Debbie Milligan
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Debbie Milligan

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"Healing Wings Brings Comfort to Hurting World"

By Mary Mejia
Music in the world is performed to impress or to move others emotionally. Christian music can be impressive and stirring, but if the only reason for using it is to impress people and move their emotions we are doing it with the wrong motive.
“Something is wrong. God’s music goes beyond that. It ministers life and truth because it is presenting and glorifying Jesus. And this can only be done when the musicians, the instruments, the singers and the songs are anointed” Lamar Boschman.
Debbie Milligan was born in Atlanta, Georgia. When she was one year old, her biological father abandoned her. That’s not much to sing about. Life was harsh. Milligan endured turbulent teen years filled with hard-core drugs and alcohol abuse. Milligan went from one abusive relationship to another. She explained, “It seems like every male relationship I had was an abusive one.”
In 1980, she married into a violent relationship. She became a Christian the same year. She explains, “I was getting to know Christ in the middle of the storm. God became my source. I began to plug into Jesus Christ and detach from the circumstance. That was the way I survived.”
Through God’s tender love in her life, Milligan has been able to over come the physical and emotional pain of her past. “When hell breaks loose in our lives, that’s when God draws near us, “ Milligan affirmed. On the heels of a failed marriage and years of loneliness and abuse, Debbie learned to trust God.
Then in 1993, with acoustic guitar in hand, Milligan launched Healing Wings Ministries. “Our audience is brokenness. We desire to reach people (Christian and non-Christian alike) who are wounded,” she explained. “We purpose to teach wounded people who are struggling. Believers sometimes have unresolved issues that keep them from Christ. For non-Christians, we want to introduce them to Jesus who is the healer of their hearts.”
There is energy to heal hurting people through music. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3.) She writes most of her own music. Milligan uses the same principles she learned overcoming her own emotional pain and applies them to her music.
With songs such as, “Come In From The Pain,” “Hell Bent But Heaven Bound,” “Sweet Forgiveness,” and “Teach Me To Dance in the Rain,” Healing Wings Ministries comforts the hearts of hurting people.
“She sings at all types of events---concerts in churches, tent meetings---we even do street evangelism. Sometimes our ministry is one-on-one.”
Milligan traveled internationally to Asia and parts of Russia. Her main ministry is in the United States, including the reservations of the Native American peoples. Every year she travels with a Navajo evangelist on the reservations, singing and giving her testimony in a large canvas tent. “In every tour, we go to a prison. We just recently returned from a prison in Illinois, At least 25 men gave their hearts to Christ.”
Milligan’s third CD is entitled Below the Surface. Milligan explains, “The album is a call that rises up from the heart of God. Only as we abandon ourselves, letting go of convenience, letting go of our secure surroundings and thereby allowing God to untangle us from the familiar and comfortable, can we then anchor ourselves in the depths of who He is. At last, we finally taste the sweet communion that we were created for. It is there that our destiny is fulfilled and our heart cry is silenced.” The album encourages the listener of the healing hand that reaches toward them.
The CD will also include the song, “He Won’t Let Go,” that Debbie wrote about the shootings at Columbine. Last month, Milligan performed this new song at Abiding Hope Lutheran Church in Littleton, Colorado, her first concert since the Columbine tragedy.
Milligan debuted her new Below the Surface album at Corona Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado on November 19. Healing Wings is based in Englewood, Colorado. Milligan has lived in Colorado for more than 20 years. She says her favorite scripture is Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy: he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” “When I read that Scripture,” Debbie smiled, “I realized that the Lord is so pleased with me that He actually sings over me. He sings over me! Much like a mother sings a lullaby over a child, God sings over me.”
- Christian Web Resource Guide

"Former Biker, Addict Reaches Out to Others Through Prayer"

By Jane Weaver
Debbie Milligan has discovered that once is not enough. The founder and Executive Director of Healing Wings Ministries in Englewood, Colo., said she has learned through her 13 years of concerts and workshops that healing is a continual process.
“When you have issues, one time praying for them or counseling them is not enough,” Milligan said. Milligan said the best solution to healing the hurting is prayer and connection. “Connect them with someone who can help them live in the freedom of that healing,” she said.
Milligan a survivor of hard times herself, said churches especially need to learn that help goes beyond that moment of prayer and reconciliation with God. “An alcoholic can’t just stop drinking. They also have to learn to live in sobriety,” she said.
So Milligan travels the world teaching the churches how to reach people in the place in which she used to dwell. “I was real hard core, living the biker lifestyle with the drugs. I was as rebellious and radical as you can imagine,” she said.
After turning her life over to Christ, Milligan said it was the gift of music that helped her learn how to help others. She is about to release her fourth CD entitled, “Come On.” However, it was the song, “Teach Me To Dance in the Rain” that launched her ministry.
“Teach me to dance to rolling thunder
Teach me to dance in the rain
It’s there I’ll embrace Your glorious face
And You’ll kiss every tear away
Teach me to dance in the rain”
She has learned through her ministry that addiction is addiction regardless of what it is the holds a person hostage. “Maybe they eat too much, or pour themselves into their job or a relationship,” she said. “It’s any avenue we choose to cover up or medicate the pain.”
Her goal is to help people “live in freedom” of the healing that comes from faith in a power greater than their addiction. “God doesn’t want us just to survive, he wants us to thrive,” she said.
Whether she is at a church or a school, or a prison, Milligan said her message and her music are the same and lives are changed. “They will be encouraged…if they allow God to have His way with them, they will have healing, resolution, restoration, and renewal,” she said.
- The Cecil Whig

"St James Presbyterian Concert a Big Success"

CONCERT REVIEW: St. James Presbyterian Church Concert Series, October 29, 2006 featuring Kerry Conner and Debbie Milligan, musicians sharing the love of Christ.
Hallelujah!! “His love is real and His love is now”, words so lovingly spoken by Debbie Milligan, Founder and Executive Director of Healing Wings Ministries. Debbie, along with songwriting partner, Kerry Conner, Worship Pastor at Crossroads Church of Denver, blessed their audience with songs of mercy and hope. As God’s love filled the sanctuary, old friendships were being rekindled, the young and old inhaling the air of His presence, knowing the freedom to worship their Lord, Jesus Christ, receiving His “Sweet Forgiveness.” Kerry led the contemporary worship service at St. James from 1996-2000. Being present was truly a gift from God for this writer.

Interviewing a few members of the audience after the concert would have been in order, however, the harmony of reception’s conversations between the gifted performers and their friends would have been disrupted, upsetting the sweet flow taking place. Kerry Conner and Debbie Milligan have recently issued an album together titled, “Come On”, uniting their passion for Christ. By the looks of the crowd, I would say the selling of their CDs and tapes was very successful.

By Carol Martin - The Community News

"CD Review: Debbie Milligan and Kerry Conner -Come On"

CD Review:

Artist: Debbie Milligan and Kerry Conner
Title: Come On
Style: Light Rock
Rating: 9.1 out of 10
By Senior Writer C.W. Ross

Debbie Milligan is Executive Director of the nationally known ministry, Healing Wings Ministries. Their ministry is dedicated to addressing the condition of the heart by communicating the healing grace and freedom found in the Person of Jesus Christ. A Christian since 1980, Debbie has weathered many storms including being the survivor of a fatherless childhood, teen years plagued with hard-core drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and multiple losses.

Kerry Conner is a prolific songwriter, as well as a high-caliber musician. He has toured and recorded with Steve Taylor, as well as written songs and toured with multiple Grammy and Dove Award winner, Bruce Carroll. He's also produced multiple records for, and written with Debbie Milligan, Kip White, Milton Carroll and others.

Debbie and Kerry have worked together before but now these two very gifted solo artist have joined forces for the duo's debut entitled, Come On.

Listening to the songs found on Come On I couldn't help but keep thinking about how crisp and well done the songs were, the instrumentation was sharp and right on while the vocal harmonies flowed together like soft butter being spread on a warm piece of toast.

The songs blend many different layers of sound. I could hear elements of contemporary, folk, rock, and country in them. The songs have just enough light rock guitar and drum beats to keep them lively.

The lyrics are filled with faith, hope and love. They talk about the strength that happens if you keep Jesus at the center of your life. No matter what forces life throws at you Jesus will guide and help you to overcome the storms. What great peace and comfort that comes from knowing that.

Here's what Debbie had to say," I learned early on as a Christian that if I am going to have joy in my life, I can't depend on my circumstances. I have to lean into the one who carries me on the wings of any storm I go through. Jesus Christ is my source, and as long as I stay plugged into Him, I will experience joy, hope and peace no matter what circumstances surround me. You see, we can dance in rain, because God is the one that we dance with!"

This is a CD that will really bless you. Also if you have a friend that's feeling a little down this would make a nice gift of love to buy and give them.

- Christian Rockers Online

"New Gospel Today Spotlight"

Debbie Milligan, who is the Executive Director of Healing Wings Ministries, is our next artist spotlight in the pages of Gospel Today. Debbie’s music is her ministry to all of today’s Christians. Her contemporary acoustic approach is her best attribute to her amazing songwriting. Debbie is coming to music from a point of experience. While growing up without a father or father figure in the home, Debbie was seduced into a life of hard-core drugs & alcohol abuse, domestic violence and multiple losses. In 1980, something amazing happened to Debbie when she decided to turn her life over to God. Debbie has allowed Gospel Today to come into her heart as she shares with us her love for the music she makes and Our God she loves.

Gospel Today: Thank you for allowing us to speak with you, Debbie. Can you share with us your journey of what has brought you here to where you are at in your life now?

Debbie: I just celebrated 27 years off of drugs! I came from a broken background not unlike a lot of people in the world today. My drug-crazed years were merely an attempt to medicate the pain I had inside. I remember leaving home when I was 17 years old with the vow in my heart, “I will never do anything anyone tells me to do again!” You think I had a little rebellion going on? I was determined to be master of my own destiny & be in control of my life. I got involved in the radical biker lifestyle where I met my future husband. You know Isaac, I always went for the “safe” guys! (ha-ha-ha) This guy had just paroled out of San Quentin, was a heroine addict and a violent alcoholic. All my efforts to stay in control just caused me to spiral further out of control. God in His love for me had to allow my life to turn radically “south” before I could recognize my need for a Savior, and certainly before I could recognize something bigger than Debbie Milligan! I finally hit bottom and I had two choices: die or reach up to God. I chose life and I have been clean ever since!

I wish I could share with you that once I became a Christian, Mary Poppins sprung onto the scene! When I gave Christ control of my life, it didn’t mean that all the baggage of my past; all the pain inside my heart just automatically disappeared. No, and keep in mind, I was still married to a man that would explode in violent rage. But, as I grew into the woman God created me to be, in the midst of those storms, there was tremendous value in learning to cling to Jesus when everything else around me was crashing down. I quickly learned that if I was ever going to experience peace and joy, it was not going to come from my circumstances, but from Christ alone.

Gospel Today: I read in your bio that your music ministry, Healing Wings Ministries, is a ministry dedicated to the message of emotional healing, focusing on issues surrounding the wounded heart. How has being involved with this helped your own deliverance of your music?

Debbie: The deliverance that I have experienced has come through my relationship with Jesus Christ…allowing Him access to every room of my life-even the parts that have brought me the deepest shame- the parts that have been raw from failure and pain. His love has healed those areas of my life. Becoming a Christian is not just about getting a ticket to heaven, but allowing Christ to also be the “Healer” and “Liberator” of our life. As Christ heals the wounded places within, then we have to learn how to live in the freedom of healing. Part of walking that out for me has been communicating through music. It keeps all that was dark exposed to the light. The more I share, the more free I become because, I see first hand how God can take the ashes of our past and turn them into holy jewels by using the very thing meant to destroy me to bring others into healing and freedom!

Gospel Today: You have under your belt four albums. Describe the feelings you had when recording each of your albums.

Debbie: I waited a long time to record my first album, “Teach Me to Dance in the Rain.” I wanted to have something I could be proud of. And actually, this is still my number one seller because of the title cut. It was an exciting time of transitioning from 9 years of performing in mainstream venues to launching out into full time ministry.

“Sweet Forgiveness” was recorded during a time of reconciliation as well as grieving. My first husband and I had been divorced four years, and he had gotten word to me that he wanted to see me. The doctors had just diagnosed him with terminal cancer and given him 6 months to live. I went to the hospital to see him and he broke down and cried asking for my forgiveness for the many years of pain he had caused me. He also wanted me to know that he finally had asked Christ into his heart and was ready to meet his Maker. I remember God’s voice going off in my head saying, “See, those years weren’t a waste after all! I have been years trying to answer your prayers for his salvation.” In that moment, God gave me purpose for the pain I had endured. When I left the hospital that day, he slipped into a coma and died that week. The last words he spoke were to me. He never regained consciousness. I was in the middle of recording this project during this time.

During the recording of “Below the Surface,” I went through intense spiritual warfare because of the prayers we were praying over this album. We were using Is. 61:1-3 to pray a powerful anointing on each song. We prayed that people would be ministered to through each song, whether it is across the airwaves or through their own stereo system. It seemed as though all the relationships in my life were in crisis during this time, and the album itself went through one delay after another. Again, I sensed God speaking to me… “Debbie do you think this kind of anointing and ministry doesn’t also come with a price. Are you willing to pay the price for other people’s freedom?” The devil was fighting mad over the potential power this particular project could have in people’s lives and was trying shut it down.

It was 7 years before I released my current album, “Come On.” I simply never slowed down enough to get back in the studio. Running a full time ministry, traveling both nationally and internationally in the mission field, equipping teams for prayer and mission work and performing have kept me extremely busy. I am very excited about this project because it is the collaboration of both Kerry Conner, who is my songwriting partner and producer, and myself. We had talked about a duo project for quite awhile and decided to make this my next album.

Gospel Today: Debbie, your current project entitled, “Come On” has yielded its first cut, the song, “Teach Me to Dance in the Rain”. Describe what is this song all about?

Debbie: Teach Me to Dance is the title cut off my first project. This is the song that I am most known for. The concept is learning to have joy in the midst of the storms of life. God wants us to thrive in life not just survive. The bottom line is storms happen! Pain is no respecter of persons. We ask God, “Why?” I am learning the better question might be, “God what do you intend to be for me right now in this situation, that you couldn’t be for me any other time in my life? What do you want to reveal about yourself that I couldn’t see if I were not facing this storm?”

Gospel Today: As we come to a close, what are your last thoughts that you would like to share with everyone?

Debbie: We all go through hard times. Christianity isn’t about not ever falling down but staying plugged into the One who picks up when we fall down. Our life is a journey and the bumps along the way become the sacred process that gets us to the finish line. There simply are no bad endings with Jesus! Wherever we find ourselves in this journey, we can take advantage of every turn in the road to experience more of Christ. Every breath we take, every minute of every day is an invitation to dance in His arms!

- Junior's Cave Online Magazine


COME ON (2006)
Produced by Kerry Conner
Produced by Kerry Conner
Produced by Kerry Conner
Produced by Kerry Conner



Debbie has weathered many storms in her life. A Christian since 1980, she has survived of a fatherless childhood, teen years plagued with hard core drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and multiple losses. Debbie shares her music and testimony from a heart healed and enriched by the love of Jesus Christ.

Debbie Milligan is the Executive Director of Healing Wings Ministries, which is a ministry dedicated to the message of emotional healing, focusing on issues surrounding the wounded heart. This ministry was born out of Debbie’s past of pain and abuse. She has known the storms of life intimately, and because of this, she has a love and compassion for wounded people. Debbie is committed to addressing these issues surrounding the heart through her music and her personal testimony. Debbie’s transformed life has become the vehicle through which God touches the secret places of the heart offering hope and encouragement to a hurting world. Forged in the fires of Debbie’s life experiences, her message testifies to the healing grace and freedom that is found in the Person of Jesus Christ.

“Life is often unfair and can deal us the cruelest of hands. These hurts can cripple the heart and distort our perception of a loving God. As we invite Him into the secret places of our heart, God removes the painful filters of our past so we can begin to see our value through the eyes of our Creator, enabling us to become the people He created us to be.”

The success of this ministry isn’t contingent upon Debbie’s gifts of music and communication, but instead upon God’s ability and willingness to turn our brokenness into beauty. Debbie simply places herself into the hands of the Ultimate Healer, making herself available to Him and transparent before her audience. The very things that were meant to destroy her are now what point others to Christ.

Healing Wings Ministries is comprised of many individuals who believe in what God is doing through this organization. As partners, each plays an important role in making sure this message embraces hurting people all over the world. HWM has not limited their vision to just churches, universities, prisons and homeless shelters in the United States, but also extends their commitment to sharing the saving message of Jesus Christ overseas in various mission opportunities. Another regular ongoing avenue of ministry is reaching out to the Native Americans.

Debbie also partners with her producer Kerry Conner in concert. Kerry Conner is a Colorado native whose roots run deep. He is a prolific songwriter, as well as an excellent musician. He has toured with Steve Taylor, as well as written songs and toured with multiple Grammy and Dove Award winner, Bruce Carroll. He’s produced multiple records for, and written with Debbie Milligan, Kip White, Milton Carroll and others. He’s been a free lance recording engineer and hired gun guitar slinger most of his life. He sang in the Palace of Congresses inside the walls of the Kremlin less than twenty four hours after they voted to dissolve the Soviet Union in the very same room. He’s trooped about the hills of southwestern Romania singing in persecuted house churches.

Kerry has recorded several Calvary Chapel Worship albums, as well as two solo projects, “The Shadow of Your Wings,” and “Doxologic.” Kerry is currently the Worship Pastor at Crossroads Church of Denver. He is seasoned in ushering people into the presence of God. He is committed to communicating God's truth with passion and integrity.

Together, Debbie and Kerry unite their passion for Christ with the compassion they have for others to create an atmosphere of worship and ministry. Long time songwriting partners, they have recently released a new recording, called "Come On." It is an invitation to all who long to be touched with mercy and have hope ignited. Every moment, every breath is an invitation to dance in the arms of Jesus- no matter if we find ourselves on the heights where eagles soar, or hunkered down in the trenches of uncertainty. Their hope is that through these songs you will hear the tender voice of the Savior above any other; And for His voice to cut through all distractions and break through each barrier so that your heart will be stirred by His holy presence and you will never be the same!