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The 700 Club

Building Guitars For a Greater Purpose

“My motto here at Baruk Guitars is that I build worship instruments. Some of them are wood, and some of them are flesh,” Hank Teuton says. Hank developed a passion for building custom-made guitars while in the coast guard. Baruk is the Jewish word for “blessing” and he seeks to instill godly character in his students as he teaches them how to craft guitars. 

“When you bend a piece of Brazilian rosewood, let's say, first you have to cut it to the right thickness, so it has to be dimensioned properly,” Hank says. “Then you have to soak and get it good and wet, and then we steam it, raise that temperature, and then I put it under pressure and you can see, very easily, the analogies to what God does in our life as He begins to form and shape us. Certainly, God works in our lives cutting out the dead wood and putting in what's really beautiful into our lives. As you sand a guitar, for instance, we try to get out every one of the blemishes. We're actually encouraging the guys to pray with me about the person who will have the guitar, that the Lord will work even as our sandpaper, polishing out every blemish of our life.”

Hank’s shop is in a formerly abandoned railroad building in downtown Montgomery, Alabama. “This building was the baggage house for the L&N Railroad in Union Station as the Louisville Nashville Railroad was making their way down to the coast just after the Civil War. I was blessed to be able to purchase the building and do a renovation, turning it into my home.”
 
Hank had intended to use the building as a place to make limited edition, hand-made guitars. But he soon got the idea to use it as a place to host live music. “One of the visions was to turn it into a place of collaboration and inspiration and incubation,” he adds. “So we're inviting young people from across the city to come. Every Friday night I've got a group of kids who come down and play jazz music. On Saturday mornings, we do bluegrass music. We want to be a place where through collaboration, the worship leaders can grow in their experience, in their approaches to leading worship.” 

Also, several times a year, Hank offers people a buy a chance to win one of the hand-made guitars, and uses the proceeds to support his orphanage and school in Haiti. “Haiti has experienced tremendous hardships politically, economically. COVID obviously has shut down the country. I chose to build a guitar to honor those students down there, those orphans, in order to bring a spotlight on their needs.” 

Although Hank has had some health issues recently, he thinks God is not finished with him yet.  “I'm convinced that God still has things for me and I think among them are the path that I'm on right now, building these instruments as fundraisers for various good causes. The orphanage for one, a hospital for another. Another organization called "Hope Heals." There is a third guitar I’m going to do, and perhaps more. It looks like there are actually more on the horizon for me to build these guitars and do this sort of raffle with these amazing instruments, and raising money for these causes.”

Hank and his wife Brenda want to use the home and shop as a place to extend ‘baruk’ to the community. He says, “So I want this place to be not just a place where my apprentices are being spoken into, their lives are being blessed, but also the other musicians who come down, and also all who pass this way, that they'd see the face of God and experience the blessing of baruk in their lives.”

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