Meet the Guys
Gary Brannaman - Lead / Booking & Promotion Director
I have had some wonderful opportunities to sing in my 30 plus years in music. It all started for me when I was 12 years old and asked the Lord to come be my Savior. He changed my direction forever and He has blessed me with so many opportunities.
I was given the opportunity to sing and lead music in church as a teenager. While I attended college at SMSU I auditioned and sang with a Christian mixed ensemble group of eight called New Dawn. We traveled all over Southern Missouri.
After graduating college I started listening to quartet music, especially the Gaither Vocal Band. They peaked my interest and I put together a group with my good friend Lee Croney and my dad. Later we added a couple of ladies to form a mixed Southern Gospel group. We sang for about a year until I got a job in the St. Louis Mo area.
While attending Eastview Baptist church I put together a group of guys to just fellowship and sing some good ole Southern Gospel songs. We started out as Men of Faith and later on changed to Instruments of Faith. We started singing for functions in the church and that led to us singing outside the walls of the church doing ministry. The group started in 2000 and ran until the end of 2017. When some of our guys began battling health issues and a desire to slow down, came my way, we brought things to an end. I was thankful for all those I sang with and the opportunity to minister in many states.
After a few years of not singing, I got an idea for a reunion concert, which led to my reuniting with some old IOF guys, Scot Womble and Gary Voelker. Through this new group forming, God has had His hand in all this and I look forward to seeing where God will take us!!
Jeff Rudloff - Baritone
Jeff Rudloff comes to Riven with a resume that people have described with words ranging from "interesting" to "bizarre." He grew up in a church that "sang all our hymns in harmony" and learned to improvise harmony parts when he was only 4 years old. He and his pastor's two sons (who were roughly the same age) started singing together as a trio when they were about 12 years old, and developed a significant following over 4 years in their part of Eastern Pennsylvania. Jeff struggled with his spirituality in his teen years, but made a serious commitment to Christ as a senior in high school at 17. That same fall, he met a young, physically-challenged Jewish believer in Jesus named Jeff Steinberg, and the two would travel together as singer and pianist for several years, including summers while Jeff (Rudloff) was in college. It was there (Houghton College in Houghton, NY) that Jeff met Joan Hall, and they were married three weeks after Joan graduated in 1977. The two spent a year-and-a-half on the road together with Jeff (Steinberg) before settling down to what was supposed to be a normal married life. But only a few years later, Jeff (Rudloff) was back working for Jeff (Steinberg) in Memphis, TN as booking agent and financial manager. In 1984, he moved back to Pennsylvania, where he was asked to fill in as pastor of a small, local church while their pastor was undergoing double knee replacement surgeries. That 6-month commitment ended 14 years later. During that time, he also spent 4 years with a part-time local quartet known as The Kintzel Brothers. In 2000, Jeff accepted a call to serve as associate pastor in a Lutheran church in northwest Iowa, where he led worship and shared in other pastoral duties. He left the church in 2004 and spent the next six years in several sales jobs, but in late 2010 he felt a strong desire to return to ministry of some kind. After talking about it for a while, Joan asked him, "Well, which do you want to do - preaching or singing?" Jeff admitted that singing would be his preference, so Joan said, "Well, then, do that!" A few weeks on the Singing News "positions available" site led to a meeting and then an offer to join a quartet in Kansas City known as 4 His Love. That ministry lasted for 8 years and included over 500 concerts in 17 states. He left the road in 2018 to be more involved in the ministry of his home church, but recently felt an urge to return to his Southern Gospel roots. This time it was a Facebook group that led him to Riven, and now he is back to doing both of the things he loves most - leading Bible studies and singing baritone. "I felt like I needed to expand my ministry beyond my local area, " Jeff says, "and Riven is giving me the chance to do just that." He will continue to be part of his church choir and praise team, and facilitate two Bible study groups for men. In addition to singing, Jeff is a song-writer and plays "a little bit" of piano, so who knows what that might lead to!