma tried other avenues to find his way. While he explored these avenues including graduating from the University of Oklahoma with B.A. in film and video studies, he never let go of his family’s legacy and continued to nurture his raw talent. “Nothing makes me happier than being on stage,” he said. “The ambiance of it is so pure.” Mims used his gospel and funk roots to grow his love for music along with such artists as James Brown, Sonny Thompson, Miles Davis, Bob Marley and many others. Mims got his start professionally playing guitar for a wide range of Gospel artists. So far he’s collaborated with American Idol “George Huff,” the late Wayman Tisdale, and Grammy nominated producer Chris Bell to name a few. Jeff’s undeniable energy, sweet rhythms, and melodic voice have been embraced worldwide. His style is often grouped with likable artists such as Bilal, Prince, and Anthony Hamilton. Aside from being known to many as a guitar player, Jeff exhibits his singing and songwriting capabilities.