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DSW Ministries: Bio


 Singer/Songwriter, Diana Stimmler Winkler, states that her directive and mission are strong, but simple: Not just to entertain, but to offer a musical safe haven.  Her story, behind the lyrics, is one that has led her to embrace individuals who have been trapped in the "behind closed doors" subject of spousal abuse.

Diana’s artistic journey began when she was a young child. While growing up in Phoenix, AZ, she was involved in various forms of the Arts, which included theatre, choir and dance. Diana felt that she had been created to cultivate these gifts to serve others. When attending Bible College in Fairfax, VA, Diana received formal voice and piano training.  Her studies also focused on overseas missions and church music. Diana also used her language skills to minister to the Hispanic community.  It was during this period of time that the vision of a music ministry began to take form within her. 

Armed with education, experience and an invigorated passion for music, Diana began to make a name for herself within the local music community.  Diana’s musical expression of classical and traditional church worship music was best known for the blend of a deep, low range and soaring high notes.  Throughout the upcoming years, she led various worship teams as a lead vocalist, choir director, church pianist, and also used her abilities to teach voice to aspiring students.  Her skills and passion for local and global ministries enabled her to be part of church planting in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Arizona, along with serving in the countries of Puerto Rico and Canada.

But all was not well with Diana at home.  She was a wife who had become a victim of verbal and emotional abuse from her husband.  She describes her despair, "I felt like I was trapped, and none of the options in front of me were very good ones.  So, for a long time, I stayed."  This kind of darkness was changing Diana from the inside out.  Her life as a Christian musicianary was beautiful and she blessed many others, yet all the while, the feelings of emptiness, depression and hopelessness in her personal life began to take its toll.  Diana says, “I woke up one morning more depressed than I have been in my whole life. I could not imagine bearing another year in this prison. I cried out to God, and said, ' I can't live like this anymore. I am willing to take whatever consequences are for leaving this marriage, but I am getting out before it destroys me.”  She knew that God had a plan for her life, and held on to that promise.  Through much prayer and supplication, Diana decided to leave.  This was one of the hardest, but necessary decisions she had ever made. 

Today, having been blessed with her current musician husband, Brian, Diana finds herself in the midst of the ministry that had been part of her early dreams.  Residing in Scottsdale, AZ, Diana and Brian are writing original songs that have been birthed from her experiences. “This new project, which includes original songs and cover tunes, is a collection of music to educate, empower and encourage those who are going through and have survived domestic violence, both physical and emotional.”, exclaims Diana. This compilation is a mix of genres from blues, jazz, flamenco and country influences, taking a different direction from her first CD, Classic Favorites. Diana is working to increase awareness of domestic violence within her church and community. She has been sharing her music at many churches and local events, “Diana has a willing, sweet heart and a beautiful voice that complements her personality.  She has been a valuable added member to our arts and worship team here at FBC Scottsdale.”, says Jessie Young, Director of Fine Arts, First Baptist Church, Scottsdale, AZ.

Diana has recently partnered with Mending The Soul Ministries, a faith-based small group program for those healing from abuse. "This is a top notch, organized program, that I am proud to serve with. It has helped so many people heal from all kinds of abuse."

With her sophomore project entitled Break These Chains, Diana is prepared to take her voice to those who need it. She states, The many trials I went through made me draw closer to God fast. I learned a lot about serving others and about what I believed and why.  Jesus gets sweeter everyday, and He has been ever faithful.”  With these words in her heart, now spoken aloud, Diana feels that she has truly stepped into her calling. 

 *bio prepared by THE INNER VIZION

Diana's Salvation Testimony

"I don't have the kind of testimony of being saved out of drug abuse or drunkeness, or of being a rebel teenager. Yet I was still a sinner needing saving, and so my testimony is worth sharing. I was raised in a religious home. I went to church every week growing up, doing all the things that the church required me to do. I had knowledge of Jesus dying on the cross, and knew I was a sinner. But you know what? I never had any assurance that if I were to die, that I would go to heaven.

One summer when I was 13, I was visiting my cousins. They invited me to Vacation Bible School. It was then that I was presented with The Gospel as I have never heard it before. I was shown that the Bible gives us the way that we can be sure of our eternal destiny. I really loved God, so I stayed up very late talking to my cousins asking a lot of questions. I always thought that what I was doing was the right thing. My cousins showed me from the Bible that I must be born again. It didn't matter which church I went to. I had to ask Jesus to forgive me of my sin and ask Him to be my Savior. I had to have a personal relationship with Christ.

I found out working for my salvation by being a good person, going to church, or doing good works was not going to save me. We are sinners, and sin separates us from God. Someone has to pay the penalty for sin. The penalty was paid for my by Christ dying on the cross. It was a gift by God to mankind that he doesn't have to earn. He only has to take the gift. It is by claiming by personal choice, and believing that Christ's death on the cross was sufficient payment for my sin. I did not want to be separated from God forever by going to hell. That's a pretty good motivator I think. I decided that night that I was going to pray and ask Jesus to save me and to come into my life. It was August 15th, 1985 I made the decision. It has changed my life immensely. I knew for sure that I had my name reserved in heaven. No one could ever take that away from me, including myself.

Not everyone was as accepting of my decision. I went against the wishes of many people I cared about who thought I was a Jesus Freak or a Holy Roller. I did fall away from Him one time because I didn't get united with a good Bible believing church near my home to learn the things of God. I wasn't allowed to join a church that was going to help me grow in my christian journey until I turned 18. When I turned 18 I was baptized in a Baptist church, and I'm still a Baptist today. It was not long until I felt God's call to serve Him in fulltime Christian ministry. I left for Bible College a year later. I grew by leaps and bounds in school.

I can't imagine what my life would have been without Jesus in my life. If you would like to have that same assurance of heaven, and you'd like to talk to me, please let me know. I would be glad to talk with you about any questions you have."