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The story of Saint Belia and her mother has inspired countless number of Christian bands to spread the message of God's love through the medium of Rock-and-roll. She has become known as the Patron Saint of Christian Rock.
edit Unconventional Birth
Her story begins in an apple Orchard outside of Cleveland, Ohio. She was born of Herbert and Agnes Gomez on May 10, 1962. Her mother was traveling on a bus to meet up with Herbert, who had left her months early in pursuit of a musical career. With no knowledge of his unborn baby, Herbert never had any intention of continuing his life with Agnes. Agnes was not excited to attempt a reconciliation with Herbert, either, for she held a deep conviction that Herbert's music was "of satan."
However, she decided that it would be best to raise Belia in a traditional family. She quit her job as a cat-walker, packed up everything she had in Dayton, Ohio, and took a bus to Cleveland to find her husband. In route to Dayton, in the midst of an apple orchard, the bus ran into a buffalo stampede. The stampede rolled the bus onto its side and several people were injured. In the midst of the excitement, Agnes went into labor.
A stranger that Agnes had met on the bus, Monica Stephanus, helped Agnes find her way out of the toppled bus and helped her to a spot underneath an apple tree. Despite the fact that the only doctor on the bus, Dr. Lee, was blinded during the chaos, Agnes successfully gave birth to little Belia.
Agnes and new-born Belia eventually found Herbert, and Herbert decided to lay down his maracas and any hopes at a musical career in order to take care of his family. He found a job as a sanitation cake inspector. He felt that going from urinal to urinal making sure that each one had a fresh and scented cake was a degrading job and a horrible life, and he began to resent his family for convincing him to give up his dream of musical greatness. One fateful day, Herbert fell asleep on the job and drowned to death.
Agnes never spoke kindly of her deceased husband to little Belia. She told Belia that the fast-paced party music was sinful and all those that participated were doomed to hell. As Belia grew older, she began to question her mother's warning and wondered for herself what rock music was all about.
edit Belia Learns Rock
At the age of fifteen she began to date Bill Matthews, 17, who had had his own garage rock band for 6 years. Belia enjoyed spending time with the band, and eventually she became very knowledgeable of Rock and Roll. She learned that she had a great musical talent, so she joined the band, playing lead guitar and providing the lead vocals. Because of her talent, the band began to enjoy success. No longer were they confined to Bill's mother's garage, but they were performing venues and their music was being heard throughout all of Northeast Ohio.
As the band was enjoying it's success, Belia's relationship with her mother was non-existent. Her mother refused any type of relationship with her because Agnes was convinced that the type of music she was involved in was "of Satan." Belia wondered how she could convince her mother that not all rock music is evil.
edit The Turning Point
Contemplating her estranged relationship with her mother, Belia traveled down the orchard road outside of Cleveland where she was born. An apple fell off a tree and hit her in the head, and as Belia bent down to pick it up another Buffalo stamped toppled over her and she fell unconscious. The setting in which she was born was the setting in which she nearly died.
While unconscious, Belia had a vision of her father. Herbert told Belia never to give up on Rock and Roll, that she was more talented than she could ever know, and that she was called to use her rock and roll talents in order to bring to other people the message of God. He told Belia to change the theme of her music to Christianity, and in doing so she would spread the Word of God while at the same time reconciling the relationship with her mother.
Belia told the band of her vision and the necessity of moving towards the Christian message. Because she was the lone talent in the group, the band was compelled to comply. As they transitioned into Christian rock, they began to enjoy even more success. They raised more profits, their music was being heard by more people, and more people were hearing the message of God.
edit The Big Night
When Belia was 19, the band was set to perform at a huge venue. They crossed state lines for the first time to perform in Pittsburgh. If they had a successful performance, they would be able to venture further and further out making their message heard. They knew that an unsuccessful concert would hinder their efforts in making a name for themselves. The band was confident for the show, but they would be in for a few surprises. Unaware to Belia at the time, her mother was in attendance at the show to see what the whole Christian rock thing was about and to possibly give it a chance.
Five songs into the set, Belia had the audience in tears. Never before had they experienced the Christian message in the way that Belia presented it to them. Unfortunately, a power failure during the fifth song brought a halt to any momentum that Belia had built up. The audience desperately needed more, but without power Belia was unable to deliver it to them. The situation was hopeless.
Agnes, shaking and crying from the emotional impact of Belia's few songs thus far, ventured out to find the source of the power failure. She was so moved by her daughter's performance, convinced that she herself had been wrong about rock music, that she wanted to do everything in her power to make sure that the show went on.
Agnes discovered the source of the failure: a down power line. The 2 ends of the line were laying on the ground, with bolts of electricity shooting out. Deciding to sacrifice her life for the sake of Christian Rock, Agnes picked up the power lines and allowed the electricity to flow from one line, through her, and to the other line, allowing the concert to go on. Belia's mom was the circuit in which the power flowed.
After the ground-breaking performance, Belia learned that her mother had sacrificed herself for the sake of Christian Rock. She was devastated on one hand, but on the other she was relieved that petty differences no longer stood in the way of her mother's love for her. Because of St. Belia's mother's sacrifice, the show went on. Belia's band went on to the national stage, led by Belia under her new song "I am the Circuit Through which Jesus Flows."
The music of St. Belia slowly reached more and more people, and the genre of Christian rock was born. Other artists followed Belia's controversial decision to spread God's word through rock, but none have been as awe-inspiring as Belia's Group.
Many Christian Rock Artists have played in honor of Belia, that Saintly woman with the courage to start the Christian Rock genre, and her mother, the woman who sacrificed to make sure that the genre stayed alive. A great number of bands have chosen to name themselves after St. Belia, the originator of Modern Christian Rock, and a few have even chosen to name themselves after St. Belia's mother, Agnes, whose sustained Modern Christian Rock
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