Abuse survivor shares triumph

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Keri Thomas, singer and pianist, has come full circle through music and faith, and she is now hoping to help others do the same. But there was a time when Thomas never wanted to perform again.

“It was something forced on me that was part of the abuse I went through,” she said.

Throughout her childhood, Thomas suffered physically, sexually and emotionally at the hands of her father, a popular local jazz musician in Florida. Once she escaped to college, she stopped performing.

“It was just too much,” she said.

Until she met another woman who’d had similar experiences, and who finally talked Thomas into visiting her church.

“The spirit came over me and I gave my life to Christ, and now everything is completely different,” she said.

With that new motivation, she founded Scarfone Productions, Inc. in Florida in 2009 to support victims of childhood sexual abuse. She offered musical theater summer camps for children, along with theatrical productions that she directed and performed in. She’s hoping to be able to continue that work here in Colorado.

“My past does not define me, my past is for helping others,” she said. “But it’s not who I am. I am a daughter of Christ, and it’s my job to fulfill his calling for me.”

That call led her to Colorado, where she landed a job as the worship director at South Suburban Christian Church in Littleton. With a newfound mission and passion for performing, she formed the 14-member contemporary Christian rock band Three in One.

“I never really knew what music meant emotionally until I knew what it was for,” she said. “So now what was part of my abuse in my past is now my redemption. It’s now my saving grace.”

The group has been together for two years and recently began bonding through sharing of testimonials.

“Now that we’re at this level of friendship, it’s making our music really flourish,” she said.

The band is hoping to ultimately record an album. For now, it’s reaching out to other churches and will present its first concert, free to the public, at 7 p.m. May 31 at the church, 7275 S. Broadway. Child care will be available for young children younger than 3, and older children are welcome at the show.

“I want people who are lonely, lost or hurting to spend an evening feeling like they finally fit in through music and God’s unconditional love,” Thomas said. “If one person comes closer to Jesus during this concert, then we will have done what we set out to do.”