Chuck Starnes Musician, Theologian, & Friend

by Bob Nyberg

Chuck Starnes was a pretty cool dude. I met him in 1974 at Prairie Bible College (formerly Prairie Bible Institute). I'd hang out in his dorm room listening to him play his Gibson Dove and discussing the truths that God was teaching each of us. I don't know if I was more impressed with the fine craftsmanship of that guitar or Chuck's ability to play it. I vividly remember the struggles that he and I shared as we adjusted to life at Prairie. Chuck and I enjoyed a similar taste in music. Unfortunately, most of it didn't conform to Prairie's strict standards at that time. That was a real battle for me, since I couldn't legally listen to any of the tapes that I brought to Bible College. But I reasoned that if God led me to Prairie, then He probably wanted me to obey the rules. Chuck also had his struggles as he entered campus life at Prairie. Chuck was a former drummer in a Christian rock group called Jubal's Last Band.

In 1974 Chuck left the band, cut his hair and headed to Canada to study God's Word at Prairie. I think that we both suffered from culture shock during those initial days at Prairie. But God is faithful and He taught us many things during those challenging days. The following song depicts the struggles and triumphs that Chuck faced during those first few weeks at Prairie Bible Institute.

By Chuck Starnes

(Click here for an MP3 of this song)

Summer's almost over and I haven't got very much time
To choose which way I'm going; got to make up my own mind.
I heard about a school up north where the Bible teaching's fine.
Prayerfully seeking the will of the Lord, I consider P.B.I.

I told my best friend and he was shocked. He said I wasn't the type.
The rules there are against you. They'll ruin your social life.
You'll have to buys some ties and realize your hair will have to go.
And if you feel like fighting back, you best not let it show.

I'm on my way to P.B.I. I'm gonna stay and give it a try.
From what I've heard, I'll probably die. My oh my, P.B.I.

They've got a special surprise for the girls and guys; a real treat I think.
The sidewalks that the girls walk down are colored up bright pink.
And don't feel like the left you out, cuz they got just for you.
A different shade of sidewalk colored up bright blue. 1

I'm on my way to P.B.I. I'm gonna stay and give it a try.
From what I've heard, I'll probably die. My oh my, P.B.I.

Well, I've been here about a week now or maybe two or three.
And so much more of who God is, I'm just beginning to see.
And being here I'm learning more of what freedom is all about.
And seeing how the way I lived before, I was really losing out.

I'm glad I came to P.B.I. I'm glad I stayed and gave it a try.
I'm in God's Word and with a sigh, I praise the Lord for P.B.I.
I praise the Lord for P.B.I. Thank you Lord for P.B.I.

Note: Chuck is currently pastor of Centerpointe Community Church in Eureka California. He also plays lead guitar and does vocals for a Christian band called Bluefield Rain.

1 To my knowledge there have never been pink & blue sidewalks at Prairie. However, many of us heard that myth and headed there anyway fully expecting to encounter the fabled pink & blue walkways.

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