Eli Worden says he was awakened in February 1990 by a terrible dream about gunfire, military tanks, fire, smoke and people screaming for help.
Puzzled by what his dream meant, the musician quickly wrote a song about his emotional vision.
Three years later, Worden says he knows what his dream was about. It had been a prophecy of the Branch Davidian cult tragedy, he says now, and his song, “From the Ashes,” is about the Feb. 28 raid at Mount Carmel and the cult’s fiery end April 19.
Worden, 41, said he has lived near Waco on and off for years while he wasn’t traveling with bands.
However, he said he was “drawn” to the compound site 10 miles east of Waco recently. That is where he met Amo Bishop, the ex-wife of former Davidian leader George Roden.
Cult leader Vernon Howell won control of the Branch Davidians and the 77 acres near Elk in 19987 after a shootout in which Roden was wounded.
Worden said Bishop, who was staying on the compound grounds, learned of his musical talents and asked him to put together a concert in memory of those who died there.
Calling it a “prophetic rock requiem and memorial concert for the slain men, women and children at Mount Carmel,” Worden and his Free Spirit Band will put on a concert at Mount Carmel beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Admission is free, but Worden said donations will be accepted to help buy a granite memorial to be placed on the grounds permanently to honor those who died — the four federal agents and six Davidians who died during the initial raid and the 80 or more Davidians who died April 19 as fire swept through the compound.
Worden said he hopes his music and the event will give Waco a needed “face lift” to help improve its image after the cult tragedy and to show others that there are good people who live in Central Texas.
“In no way am I glorifying somebody’s religion,” Worden said.
“That I want to make very clear. And I am not there to glorify or support their religion. Whenever something like this happens, we need to wake up and smell the coffee. How could something this happen? How could people get so far off track?”
“If people would use more discernment and be led by the Bible and all its teachings, tragedies like this would not happen. But instead of sweeping it under the rug, we need to be humane enough to say we are sorry for this needless loss of life, but recognize that it could have been prevented,” he said.
Worden, who says he plays nine instruments, describes his music as “classical rock.” He and his band have recorded two albums and have a third in the works, he said.
Andrew Hood, who will be part of the program Saturday, helped build the stage on which Worden and the others will perform. He said it is a “permanent,” adding that other concerts and religious activities will be held at Mount Carmel in coming months.
“I believe that site has been anointed by God,” Hood said. “The messages that went out from there on Feb. 28 to April 19, when you compare them with scripture and prophecies, there was definitely a message there that the Lord wanted us to hear and understand.”
“It was a warning, and I believe God chose that place and anointed that place for his word to go out.”
Hood, who says he is a minister “ordained by God,” called the 51-day standoff the “greatest religious event that has happened in our time.”