WOODBURY, MN (June 5, 2012) – Caleb Gotz, a member of Gallery Covenant Church in St. Paul, was celebrating his high school graduation when internationally known Christian artist David Crowder showed up.
Caleb, who has Down syndrome, first invited Crowder five years ago as the teenager looked ahead to his high school graduation. Caleb delivered the invitation personally during a Crowder performance in Chicago.
Dana Gotz followed up this year when she sent Crowder an invitation with a picture of him and Caleb hugging backstage at the show and that it was her son’s dream to have him at the graduation. Dana never heard back.
None of the family members and 250 guests expected that Crowder would show up a half hour into the graduation party for Caleb. Caleb dropped to his knees and bowed to one of his musical heroes.
“He rocks,” Caleb said of Crowder when interviewed for a story that appeared in the Star Tribune. “I love his hair.”
Crowder didn’t play any music, but played games and ate dinner with everyone. Dana said the artist flew from Arizona to the Twin Cities especially for Caleb’s party.
Caleb is as well known around his community as Crowder is among Christians who listen to contemporary Christian music. Caleb’s elementary gym teacher, Denny Larson, said everyone in the community knows the 18-year-old.
His enthusiasm for life, as well as the unconditional love and kindness he shows others have been a strong witness. Larson said Caleb frequently sends inspirational letters to friends, classmates, and teachers and often ends them with the exhortation, “God loves you in so many ways.”