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Gary Barker
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Tampa, FL
70 Posts

Profile of Gary Barker
Over 20 years ago my youth pastor gave to me a VHS tape of Duane Laflin, Gospel Magic with a Thumb Tip. I had been interested in magic as a child and as a teenager was still very much interested. Being very involved in church this opened up some new ways of thinking about magic for me.

Time went on and years later I was able to develop a friendship with Duane and Mary. I mean no disrespect to all the other performers of gospel magic (Del Wilson, Steve Varro and so many others!) but I just wanted to say publicly how much I personally appreciate Duane and Mary and their family for the many years of support, encouragement, teaching and investing into the lives of all of us involved in the FCM.

From the bottom of my heart Duane and Mary...THANK YOU for everything and especially for separating the steal from the reveal Smile

May God continue to bless you both in your marriage, in your family, in your ministry and yes even in your magic.

With much love in Christ!


I encourage others to share a kind word about the positive impact Duane and Mary have had on your life, your ministry and even your magic.

I also encourage others to start new posts of encouragement highlighting some of your mentors in gospel magic and let's express heartfelt appreciation for those who have worked so hard to get us to this point and let us continue to pursue excellence in all we do to be the voice of the FCM. See you in Marion! Plan now to attend andplan on inviting someone to join you this year!
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Inner circle
1966 Posts

Profile of tbaer
I don't know Duane personally, but I believe I have purchased every gospel DVD he has made. His biblical applications he puts together for all sorts of effects are nothing short of excellent.
Doug Follett
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202 Posts

Profile of Doug Follett
I will gladly chime in on this thread. I grew up about 40 miles away from Abbott's Magic Mfg. Co., and when I was about 9, I made my first trip over to the Magic Capital of the World. I was hooked at that point. However, I never attended a convention there. I did shows when I could, through some of my teen years. College, marriage, and family got in the way, and I put my things away for about 30 years.

Now, I am a volunteer Children's Ministry Team leader at a very large church on the northwest side of Indianapolis, and am priveledged to be in front of about 200 K-5th graders each Sunday morning. One day I decided it would be fun to show them a magic trick and to tie it into the lesson we were studying that day. The kids loved it, and I had a blast as well. I had come across Steve Varro's website somehow, and ordered a few things that were much more Gospel related.

In August of that year, on a whim I decided to make a one day trip up to Michigan to see what the Abbott's convention was like. When I got there, I noticed on the schedule that there was a Gospel Magic lecture. I went into the little church, and there was Mary at the small dealer table, although I had no idea who she was. I also had no idea who the lecturer, Duane Laflin was. I noticed the sideburns, and the polished look about him. That lecture changed my life in a big way. Duane is such the professional, and his presentations are very strong. I met both he and Mary later that day at their booth, they were very friendly, and very willing to demonstrate many things to me. I told them that this was just what I wanted to bring back to our kids at church. I spent a lot of money that day. A very lot of money... As I was packing up, and getting ready to walk out, Mary handed me their 3-pack DVD on the Art of Gospel Magic. She said to study it and it would help me.

Since then, I've been priveledged to acquire quite an inventory, mostly of Duane's things. I'm so thankful that LockFamily magic was in existence still. He has had a huge impact on me, and the ministry I'm involved with at our church. He even brought up a huge show and performed at our church the day after the international FCM conference in Marian last year. Their team (including Aaron and Denise Gillam) was exhausted after lecturing that week, but brought in a very large show despite the amount of work it was to lug in all the equipment. I remember Duane driving up in his truck, getting out and starting to unpack. I remember the look on his face when I told him the room they were performing in was on the 2nd floor. He brought his Flash Appearance, among other large illusions, and it was all we could do to fit it into the elevator. His energy and willingness to give the best show just can't be beat!

I've been to his Advance conference and Christmas party along with my 11 year old daughter who is my assistant. Duane's always quick to respond to e-mails, and gives great advice. He's introduced me to Joe Eddie Fairchild, and I've also gotten to meet Barry Mitchell because of him. Both of those gentleman's products play a big role in my inventory to use at our church.

I think the biggest thing to learn from Duane is to be excellent in whatever we do. Sorry this has been a long post, but it's shorter than it needs to be in order to really convey just what an impact Duane has had on me, my daughter, and therefore those we are able to reach at our church, and bit by bit into our community.

One more tidbit comes to mind about Duane. The first day I met him at Abbott's, we were discussing some routines, and I mentioned that I had ordered the stage size version of Key To The Kingdom from Steve Varro. I told him I hadn't used it yet, because I just didn't think the method was very convincing. He looked at me in an odd sort of way, and said he never had a problem with it. That's all he said about it. It wasn't until many days later, I was re-reading the instructions, and noticed a "thank you" note is printed in those instructions. It says something along the lines of "Thanks to Duane Laflin for revising these instructions and enhancing this routine."... Boy did I feel like eating crow...

I have no doubt that God was the One who put it into my head to drive to Abbott's on a whim that August day.

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Kalamazoo, Michigan
2862 Posts

Profile of MagicBus
I echo Doug's comments above. Duane and Mary are always super nice every year either at Abbott's or the FCM convention. Their products are first rate- the Gospel magic routines are well thought out and useable. Duane is an A+ teacher, his lectures are loaded with great information I am always eager to try out. He puts together a different lecture every year loaded with new ideas- amazing. As for me personally- I asked Duane several years ago site unseen for permission to use on our Now That's Magic! cable access series just ONE clip from one of his DVDs that I liked. Duane told me- one clip?- you can use ANYTHING from the DVD I was asking about. Wow! He granted us permission--- at no cost--- use anything from that DVD that would help spread The Good News on the cable access channels we were involved with. That is both giving and classy- much appreciated! David Ginn and Brad Brown had the same immediate positive responses as well, without even looking at one of our prior programs first. I couldn't believe it. Just an honor to be allowed to use their work on our programs, it is a "fellowship of Christian magicians" in action.
Mark Boody Illusionist
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Inner circle
1340 Posts

Profile of Mark Boody Illusionist
I first met Duane & Mary at the Branson Magic Conference,he was so approachable & willing to share. After coming home from the conference, I had e-mailed Duane to ask him some follow-up questions, to which he responded with "too much to cover in an e-mail", can you come out to Montana for a while. What? Are you kidding me!!! I couldn't get my plane tickets fast enough!

My wife & I got to spend a week with Duane, Mary & his family at the Montana Wonder Theatre! What a wonderful time of listening & learning from one of the most giving couples in magic. It's a time we won't soon forget.

We were certainly blessed by Duane & Mary Laflins hospitality & their willingness to share to make us all better performers who chose to spread the gospel.

We have a sign that hangs in our church that reads "Give more than you take".
That describes Duane & Mary to a "T".

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Special user
Lafayette, IN
613 Posts

Profile of jamiedoyle
A major big Thanks to Duane and Mary.

I have many of your DVD's and even a few videos from the early days and have gleaned much and used many of their routines.

If you're not knocking it out of the park after watching a Laflin lecture or DVD - then something is wrong.

Thanks for all you do and the investment in my life.
Jamie Doyle

magic mccurry
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50 Posts

Profile of magic mccurry
Thanks for the comments about Duane. I just saw him perform in Pigeon Forge at the Magic Beyond Belief Theater. I appreciated him incorporting his faith into the act.
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