About SoftFire

With so many different kinds of Christian music groups available to churches these days, isn’t it nice to run across a music ministry that is uniquely different from all the rest? 

Please allow us to introduce to you, SoftFire, the music ministry of Rev. David and Patricia Pence, music evangelists, of Hillsboro, Illinois.  But the ministry of David and Patricia goes beyond music to evangelism, pet therapy through “Paw Prints Puppy Programs” and a respite ministry through their guest apartment, “The Elisha Room,” which comprises their Pastor and Christian Family Retreat Center.

David is a professional musician; having gotten his start in music in the early 1950s, he plays soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, clarinet, flute, tin whistle and nose flute and leads singing.  He has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southern Illinois University with an emphasis on high school band.  However, David did not seek a teaching position right away.  Instead, he joined the Army as a bandsman and spent the next 23 years traveling around the world as a saxophonist and drum major with some of the Army’s finest bands.  He finally got his opportunity to teach in 1993 in a small Illinois school district, teaching not only high school band, but also all music from kindergarten through 12th grade.  In 1994, David and Patricia began a full-time music ministry that has flourished and continues to grow, having traveled tens of thousands of miles on 27 states so far.

Patricia also has had years of playing experience in high school, college and community bands in California, Illinois and Germany. Her instruments include French horn, trumpet, pocket trumpet, flugel horn and the Jewish Shofar or ram’s horn.  Patricia manages all the sound system from the stage and also leads singing.

Their eight Border Collies – Rufus, Molly, John, Matthew, Phebe, Daniel, Gracie and Shechem – are also quite the entertainers.  They comprise “Paw Prints Puppy Programs” and are part of their ministry, when appropriate, entertaining people of all ages with their cute tricks.  “Paw Prints Puppy Programs” is well suited for VBS programs, youth outreach, senior adult ministry and school assembly programs.

Judging from all the instruments they play, you might expect a large number of people asking a high price.  Actually, just the opposite is true.  As you have read, there are only two people, and their price is very affordable – a love offering and a meal (when appropriate).  David and Patricia understand that a love offering is not convenient in all circumstances, so in those cases a donation agreeable to all parties is acceptable.

What can you expect to hear and experience when SoftFire presents one of their worship concerts?  The Lord has blessed them with nearly 700 songs (best estimate) and is adding to the list.  A worship and praise program usually includes congregational singing, hymns, worship choruses and instrumental selections.  They also combine their instruments with the singing to produce a very worshipful effect.  Musical styles include just about everything heard in today’s churches – classical, traditional, spirituals, contemporary, gospel and even tastefully done soft jazz styles. 

The Pences minister in churches, schools (public and private), military bases, retirement homes, nursing homes and family camps.  They do music for Vacation Bible Schools, conduct revivals and provide pulpit supply, and their fifth wheel camper is always ready at a moment’s notice to bring them your way, whatever your need may be.