Ronnie McBrayer preached at four worship services on Easter Sunday, which included a sunrise service on the beach at WaterColor.
"It was one of the most beautiful sunrises at the beach that I have ever seen," said McBrayer.
McBrayer has been a preacher for 27 years, ordained in North Georgia in 1991, following in the footsteps of his forefathers. His great grandfather was a circuit rider preacher and his grandfather was music leader at his church.
However, McBrayer left the ministry for five years following what he called being young and becoming disillusioned after many disappointments.
McBrayer came to Walton County as executive director of Walton Habitat for Humanity in 2005. His friend Jeff Miller was pastor at Seaside Chapel at that time, and he asked McBrayer to come help him at the Chapel. McBrayer did and has remained in the ministry.
After the Chapel congregation left Seaside 11 years ago, McBrayer founded A Simple Faith church where he currently preaches to 200-300 people each week, depending on the season.
However, McBrayer follows in the footsteps of his forefathers in more ways than preaching. He also picked up the music gene.
"My grandfather was music leader at his church and played guitar. My uncle taught me to play and gave me my first guitar," said McBrayer. "It runs in the family."
McBrayer's band, The Backsliders, is made up of a core group of four men and as many as seven who attend A Simple Faith. Two have been playing together longer than A Simple Faith church has existed.
The core of four and more do all the music at church on Sundays, playing traditional gospel. And when not in church, the guys enjoy playing blue grass, folk, and Americana at Redd's on 30A, up and down 30A, and at various locations from Panama City to Destin.
"We do a lot of charity events too," said McBrayer.
McBrayer plays guitar, harmonica, and sings lead vocals. His accomplices are Tim Ryals on drums, Billy McConnell on bass, Kevin Simonson on guitar, and Ricky Stanfield plays an assortment of various instruments.
"Playing music with the guys is one of the most rewarding things I do. It's my first love," said McBrayer.
A Simple Faith meets Sundays at 10 a.m. at 360 WRM Circle off U.S. Highway 98W in Blue Mountain Beach Industrial Park. Follow them on Facebook.