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Coptic Martyr

The Coptic Martyr of Cairo

The latest international thriller from best-selling author Martin Roth

Four Americans in Egypt on an archaeological dig. In the blistering summer heat they are fighting amongst themselves. Then they unearth a body. It is an old priest who has been murdered.

The gruesome discovery sets in train a sequence of events that leads to a deadly Islamist attack on the ancient church where the Americans are working.

The leader of the expedition, Professor Rafa Harel, must decide whether to withdraw his fractious team or continue on a mission to unveil a controversial series of wall paintings, knowing that these images have the power to spark even greater violence.

Meanwhile, watching over all of them is a dreamy young Egyptian Christian named Amir. His only quest in life is to become a martyr...

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NZ Singer’s Dream – to Join a Southern Gospel Group in the US

I’m a big fan of Southern Gospel music, and for some time it’s been my hope that I might – somehow – help it develop here in Australia. So far, that hasn’t happened. But recently I received an email from Dean Roberts in New Zealand, where I come from. He’s planning to travel to the US with the aim of joining a Southern Gospel group. Fascinated, I asked if I could interview him for this website, and he kindly agreed.

* New Zealand of all places! What’s the Southern Gospel scene like in New Zealand?

There is absolutely no Southern Gospel music in New Zealand that I know of. So to pursue a career, I will need to move to the States.

* So how did you get to know the music?

I am quite new to the Southern Gospel music scene. I was singing with a group in Chicago, and, prior to returning home to NZ one of the group gave me a cassette of Christmas songs. I didn’t listen until the next Christmas, and was totally blown away by the quality of singing and the sound - especially the bass. It was The Cathedrals – their a cappella Christmas album. Since that time I have got more acquainted with the genre, especially now that we have the Gaither Homecoming series on local TV.

* What’s your own singing background?

I am a music teacher and performer and I come from a very musical family. My father had a beautiful operatic tenor voice, and my mother was a piano teacher and his accompanist. All my relatives were into music - one an opera singer, another a concert pianist, another a dance band leader. I got my training in Chicago, and started teaching music after receiving a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1983. During that time I was introduced to four-part close-harmony singing in the barbershop style.

* What about your walk with the Lord?

I married a girl I met at university and started a family. My wife was Catholic and I was Anglican, but both lapsed during our college years. We eventually came to live in my hometown of Hastings, here in New Zealand. I got a job as Head of Music at a local high school, and Karoline taught music as an itinerant instrumental tutor. It was during this time we found the Lord and began worshipping regularly. I began directing a barbershop chorus and singing locally in a quartet. We also both got involved in the local theatre scene and between us have become musical directors for many productions.

* So what are your current plans?

Having taught now for 20 years, and being blessed with a wonderful singing voice I felt it was time to utilize it for the glory of our Lord. I have been feeling, for quite a while, that this voice was given to me for a reason and singing every now and then at church was not utilizing it to full potential. After much prayer I decided to look towards singing in a Gospel group in the US – what I would consider my ideal job. I talked it over with Karoline and our three children, and with their blessing started making enquiries.

* How’s it going?

I started by looking up Southern Gospel sites on the internet, and that is how I found you. I also listed myself in Singing News as looking for a full-time quartet to sing with. To date I have had several replies and I am corresponding with two different groups. Obviously, the distance makes it more difficult, but I know the Lord will guide me down the path He has set, or else close the doors. I am making an audition CD in the next couple of weeks and will use that to keep in touch with groups in the States.

* It all sounds exciting. I hope and pray that it works out really well.

NB: You can contact Dean at

January 22nd, 2004


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