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Ishmael (Rev Ian Smale) was born in 1950. He has had an international ministry since playing in the acoustic duo Ishmael and Andy with Andy Piercy starting in 1970. His innovative musical styles and enthusiasm for his faith have influenced many people of all ages to become Christians or to have a deeper experience in their Christianity such as being filled with the Holy Spirit or being healed.
Ishmael started performing in his teens with his life long friend Andy Piercy forming the acoustic duo Ishmael and Andy when he first adopted his stage name from the similarity of his birth name to an Old Testament Biblical character. They sang provocative and challenging Christian lyrics to contemporary music. After producing two albums together Piercy joined the rock group After the Fire and Ishmael produced the album Charge of the Light Brigade, intended to challenge Christians to live what they preach. Ishmael continues to work occasionally with Piercy although the main focus of his ministry for twenty five years has been on child evangelism. In the late 1970s he formed the band Ishmael United that produced two albums and as the music took on more of a punk style he changed their name to Rev Counta and the Speedoze and brought out a further album. Since then he has concentrated on his ministry to children and recently returned to challenging people in the Church about how they live.