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This is "Evins Mill" (Chapelgate)

This is "Evins Mill" in Smithville, Tennessee, the property my late husband, Robin, and I bought almost 40 years ago. It became the foundation for my writing, "The Chapelgate Adventure Series." I renamed it "Chapelgate," when I owned it. I write about how I found it in an "Unique Homes" magazine when Robin and I were living in Houston. I write about how, at the time, I was intensely praying to God to help us find our "forever home" where we could raise our kids. I envisioned carving out a completely private place, separated entirely from the rest of the world, where we could live in peace and goodness.

Well, that's not how it turned out, but that is what I write about. I ended up having to figure out how to control the public who were used to using it like an unsupervised state park. To do that I fenced it completely off, put up "No Trespassing" signs and would walk up to each and every person who parked their car and stopped to let their families or themselves, pour out recklessly into my old historical buildings, and tell them, sometimes fiercely, to leave. Their normal actions always included letting their kids race across the top of my dam, before they realized it was a fifty foot fall down onto rocks. The public's other normal actions were to leave their trash everywhere, AND to throw rocks through my windows in my beautiful old buildings. If they weren't busy doing that they were parked to make love, or taking the fish out of my pond to take home to their own ponds, or drinking. I hated it. I hated the "feeling" of the place, as it existed at that time, which was the same way I hate the "feeling" of most of Facebook and the current world. That was NOT what I had envisioned when I found the beautiful, glossy, "Unique Homes," ad and matching brochure. That is not what I purchased with everything we had. That is not what I had prayed for. I had prayed for a beautiful, secluded, home for my family, where God was the center of our world.

So I barricaded it, then started simultaneously driving into Nashville to attend a bi-weekly meeting of a group of Contemporary Christian Music independent local recording artists and songwriters. The group was called, "Fellowship of Contemporary Christian Ministries," HERE I had found that group because I had won 2nd place in a Christian songwriting contest by KSBJ HERE in Houston in 1986, the same year we decided to buy Chapelgate and move from Houston to Smithville, Tennessee. I actually won a trip to Estes Park, Colorado when National CCM artist, Morgan Cryar, HERE picked my song, "Heaven," HERE as the 2nd place winner. I found a book written by Chris Christian, HERE who had graduated from Abilene Christian University, like I had, "How to Get Started in Christian Music," (forward by Amy Grant.) So to change the atmosphere of my property, Evins Mill, now "Chapelgate," I made a huge consistent effort to seek out the people who were writing and performing Christian music, like myself.

I then hired a huge bus to pick them up at Koinonia, now famous, HERE our coffee house in Nashville where we met twice per month to listen to Christian music speakers and perform our own Christian songs, and BRING them to Chapelgate. I gave God our property and I gave the writers of his songs, our property. Then, my idea was to host open mics, like at Koinonia, with my Christian friends and also host Christian family events and National level concerts. I did this.

In the process the songwriter who had written the song I loved in Houston, sung by Chris Christian, on KSBJ and nationwide, "Living Sacrifice," became my close friend and together he, Robin, and I created my first two Christian music albums of my songs. We did this with one of the earliest home studios available at the time, using a $14,000. sound board Robin bought for me, an AKAI 1212, HERE and about $50k total in music/recording equipment, set up in my library, with wires running to Robin's grand piano in my living room, in my log cabin mansion, on our cliff overlooking the 200 year old Gristmill.

My friend, Mark DeAlessandro, Sylvester Stallone's body/stunt double for 23 years in 30 Stallone movies, and I, last summer, visiting Chapelgate. HERE and HERE This was my living room. I write short-stories about Mark and the Dinner with Dreamers group we are in. HERE and HERE The stories are in my "Harvest of Chapelgate," category on my website. We were visiting the Nashville area for a Dreamer's conference held at the Johnny Cash Hideaway farm at the time. Mark had just filmed the Christian supernatural thriller "Nefarious," produced by two of the top Christian film writers/Directors/Producers, who also Produced, "God is Not Dead." HERE and HERE Mark opens the movie with a high suicide fall stunt. I also have stories about Mark introducing me to the Producers, Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, that same weekend. HERE and HERE. My stories about what happened "after" my Chapelgate stories are in the works, I'm still writing them, but the ones I have so far are on my website in the "Harvest of Chapelgate" section, reserved for members who support my work. I have my "Chapelgate" stories on my website, free to read.

Robin was an engineer, and Dwight HERE was one of the top CCM songwriters, also mentioned HERE. Dwight produced 2 albums of my songs, "Degrees of Glory," and "Spiritual Tapestry," with me singing, and him primarily using his top of the line Korg keyboard, with Robin running the recording equipment. Photos are in my main book, "Chapelgate, a Spiritual Memoir." HERE That is the album I post about that is available on Amazon. HERE I have never released the 2nd album, "Spiritual Tapestry," but I have it in my private storage, and eventually I will. I have a couple of songs from it online, HERE. Dwight and Robin also created an album for Dwight of his own music and songs in our studio at Chapelgate. Because of God looking at my heart and seeing what I was attempting to do he sent Amy Grant to me to film, "Lead Me On," at my beautiful waterfalls. HERE All this is described in my main book, "Chapelgate, a Spiritual Memoir," available to buy on my website. HERE

Anyway, this is Evins Mill, which is "Chapelgate." Their website is: HERE

Copyright 2024 Angel Isaacs All Rights Reserved

Written March 6, 2024 at 7:22 am


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