Dwayne and Dwight Good have been ministering through music to churches around the world as The Good Twins since graduating from Lincoln (Illinois) Christian College in 1958. They have provided music for revivals, rallies at mission stations, church services, Christian conventions, and other Christian gatherings””more than 7,000 concerts in the United States and 22 foreign countries. Today, as they celebrate 50 years of ministry, The Good Twins are busy performing concerts to benefit various missions, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to those missions. Their ministry has raised more than $110,000 for missions in the past 18 months.
Was it your plan from the beginning to become The Good Twins?
Dwayne: Dwight and I were members of a quartet called The Lordsmen, together with Chuck Magnuson and Red Florence, while in college. We all decided to go into full-time work holding revival meetings and we were going to start in California. So we booked four revival meetings, each two weeks long. After our first revival meeting, the next two churches canceled out. That left us a month without any income, so we disbanded the quartet.
Dwight: At first we decided to go back to our home in Illinois, but then Lertis Ellett came and asked if we would hold a revival at his church (Lawndale Christian Church) a month later. So we stayed in California the next four weeks and then held that revival meeting for them. He asked us what we would charge, and we said $125 each per week. He didn”t think the church board would agree, so he asked us if we would come for a freewill offering. We said, “Yes,” and decided to make it a test of whether or not God was calling us into this ministry. If God would meet our needs and bless the revival with additions and encouragement, we would do it. At the end of the revival the offerings were over $900 and they had more baptisms than ever before.
Dwayne: And that was without services on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday nights””those were calling nights.
Dwight: And during that time we booked four more revival meetings in California for January and February. We thought the Lord wanted us to go out to California during the wintertime. <laughs>
Dwayne: We heard the Lord loud and clear! <more laughter>
Has there been a particular highlight in your ministry?
Dwight: We recorded an album with Ralph Carmichael”s orchestra in 1968 at Capitol Records in Hollywood. The album was titled Church is Finally Over. It has been our best-selling album throughout the years. It won the NEFF Award* as the Gospel Duet Album of the Year in 1968. Billboard Magazine gave it four stars.
Another highlight is when we were invited to sing in the Promise Keepers choir, Stand in the Gap, in Washington, D.C. Over 1 million were in attendance. Eighty voices were chosen for the choir and we were two of them.
How did you make that connection?
Dwight: The man in charge of all the Promise Keepers choirs was Stan Endicott. Stan was a graduate of Lincoln Christian College, and we heard Stan at a church in Clinton, Illinois. We hired him for a year to help us with our singing, music, and recordings. During that year he orchestrated two albums for us, and we also sent him to college to learn how to arrange for orchestration. We introduced him to John W. Peterson, who hired him to do background music for his company. We really believed in Stan. I later recommended him to Knott Avenue Christian Church in California where he was the worship leader for 25 years.
So how does a pair of singing twins make an impact on world missions?
Dwight: Our mission is to help missions””parachurches. “Para” means alongside, so a parachurch would be an organization that works hand in hand with the local church, but it is not a church. An example I give is Deaf Missions. It”s an extension of the local church. We put on benefit concerts, and 100 percent of those offerings go to those parachurches. We pay all of our own expenses out of our own ministry.
Dwayne: Another example would be Show Me Christian Youth Home in LaMonte, Missouri. They have more than 100 children in seven different cities. Their budget is over $1 million per year. In 2003, Dwight and I did a world-record tour, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. We performed 106 concerts in 106 days in 106 cities, and 100 percent of the offerings were sent to Show Me. They told me we raised $69,925.25. Since then we have raised an additional $35,500 for a total of $105,416.25.
How are you able to give away 100 percent of the offerings? You do have to make a living.
Dwight: Missionaries raise funds in order to go to the mission field. Churches in America pledge to support them so they can start their ministry without looking for a job to support themselves. Likewise, we have churches and individuals who sponsor us on a monthly basis. We have the KGB Club””the Kingdom of God Builders (KGB is from our mission to Russia). The people in our club sponsor us on a monthly basis for 12 months. Our expenses and salaries come from these people and churches. That”s how we can give 100 percent to parachurches. All the offering from our concerts is sent to the parachurch by the host church so we don”t even see it.
How did you get started doing benefit concerts?
Dwayne: We performed benefit concerts for Cecil Todd for 10 years, purchasing Bibles for the Russian military.
Dwight: During that same time we were also working with Child Life International.
How have these concerts affected your ministry?
Dwayne: They have brought us closer to the Lord, and our faith has become stronger. Believe it or not, it”s a whole lot easier to serve the Lord when we have to rely on him and his people, instead of ourselves.
And you”re raising money for this summer”s North American Christian Convention.
Dwayne: We”re hoping to raise $25,000 to $50,000 for the North American Christian Convention this year.
Dwight: Ralph Carmichael and his Big Band will be performing a concert on Monday, June 30″”the night before the North American. We”ll be singing a couple of songs as special guests that night. It will be at the convention center in the main hall. They”re selling tickets for it now at www.gotonacc.com.
Dwayne: Another concert with Ralph will be held on April 27 at the Eastside Christian Church in Fullerton, California.
Dwight: It”˜s a two-hour show.
Dwayne: It might be three hours if I start with my jokes!
Is there something about the NACC that is especially meaningful to you?
Dwayne: If it weren”t for the North American Christian Convention we probably wouldn”t be in this work. When we were in Lawndale without a job for a month it just so happened that the North American Christian Convention was being held in Portland, Oregon. Lertis Ellett said we ought to go up there and let people know of our desire to begin this evangelistic work. We didn”t have a car, but we had enough money to take a train. We happened to have an uncle who lived in Portland, and he let us stay at his home. He would take us to the convention every day and come and get us at night. We made some mimeographed copies and started handing them out to preachers. We scheduled six weeks of revival meetings at that convention.
One of those revival meetings was in a little town called Memphis, Missouri. When we started that revival meeting I walked out on the platform and saw a very pretty girl named Ferol. I looked at her and said to Dwight, “I think I”ve seen my wife for the first time, today.” Three years later we were married, and now we”˜ve been married for 46 years.
I understand you have other benefit concerts you”re doing this summer.
Dwight: We have several benefits for this summer and the NACC is one. Rapha House is a ministry in Cambodia that provides a safe home for 67 girls who are 4 to 15 years old who had been sold into sex slavery. Daughters of Ruth, a ministry in Thailand, has a two-story dormitory housing 24 girls from 5 to 16 years old. These girls have suffered from abuse, embarrassment, fear, and shame. Their parents are in prison.
Dwayne: In Joplin, the local Life Choices organization will be another one. Cecil Todd has asked us to help him get Bibles to our soldiers in Iraq. Lieutenant Commander Brian K. Waite, in Iraq, told us that our soldiers are faced with death 24/7 and they want Bibles! Last year on Easter morning he baptized 70 soldiers and a news reporter in the same Tigris River mentioned in Genesis.
And you mentioned your work in Russia, too.
Dwight: I have been to Russia 29 times. I started working with an organization called Child Life International out of Davenport, Iowa, in 1992. I was vice president, and we had a ministry of bringing sick children and their mothers from Russia to America for life-saving heart operations. We thought it was important to have their mothers by their side for strength and healing. Three boys were operated on at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois, and three girls were operated on at Cardinal Glennon Children”s Medical Center in St. Louis. We paid all expenses from the time they left home to the time they returned. This included airfare, housing, medications, and living expenses.
Dwayne: Two of the girl”s operations were not free. So we had to raise additional funds for their operations.
Dwight: Those additional funds amounted to $50,000. It took 76 benefit concerts to raise the money.
What”s next for the Good Twins?
Dwight: We”re still continuing this ministry. This will not be our last year. We”ll just trim our schedule down to a slower pace.
You guys are famous for your corny jokes””give me a good one.
Dwayne: When we were real young, basketball was our sport and we were real good all over the court. We thought when we”re old and life is a bore, we won”t get to play basketball anymore. Now that we”re old and our bodies are sore, we really don”t care if we play anymore.
Dwight: But we can still dribble all over the floor!
*NEFF Awards: The National Evangelical Film Foundation Awards were a forerunner to the Gospel Music Association Dove Awards.