Music and ministry have rarely come together so seamlessly as in the case of Benjamin Dunn and the Animal Orchestra. This band, formed and led by Benjamin Dunn, travels the nation performing shows and raising money to maintain an orphanage for children who have been living in garbage dumps and leper colonies in Hyderbad, India.
The biography of this band and ministry is a testimony to the greatness, faithfulness and power of our God. Benjamin and his wife, Stephanie, did not grow up in church. After graduating high school, they traveled around the country through their early twenties with no intention of abandoning their exciting and adventurous lifestyles. Throughout this time of wandering, they brought a Bible with them everywhere they went, but were not seeking out any spiritual experience or direction. They hoped to simply figure things out on their own. One day during their travels, they were sitting on the beach and a man invited them to go church.
“We said ‘Hey, we’ll try anything once’” Dunn said.
They followed this man to a Pentecostal church, where Dunn and his now wife felt the presence of the Lord for the first time. This is the day when they became believers, committing themselves to lives of service to God. Referring to this day, Dunn expressed, “We have never felt without God’s presence ever since that day.”
“The last record, Fable, was inspired by the writings of CS Lewis. Sometimes when you get seasoned to church, you can get dulled to the intensities of being a believer. Fable brings out how real that is.”
Three short years after this convicting encounter with God in the year 2000, Benjamin and Stephanie began their ministry, Joy Revolution. Joy Revolution is a non-profit organization that aims at sustaining an orphanage for children from the garbage dumps and leper colonies in India. The orphanage was officially opened in Hyderabad, India in 2012 and is called The Joy House.
When asked why Joy Revolution’s efforts are specifically for the nation of India, Dunn responds, “We felt favor on the place that we had landed. We had visited this garbage dump for several years and we felt burdened for it.”
The funds to sustain The Joy House are brought in by Dunn’s band, Benjamin Dunn and the Animal Orchestra. They are coming to the end of a tour for their new album Fable, which is inspired by the works of C.S. Lewis. They travel around the United States to perform shows, the proceeds of which go towards Joy Revolution’s efforts in India. Fable uses characters from Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia to tell the story of salvation and consider the journey finding the heavenly country.
“The last record, Fable, was inspired by the writings of CS Lewis. In the last 2 years of my life I’ve read all of Lewis’ books more than twice and a lot of it came out in song. Sometimes when you get seasoned to church, you can get dulled to the intensities of being a believer. Fable brings out how real that is.” said Dunn.
Performing in various states including California, Texas, Florida, Virginia, and Washington, the band has been able to spread the message of love to many thirsty souls in the United States while simultaneously raising awareness and support for the needs in Hyderbad, India. The Joy House is currently housing twenty children and the goal is to continue expanding the scope of the ministry as resources permit.