Sons of Thunder Members and Team

Here’s a listing of everyone who was part of Sons of Thunder from June 1967 till December 1974. Members are listed alphabetically by last name, and women by maiden name, since all were unmarried when they started with SOT (married or current names are in parens). You’ll find a detailed history of this period and countless photos through the links on the right. (For members of the band that preceded Sons of Thunder at Fourth Presbyterian Church and helped set the stage for them, see the “Pre-Sons” page. For signers in Rock Gospel for the Deaf, see the Rock Gospel page.)


Steve Belknap
July 1973 - April 1974

Steve was SOT's financial manager during this period, and worked with the band full-time from April '73 to April '74. Formerly comptroller of Bethesda, Maryland's Holiday Inn, he left that position to work for SOT.


Hendricks Davis
September 1970 - June 1973

A Washington, D.C. native, Hendricks was attending Defiance College (Defiance Ohio) and Fourth Presbyterian Church when SOT met him. His tenure with SOT included a year full-time.


Bob Eagan
September 1972 - June 1974

Bob was SOT's drummer from September 1972 to June 1974. A Baltimore resident, with a background working with Youth for Christ, Bob left an iconic family foundry business for this time to travel with SOT.


Donna Gadling (Walters)
October 1967 - June 1974

Donna was with SOT for most of their tenure, including two full-time years. She sang and wrote many songs for the band. She also played keyboards on many songs and handled much of the vocal arranging.


Debbie Halverson
June 1971 - June 1974

Debbie was SOT's sound engineer for three years, including two full-time. She graduated from Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland just before joining, and attended Defiance College during her first year with SOT.


Steve Halverson
January 1971 - June 1973

Steve was with SOT for two and a half years, including one full-time. He played bass, guitar, congas and alt. percussion, and sang. He was the band's main bass player from January 1971 to May 1972.


Joan Hettenhouser (Tinsley)
June 1967 - March 1970

Joan was a founding member of SOT, and was with the band almost three years (leaving to marry Steve Tinsley in March 1970). She sang, played guitar, and wrote many of the band's songs, including "I Am Persuaded."


Steve Huwe
July - December 1974

Steve, who hailed from Omaha, played guitar and occasional bass and sang with SOT during its final six months.


Doug Kay
January 1969 - May 1970

Doug ran sound for SOT for 1-1/2 years. A Silver Spring, Maryland resident, and recent graduate of Drexel University, Doug was a civilian electronics engineer at the U.S. Coast Guard Laboratory in Alexandria then.


Jack Keller
July - December 1974

Jack played bass and occasional guitar and sang with SOT during its final six months, plus wrote two or three of the band's songs. Formerly of D.C.'s Lost and Found, Jack went on after SOT to tour for two years with the Sharretts, a contemporary gospel group based out of Atlanta.


Stan Kriz
June 1967 - January 1969

Stan was SOT's first sound engineer, and with the band about 2-1/2 years. He ran sound and hand-made much of the band's audio gear. A Kensington, Maryland resident, he left the band to attend Carnegie Mellon University.


Dorian Lester
April 1973 - March 1974

Dorian was a lead guitarist and singer with SOT for a year of its full-time era, and the band's sole lead guitarist for 7 months, while Blaine managed the band from the home office. He hailed from Springfield, Virginia.


Eric Logan
June - September 1973

Eric filled the lead male vocal role in SOT during the summer of 1973, before leaving for Roberts Wesleyan University in the fall. A Baltimore resident, Eric had sung with a Youth for Christ touring band prior to this.


Jack Moffatt
July 1973 - June 1974

Jack joined SOT just after graduating from West Springfield High School (Springfield, Virginia), and was SOT's youngest member during its second full-time year. He played lead keyboards for the band.


Bettie Ann Morse (Brigham)
July - December 1974

Bettie Ann sang with SOT during their final six months, filling the lead female vocal role. She hailed from St. David's, Pennsylvania (grew up in Bangor), and was a May 1974 graduate of Eastern University.


Steve Nelson
June 1973 - June 1974

Steve was a road assistant for SOT, helping with set ups and tear downs, and miscellaneous needs. A Bethesda, Maryland resident, SOT met Steve through Fourth Presbyterian, where he attended.


Becky Newell (Briggs)
June 1972 - June 1974

Becky took two years off from Virginia Commonwealth University to travel with SOT, during their full-time years. She hailed from Dunn Loring, Va., and a family who were long-time members of Fourth Presbyterian.


Tom Paustian
June 1973 - December 1974

Tom was SOT's drummer for this part of their full-time period. He drove from his home in Omaha to audition with SOT, then stayed on for the next year and a half. He also sang on an original tune, "By the Grace of God."


Dan Robbins
September 1973 - June 1974

Dan was SOT's lead male singer for most of their second full-time year. From Eugene Oregon, Dan had sung previously with west coast bands Jeremiah People, The New Hope, and The Continentals.


Paul Rosenstock
July - December 1974

Paul played lead guitar and sang with SOT during their final six months. A Bethesda, Maryland resident, Paul had been friends with the band for some time, familiar with their music, and in a natural position to assume this role.


Charlie Ruh
March 1971 - December 1974

A Philadelphia native, Charlie ran a light show for SOT. He was with the band through its entire full-time period, and directed it for its last six months. He also helped with technical issues and vehicle maintenance.


Diane Ruh
February 1973 - December 1974

Diane was SOT's secretary during this period, helping with many office functions. She also helped Charlie with his light show, and assisted the band with set ups and miscellaneous needs on the road.


Duane Self
June 1972 to December 1974

Duane was the band's technician for its entire full-time period, and sometimes recording engineer. He recorded and produced the band's third album, "Live at Virginia Beach." Duane hailed from West Virginia.


Blaine Smith
June 1967- June 1974

Blaine founded SOT, led it for most of its tenure, and was lead guitarist for 6-1/2 years (sharing the role with Dorian for half a year). A Chevy Chase resident, he formerly directed the Newports, a local rock band.


Burnett Thompson
June - September 1970

Burnett played keyboards with SOT during summer 1970, leaving to study music in Vienna, then on to become one of D.C.'s most respected jazz pianists. He was also the first to join SOT specifically as a keyboardist.


Ed Weaver
January 1971 - April 1973

Ed was lead keyboardist with SOT during this period, and music director. A Baltimore resident, Ed was organist for Fourth Presbyterian when he first joined, but left that position to work full-time with SOT in June '72.


Tom Willett
June 1972 - June 1974

Just after graduating from Wake Forest University, Tom joined SOT as bass player, guitarist, singer and songwriter. He was also the band's music director from April 1973 to June 1974. Tom's family lived in Springfield, VA then.


Don Williamson
June 1967 - September 1972

Don was a founding member of SOT, and with the band for more than five years, into the early part of its full-time era. He was the band's drummer during this time, and for the first three years its sole male singer.


Phyllis Wade
September 1970 to December 1974

Phyllis was a lead singer on the frontline with SOT for almost 3-1/2 years. She was a Washington, D.C. resident, a student of Roberta Flack, and attended Roberts Wesleyan University before and after joining.


Leslie White (Williams)
April - October 1970

Leslie was with SOT for about seven months, replacing Joan Hettenhouser. She sang and played guitar, and sang background vocal on the band's 45rpm "Limping Foot." She left in the fall of 1970 to marry Larry Williams


Robin Woodhams (Castaldi)
June 1967 - April 1972

Robin was a founding member of SOT, with it almost 5 years. She sang and wrote many of its songs, including "Spirit of Fear." She was also SOT's bass player for the first 3 years, while attending High Point College.


Sons of Thunder
P.O. Box 448
Damascus, Maryland 20872


Celebrating America's Pioneer Christian Rock Band