Southern Gospel Weekend


Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Keep praying for Ed O’Neal and the Dixie Melody Boys

Written by Staff on May 21, 2019 – 7:28 am -

Ed O'Neal

Ed O’Neal

Ed O’Neal & The Dixie Melody Boys 

Committed To Spread The Gospel Even Through Present Challenges
Kinston, NC – Since organizing nearly six decades ago, The Dixie Melody Boys have enjoyed much success, including a Grammy nomination and numerous Fan Award nominations. Hit releases have flowed their way in bunches. The goal of delivering a first-class performance filled with excitement, energy and lots of great traditional, Southern Gospel Music are traits which have been instilled in each group member by their leader Ed O’Neal, a 55-year Gospel Music veteran, who was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 2004.
Ed O’Neal is no stranger to changes and adversities. In fact, over the past five and a half decades he has seen over 90 personnel changes. “That has to be a record in this business,” Ed says with a chuckle. Even with all those changes, the adversity he is currently experiencing seems to be one of his biggest challenges. “On April 1, I was involved in a pretty serious automobile accident. It has been a tough recovery, but I am doing much better and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Ed stated while recuperating from his daughter’s home in Kinston, NC.
Dixie Melody Boys

Dixie Melody Boys

Throughout the past six weeks Mr Ed, as he is affectionately known to countless fans and promoters, has been going through rehabilitation, and although he still has more treatment and therapy ahead, he is excited about eventually making his way back on the road, even if it’s only on a limited basis. “Willie (Sawrey) and the guys have worked really hard to fulfill the commitments we have, and they’ve done a very good job. I am managing the group, just as I always have, even though I presently can’t be on the road,” Ed explains. “There have been a lot of rumors out there circulating that I am never coming back on the road and that I am selling the group or that the group is coming off the road. I can tell you that I am committed to managing The Dixie Melody Boys as long as I am able to do so. I’ve put a lot of years into The Dixie Melody Boys. I love the promoters and the pastors who have supported us over the years. They are lifelong friends, and I look forward to seeing many of them again when I am able to be back on the road.”

Ed O’Neal’s love for the people, his desire to always present quality, quartet music, united with his desire to never compromise his responsibility to spread the Gospel through Southern Gospel Music in a professional manner has allowed The Dixie Melody Boys to remain at the forefront of Southern Gospel Music for nearly six decades. Those are also the forces that are compelling him to recover and get back out and see folks he has missed seeing during his recovery time. “I don’t know what the future holds. I am almost 83 years old now and not getting any younger,” the veteran bass singer says smiling. “But I can tell you this, Beckie Simmons and her great staff are booking dates for The Dixie Melody Boys every week, and we’re excited about that.”
A brief conversation with this Southern Gospel Music living legend quickly confirms the joyful spirit he has always possessed, as well as his desire to see The Dixie Melody Boys continue on for many years to come. “I want to see The Dixie Melody Boys continue the great tradition I started a long time ago. The faces and the names may change but The Dixie Melody Boys still have a message to share, and I still believe God has great things in store.”
Those who would like to send cards of encouragement to Ed O’Neal may send those to The Dixie Melody Boys at 1802 Oxford Road, Kinston, NC 28504. Churches and promoters interested in scheduling The Dixie Melody Boys may contact the Beckie Simmons Agency at 615-595-7500 or via email at
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“Fast Five” With The Pathfinders…. Celebrating 25 Years in Ministry

Written by scoopsnews on May 20, 2019 – 2:29 pm -


1.      So, The Pathfinders are celebrating 25 years in the ministry.  How are you celebrating this milestone?  We’re having a wonderful year.  We kicked it off at Dollywood last October and we haven’t stopped yet.  This is looking to be our busiest year..  By the end of December we will have done over 100 services.


2.     What is the next big thing you have planned? We will be back at Dollywood, October 27th & 28th, and we are working on gathering new songs for a new project and hope to be in the studio in January.


3.     Tell me about your newest Cd, “Silver Edition”.  Wow, this was a fun one for us.  There’s a lot of upbeat songs on Silver Edition.  Seems like everytime we do a CD it ends up having a theme to it.  Most of the songs on this one remind us that it’s time for the Lord to come again. Songs like “ Just Another Day” and “ A Few More Miles” tell us that we don’t have long left here and that we need to work for Him every chance that we get.


4.     What is your latest CD release to radio? Our latest release is called “Leave My Trouble Behind”.  The song features Dearl and he does an awesome job with it. Again, it reminds us that when the Lord comes we’ll leave behind all of our burdens and troubles here. We won’t have them in Heaven. What a wonderful time to look forward to.


5.     How can the folks get in touch with you? We’d love for everyone to visit us on our website, or on Facebook at “The Pathfinder’s Mt Holly”.  They can also see us on the American Gospel Onstage show on the NRB network on Saturday evenings.


Check This Out:


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New roads for the Old Paths

Written by Staff on May 20, 2019 – 8:36 am -

The Old Paths 2019

The Old Paths

The Old Paths began as a trio in 2003 with a great sound but when they transformed into a quartet sometime later, this sound led them to the top of the charts. “Battlestand” and “Love Them to Jesus” made the group popular until 2015, when the momentum of the group formed by Tim Rackley and Douglas Roark ground to a halt.


The Old Paths - Daniel

The Old Paths – Daniel

“Changes in life come at times when we least expect them,” explains Daniel Ashmore, bass singer with the Old Paths since 2011. “When we felt the Lord leading us to come off the road, we didn’t know where we would end up or how we would get there. I can remember feeling led to come off the road and wondering how my wife and I would make it. God had already done some amazing things through the ministry of the Old Paths and all of a sudden, he told us to go home.  The hardest part about coming off the road was trusting that God would provide and open the door for the next step in my life. It was also difficult to see how God could continue to use me without singing on a normal basis. It is easy to have faith when everything is going well, but even harder when that faith is put to the test.”


The group’s faith was certainly put to the test when Tim Rackley’s daughter, Brianna, underwent a kidney transplant in December, 2014. Just a few months later, the Old Path’s tenor, Jeremy Peace, left the group. In mid-2015, the group announced they would be retiring in December, 2015. Health issues and family obligations, as well as the knowledge that the Lord was asking them to hit the pause button, caused the members to decide to park the bus for awhile.


“My wife and I just trusted God with His leading and just as he has always done, he provided more than I could’ve imagined,” Ashmore states. “He opened up a door for me to have a job where spiritual growth and serving others is encouraged. This, in turn, led to opportunities to talk with people on a everyday basis. Spiritually, it helped me learn to trust God even more and once he did as he always does – provide – my faith in him grew stronger. Coming off the road also provided the rest and refreshment that I needed at that time in my life. During the time off the road, God grew me personally in ways I didn’t know I could grow. God gave me a deeper passion to reach the lost through witnessing. I don’t know that I would’ve grown the way I did had we kept singing when the Lord told us to come off the road. God used that time off the road to do a work in me that he could apply when we hit the road again.”


The Old Paths - Tim

The Old Paths – Tim

As for the Rackleys, things have come full circle for their daughter. “Brianna is now 21 years old and since her kidney transplant she is doing ‘super fantastic,’” says father Tim. “The Lord has really been real in her in all different ways. She is attending her first year of college and since back on the road I tell folks the best part is she has her first job.”


“I am so excited to be back doing what I loved to do and that is singing the Gospel of Christ,” Tim continues. “I also am glad that I get to see the friends we have met over the years before we stopped in December of 2015. The biggest thing that has changed since we stopped touring in 2015 is I got more sleep since I was home every week and with being on the road every week you don’t sleep as much.”

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Vernon Alabama’s Gospel Music Weekend Spotlight Artist- Day Three

Written by scoopsnews on May 19, 2019 – 11:51 am -

From Day Three:

In today’s times, Day Three would be classed as a new artist, however, none of its members are new to the Southern Gospel Music industry. Co-founders Scott Washam, Amy Dunnam and Bo Sullivan have been involved in Gospel music with different ministries dating back to the early ’90’s.
On July 25th, 2014, a new ministry was birthed on the stage of the Alabama Quartet Convention when Amy and Scott sang with Barry Rowland and Shawn Rupert of Barry Rowland and Deliverance. The four of them would sing what has become Day Three’s signature song, “Royal Descendant”.
Scott Washam, Bo Sullivan (both members of Azalea City Quartet) and Amy Dunnam (soloist) begin singing the song at concerts that would follow in the the next  few years.  As time passed, more requests to sing other songs became the new normal.
None of the three realized at the time what God was up to. He was orchestrating a new ministry that would later become affectionately known as the Amy Dunnam Trio. Most people recognize the name Amy Dunnam and Azalea City Quartet, but the three decided that it’s time for a new start; a ‘new seed to plant’.
Refusing to rest on past successes, awards and accolades, the three of them left their comfort zones, and started the process of      rebranding the group with a new identity.
Day Three’s unique blend of music genres, arrangement sytlings and clean vocals have made them one of the regions top ministries in a short amount of time. Day Three is excited to see what God has in store for them.
​    The number three is very significant in the bible. Of course, the obvious correlation is Resurrection Day, but Day Three challenges you to think outside be box. On Day Three God created new ground with new seeds bearing new growth.
Bo, Amy, and Scott want to be used and to serve anywhere God opens a door. “We want to be willing vessels that God can use for His purpose.” Day Three is also the official host group of the Alabama Quartet Convention held each year the last weekend of July in Mobile, AL.  For more information about that event, visit:

Come meet Day Three in Vernon , Alabama at Gospel Music Weekend.

Here is a poster with a complete lineup of Artists for the event.

More information about Vernon Alabama’s Gospel Music Weekend: HERE


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Beyond the Song: Fields of Grace sing “Dining with the King”

Written by Staff on May 19, 2019 – 9:09 am -


Fields of Grace

Fields of Grace

Jantina de Haan takes us Beyond the Song once again, to introduce us to Fields of Grace, the artists who sing “Dining with the King.”

Jantina tells us: “The song ‘Dining With The King’ caught my attention and I wanted to know more about that beautiful song! I asked them several questions to know more about that song and their group called Fields of Grace.”

Tell us about your group, Fields of Grace.

“Fields of Grace began singing gospel music together in 2010 at their home church, Maple Ridge Baptist, located in Candler, North Carolina. Members include Elise Ingle, with husband and wife, Nathaniel and Leslie Smith. They are dear friends who enjoy spending hours together in preparation and travel. They provide an inspirational service presenting the gospel message in song. Their music includes smooth Southern gospel music, Bluegrass gospel music, and Traditional Christian music, all with the goal of uplifting their savior and encouraging His church.” For more on this group, visit their website HERE.

Tell a little about that song “Dining With the King.”

“Mephibosheth’s story is the story for all who have received the marvelous gift of salvation. Mercy, hope, grace and the blessings of going from ‘poverty to majesty’ is the message of ‘Dining with the King.’ Christ’s love is unconditional as the words in the song proclaim: ‘no one is ever turned away, so come just as you are…'”

Fields of Grace Who wrote the song?

“The Issacs – Rebecca Isaacs Bowman (R.I. Bowman Music (BMI) & Sonya Isaacs Yeary (June Elephant Music/ Warner Chappell Music (BMI) & Jimmy Yeary (EMI Blackwood/Great Day at THiS Music/ Beattyville Music (BMI). 1/31/2015”

What does the song mean to you personally?

“We have always loved the song from the first time we started singing it. The message is so beautiful and speaks of the love of our King that died for us so we would no longer be begging for the things of this world but ‘Dine with the King’ and experience His blessings. We spend our lives searching for fulfillment and always coming up empty until we meet Jesus. He is all we need and so much more than we deserve.
We were all raised in the church. Nathaniel and Leslie were saved at a young age and Elise later as a young woman. Although we have always known who He was; each of us has sweet testimonies of how the King extended His mercy to us. He did not have to save us; He could have passed us by. We very much deserved wrath and judgment but God gave us a permanent seat at His table instead. Praise God!”

Fields of Grace

Fields of Grace – Undone CD

What is the message you want to share with the listeners in the audience?

“We believe Jesus came back from the grave with His scars on display to show the world the depth and power of His love. This song gives us and our listeners courage to keep sharing their own story of how they met Jesus and just how broken we all were and how radical the resurrecting and transforming power of Jesus Christ is. We pray our listeners hear the same call and feel the same urge to be open and brave in sharing the miracle of just how far from grace we all were and the joy of now having a continual audience with the King!”

Why is it on this particular album?

“From the moment we first heard and started singing ‘Dining with the King’ in worship services we were excited about the opportunity to record it. God has always been faithful to bless the message every time we sing it and we are grateful for His touch. We all agreed that it would be first on our new project titled ‘Undone.’ ‘Undone’ came from the line in our second song on the project, ‘I Got Saved:’ ‘I’m undone by the mercy of Jesus, I’m undone by the goodness of the Lord.’ ‘Dining with the King’ was the obvious choice for the first song on such an important project for our ministry.”

Thanks, Fields of Grace, for sharing your story with SGNScoops! May you continue to spread the Gospel in the land.

“Dining with the King” is the number one song on New Journey Radio for the month of May 2019.

Let the message of this song and tender vocals of Fields of Grace bless you today.

Thanks to Jantina de Haan for taking us Beyond the Song with Fields of Grace.

Download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE
Listen To The Best In Today’s Gospel Music HERE

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“Rooted” With Billy Huddleston

Written by scoopsnews on May 19, 2019 – 5:40 am -

Billy Huddleston

Billy Huddleston

Dwelling in Defeat

Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles[c] from Jerusalem.  Together they were discussing everything that had taken place.

Luke 24:13-14 (CSB)

“. . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things.

Philippians 4:8 (CSB)

It’s amazing how quickly things change.

It was only a week ago that everything seemed to be heading in the right direction. A Kingdom seemingly being established. The long-awaited promise fulfilled. But, then it happened. A bitter betrayal. An abusive trial. A cross. And then, He was dead. Jesus. The one in whom they’d placed their trust, their hopes, their dreams. The cross had punctured the promise they had believed. All of creation had been living under the shadow of the cross. Angels wept. Demons danced as the tomb was sealed. The Romans stood guard. And, the disciples scattered. So, we meet two . . .





Dwelling in defeat.


Feet that once followed in the footsteps of their teacher were now dragging down a path of their own. Once, it was a road that led to an exciting new world, a bright future. It was the right road. But, today it seems mundane, maybe even meaningless—because they were headed in the wrong direction. All hope appeared to be gone. So, they were attempting to go back to how life used to be. Back to where it all began. They were headed away from the promise.


The feeling of lost hope is a common one. Discouragement visits all mankind. It’s known by the mother who is left to raise her children on her own in a seemingly man’s world. It visits the college student whose funds have ran out and the pursuit of a degree comes to a sudden end. It’s understood by the professional who is passed by for a promotion that he was counting on. Lost hope and discouragement is a reality that is familiar to all people. Always has been. Always will be.


Have you ever wanted to quit?


I confess: I have. In fact, not too long ago, I was there. It was mid-August in a summer that was filled with camp meetings. These camps can be exhilarating. Think about it, what could be more exciting than days of focused attention on Jesus? You could say it is a time of spiritual recharging! And yet, at the same time, exhausting: Both physically and emotionally draining.


That was me. It was the middle of a 10-day camp, in an outdoor tabernacle, with 2-3 services a day. The temperatures were near 100, so I was preaching to people who were in a heat coma . . . Their response, in my own mind, was not what it should’ve been. I was drained and it was very discouraging!


One night during this camp I was lying in bed, in my primitive surroundings, and thinking about what else I was qualified to do. I was ready to quit. I’ve been a fulltime itinerant speaker for nearly 20 years. My degree is in religion, which isn’t much use outside the church. But, I was tired. And, when I’m tired, I’m moody and I lose sight of the big picture. I was in the right place—where I needed to be—just focusing on all the wrong things. You could say I was headed in the wrong direction.


That’s when God reminded me of Psalm 73. It was what I needed. He knew that. And, I’m thankful that He did exactly when I needed!


By the way, I didn’t quit. I don’t intend to.


Psalm 73 is perhaps one of the most authentic passages we find in the Old Testament. Authentic in the sense that it drips with raw emotion, honesty. We meet a man, we enter his struggle, and we realize the solution.


His name is Asaph. And, Asaph is not just any ordinary man. He had a special call upon his life. Being a Levite he was from that tribe of Israel that served a special role. The work of ministering in the sanctuary had been assigned to this tribe. Asaph, was appointed by King David, as one of the men in charge of the music in the temple after the Ark of the Covenant came to rest there. They would worship in song in front of the tabernacle, or tent of meeting, until Solomon built the Temple (1 Chronicles 6:31-39). He was a musician. He was a worshipper. He was called to usher in the Presence of God with his worship, with his song. But, sometimes the music doesn’t come and worshippers lose their song. This was Asaph.


You could say that his worshipful melody had been replaced by a discouraged melancholy. And, this has almost become his downfall. As a worshipper, his attention had been and should have been captured by God. After all, this is the true object of genuine praise. However, his attention had been captured by something else. He began to focus on other things and found himself in deep despair.


What was his struggle? People. Well, wicked people. He began to look at the world around him and noticed that these wicked people were prospering. In fact, listening to the first half of his psalm would lead us to believe that everything was going their way. You hear his bewilderment as he states that “. . . they’re not troubled as other men . . . their bodies are well fed . . . they’re not afflicted like most people . . .” Get the point? You really see how low he has gone when you read in verse 4 as he states, “They have an easy time until they die!”


It’s so important to avoid the trap into which Asaph has fallen. When you’re in that pit it can be very hard to climb out.


What is that trap? Simply put, comparing ourselves or our situations to others. When we begin to focus on those around us it’s a losing battle. There is simply no way to win the comparison game. There is only one of two outcomes. We either become prideful, thankful that we’re not like the ‘other’ guy (remember the Pharisee in Luke 18:11). Or, we’ll start to feel sorry for ourselves, as if we’re not good enough. Honestly, it’s the same problem either way: Pride.


Asaph’s pride was hurt and it brought him to the lowest point in a worshipper’s life. Hear his heart in verse 13: “Did I purify my heart and wash my hands in innocence for nothing?”.


Pause here for a moment. That’s a heartbreaking phrase. Is it worth it? Is it all for nothing? Is it all in vain. Can you see where Asaph is living?





Dwelling in defeat.


He’s right there. But, he refuses to stay. As you read the second half of the same you see that he finds resolution. He decides not to dwell in his misery that he created by focusing on all the wrong things. He takes responsibility for what has happened in verse 22 when he exclaims, “I was stupid!” and gets back to what he was called to be, who he was: A worshipper. Everything changed when he decided to “. . . enter God’s sanctuary” (v17). That’s the decision that changed it all. Proper perspective. Renewed Focus.


There is something about worship, true worship, that draws our attention from ourselves, the world around us to One much great. Perspective comes when we lift our gaze from the temporal to the Eternal. Focus clears when we look past the finite to the infinite.


Let’s get personal for a minute: Where’s your focus? Have you ever wondered what you created for? What purpose you serve? Where do you allow your heart and mind to dwell? Here’s a reminder: You were made in God’s image, to be filled with His spirit, for a loving relationship with Him. In other words, you were made for worship. Fill your mind with this. Because, whatever we choose to dwell in our minds is where we will eventually live. Choose to worship, focus on Him. We need that reminder. When we fail to fulfill our purpose, we feel purposeless. And, when we fall into that trap, we begin to wonder if it’s even worth it.


Like Asaph.

Like these disciples.


They had left everything to follow him. They had built expectations that now seem unfulfilled. And, now it seemed to be over. They are on the right road. But, they’re headed in the wrong direction.


On a day when they should have been living in the light and life of a risen Savior, they were dwelling in the darkness of defeat. When their gaze should have been focused on the Promise of the Kingdom they were trapped by the distractions of the world. This brought them to their lowest point.





Dwelling in defeat.


They’re going back to where it all began—back to life as it once was, before Him. But, how can things ever be the same when you’ve looked in His face? How could they be satisfied with how it used to be? They’ve resigned themselves to this new reality. But, things are about to change. On this journey, there is going to be an unexpected encounter.


Let’s join them.







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Please Pray for The Pine Ridge Boys

Written by scoopsnews on May 18, 2019 – 2:38 pm -

From Larry Stewart:

Well it’s not been a good day. As you can see we were in a wreck today. Bus is in worse shape than we are. We are all ok. Waiting on my wife Anne Henderson Stewart to bring us the Yukon and rental trailer to continue on our trip to WV. Say a prayer for us.

Join us at SGN Scoops in praying for Larry and the guys.


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Beyond the Song- Answered Prayer

Written by scoopsnews on May 18, 2019 – 10:13 am -

Jantina de Haan-Baksteen was touched by the song, “The Darkness Was Just Before The Dawn,” as sung by Answered Prayer. Answered Prayer is from Hattiesburg, Miss., and consists of Nikki Bernardo, Buddy Dewease, Penny Welborn Walters, Brian Carney, Vance Green, and Allen Neldon(Sound Tech).

Jantina talked to group member and songwriter Nikki Bernardo about this radio single.

Why did you write, ‘The Darkness Was Just Before The Dawn?’

Nikki Bernardo tells us, “I wrote this song at a very dark time in my life. I found myself down by my bedside in the early hours of the morning, weeping. I am not talking about just a few tears flowing down, but I mean literally weeping, the kind where you are desperate, groaning; you’re so broken you can’t even find the words to pray and refuse to get up until the Lord gives you peace!”

What was happening in your life at that time?

“My husband, who is a neurosurgeon, had a stroke. As a result, he had to subside his calling and come home. I left work to care for him. We were unsure about our financial future. No income. No insurance.  We even thought we were going to lose our home. I had just been told I had polyps on my vocal cords and might need surgery, which meant I might never sing again.

“So there I was, laid out before the Lord, saying, ‘Lord, my husband can’t work, I need to care for him, we have no income, we have no insurance, and now I may not even be able to sing anymore?! God, I don’t even want to live anymore!’

Answered Prayer“Yes, I reached that point. I sure did. I remember telling myself, oh, I would never get to that point. Oh, but I did. I thought I was losing everything!

“Little did I know God was working out His plan. It is amazing the things He has done since that day. He provided unbelievably. He has done exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or think. He prepared the way and we didn’t even know it. What did we need to do? Hold on, have faith, never give up (although I wanted to), read His word, and call on the name of the Lord.

“I was in one of the darkest places I had ever been in my life. I felt like giving up…. but I didn’t. I pressed on. God showed up soon after and began to work miracles that only He could perform. Little did I know at the time but, ‘The Darkness Was Just Before The Dawn,'” says Nikki.

Songwriter Nikki Bernardo of Answered Prayer

Songwriter Nikki Bernardo

Why did you decide to put this song on your latest album?

“It’s on the album to let people know that no matter how dark it seems in this moment, remember it’s always darkest just before the dawn. To let them know they are not alone. I and many have been right where they are, so hold on, help is on the way,” Nikki affirms

Thanks to Nikki Bernardo and Answered Prayer for sharing this message with us. Find Answered Prayer on Facebook HERE. They are also online HERE.

Thanks to Jantina de Haan-Baksteen for talking to Nikki Bernardo about this important truth.


Download the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine HERE
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Listen To The Best In Today’s Gospel Music HERE

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Weekend Word With Vonda Armstrong

Written by scoopsnews on May 18, 2019 – 5:22 am -

Psalm 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God.

David experienced trouble. He survived by trusting in the Lord.

David also wrote. “Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still” (Psalm 4:4)

Many of us have lost the ability to meditate on God.

When we lay down at night, we toss and turn and worry about our problems instead of calmly meditating and trusting God.

We need to trust God. Trusting Him gives us strength to face each day with confidence…

Until next week, Jesus loves you and so do I!


For the best in Southern Gospel News: HERE


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Josh Garner resigns from the Dixie Melody Boys

Written by Staff on May 17, 2019 – 3:02 pm -

Dixie Melody Boys

Dixie Melody Boys

Josh Garner of the Dixie Melody Boys has decided to leave the Dixie Melody Boys. He announced his decision publicly on Facebook today. He wrote:

“It is with great sadness that I announce I am resigning from my position with the Dixie Melody Boys. Ecclesiastes tells us that to everything there is a season. After much counsel and prayer, it is evident that this season of my life is ending. I am not saying that I am done with Gospel music, but I may need to step away for a while and reexamine my path. I don’t believe for a moment that God is done with me. In fact, I believe He is preparing me for my greatest season of all. I know that it won’t be easy and there are trials to come. However, I rest assured that thanks to God’s faithfulness, I have “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”

“I know how these departures are typically received, so let me clear the air. I love Ed O’ Neal! I can’t thank him enough for providing for my family these last six years. Working alongside Ed has been a great joy and I will miss being with him on a regular basis. Throughout his wife’s illness, I witnessed firsthand the meaning of a biblical marriage. I came to know his heart through many late night conversations. He is truly a man of character and dignity and it is my great honor to call him friend for over 25 years.

Josh Garner of the Dixie Melody Boys

Josh Garner

“Secondly, it has never been my intention to take over the Dixie Melody Boys after Ed O’ Neal. I told him when I came that I am with him until he retires or dies. Unfortunately, I am forced to break that promise. However, please know I joined the group and have remained with the group because I love Ed and I saw the potential to be an asset to HIS group. As far as I’m concerned, the Dixie Melody Boys will ALWAYS be Ed O’ Neal’s group.

“Finally, I have been under personal attack for many months now. My name and reputation have been slandered, but I have remained quiet as I had no doubt that the truth would eventually come out. I appreciate the many friends who approached me firsthand about the false claims and I am so thankful for their confidence in me. Sometimes it takes a difficult experience like this to learn who your friends really are. I am blessed to say that I am rich with true friends.

“Unless I am instructed otherwise, I intend to fulfill our scheduled dates through June 2nd. That will be my last official date with the Dixie Melody Boys, along with Jerry Skaggs, who submitted his resignation a week ago. I ask that you pray for Ed as he continues to recover from his automobile accident. Nothing would please me more than to see him on stage one more time. I, also, ask that you pray for me and my family, as I currently have no prospect for employment and am seeking direction. I know the last thing Gospel music needs is another soloist, but if you are so inclined, I would be very happy to come sing for your church, organization, etc. to help with our financial needs.

“Thank you all for allowing me to share my talents with you for the last 22 years. I am fully trusting on God during this time of indecision and I am not anxious. I know that He will provide as He always has. God bless you and hope to see you soon!”

Fans and friends can contact Josh Garner through his Facebook page .

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