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What I’m Looking For in 2018 in Gospel Music by Craig Harris

Written by Staff on March 1, 2018 – 12:22 pm -

Cana's Voice. Photo by Craig Harris

Cana’s Voice. Photo by Craig Harris

Sure, it’s a new year, and with a new year comes endless possibilities. Here’s a few things that you may want to keep an eye on [in Gospel music] as we journey through 2018 …

 

The Hoppers have faced a series of challenges over the last couple of years, but it took many by surprise when Dean Hopper had two strokes in December of 2016. Then, when it appeared that he had recovered and was almost back to normal, Hopper suffered three more strokes in August. Hopefully, those medical hurdles are over, and the Hoppers can continue to produce great music, such as “Jesus the One,” “Song of Moses,” “If We Ever Gotta Look” and the title track off of their “Life Is Good” project … though one of the hidden gems from the project is the yet-to-be-released track No. 4, “Walk Two.”

 

I’m looking forward to seeing what lies ahead for the LeFevre Quartet now that those fellas have joined the Daywind Music family. Already possessing a commercial sound, it will be interesting to see if being a part one of the elite record companies in the Southern gospel industry leads to even greater success at radio and in other avenues as well.

 

Dean Hopper. Photo by Craig Harris

Dean Hopper. Photo by Craig Harris

Cana’s Voice burst on to the scene two years ago, featuring three dynamic vocalists in Doug Anderson (formerly of Ernie Haase and Signature Sound), TaRanda Beene (the Greenes) and Jody McBrayer (Avalon). Their debut project – “This Changes Everything” – contains hit songs “Heavenly Father” and “Jesus Never Fails.” My only complaint … I didn’t see Cana’s Voice in concert in 2017, due in part to a limited touring schedule as a result of all three group members having their own solo ministries. However, the group has started off 2018 along with David Phelps on the Big Voice Tour. What am I hoping for in 2018 … for my ears and their voices to spend more quality time together in live concert settings.

 

Group changes are never easy. However, as we all know, they’re inevitable. What a soulful asset that Ricky Braddy brought to the sound of Karen Peck and New River. I look forward to hearing the next male vocalist who comes on board with the uber-popular, award-winning trio, and I also look forward to seeing if the group can come close to producing a project that I dig as much as the Wayne Haun-produced “Hope For All Nations” (“Victory is Mine” and “I Know I’ll Be There” are simply top-notch).

 

There’s so many “good guys” in the Southern gospel industry, including Brian Lester, Susan Whisnant and Karen Peck Gooch to name just a few. Count Gary Casto among that contingent. Tribute Quartet’s manager and lead singer seems to be one of the hardest-working individuals in Southern gospel music as he’s involved in many different facets of the industry. With hard work comes reward, such as the group’s 2017 Dove Award nominations for Album of the Year (“Here for You,” produced by Haun) and Southern Gospel Recorded Song of the Year (“Never Forsaken”). What type of blessings does 2018 hold in store for a group that has risen to a point of being considered one of the top male quartet’s in Southern gospel music? I can’t wait to find out.

 

The Kingsmen Quartet Announce Departure Of Chris Jenkins

The Kingsmen Quartet

Speaking of personnel changes, I was listening to a Southern gospel radio station earlier in 2017 and heard a ballad that featured a voice that I was certain I recognized. It had to be Chris Jenkins. Well, it was. The Anchormen’s “I Heard About a Man” had recently been released to radio and has since been spun many more times on the airwaves. Well, Jenkins recently returned to the Kingsmen. His strong, consistent tenor vocals are an asset to any group. It’s sure to be a nice reunion for a group that has experienced significant success at radio with “Here I Stand Amazed” and “They Don’t Know.” Lot of fans will be looking forward to hearing Jenkins reunited with the rest of the Kingsmen.

 

Joseph Habedank has the ball rolling. After winning a Dove Award for Best Southern Gospel Album (“Resurrection,” also produced by Haun) in October, Habedank has now been nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Gospel Roots Album. He’s performed with Country Music icon Reba McEntire at the Dove Awards and is one of the few soloists selected to appear on the main stage at the National Quartet Convention. “Here He Comes” and “Just When You Thought” have been well-received releases from “Resurrection,” following hit songs such as “Welcome Home,” “Never No Never” and “Beauty of the Blood” off of his “Welcome Home” project. Can Habedank’s impressive ascension continue at the same pace in 2018? (Side note … Who knows what Haun – who is up for three GRAMMY Awards – will produce this year).

 

The Nelons continue to see doors open for their ministry, recently being invited to perform in front of the Supreme Court of the United States at the live nativity and then attending the White House Christmas Party in Washington, D.C. Two months earlier, the group won a 2017 Dove Award for Bluegrass/Country/Roots Recorded Song of the Year (“When Grandpa Sang Amazing Grace”). They’ve recently released an Americana project, “The Americana Sessions”.  I look forward to seeing how another year affects Autumn Nelon Clark, who has recently blossomed vocally and enhanced the Nelons’ overall sound.

 

Collingsworth Family Photo by Craig Harris

Collingsworth Family. Photo by Craig Harris

Can anybody deliver a ballad quite like the Collingsworth Family? They’re class personified, and it just seems to be one hit after another … “When He Carries Me Away,” “Gotta Get to Jesus,” “You’re About to Climb,” “It Matters to the Master,” “At Calvary,” “Fear Not Tomorrow” … and a couple of my personal favorites in “Tell the Mountain” and “I Found It All.” What’s the next big showstopper?

 

Jason Crabb has a huge fan base. He also has a huge talent, being an elite vocalist and having developed into a great communicator of a lyric. Now, he’s deeply delving into songwriting. Given Gerald Crabb’s immense success as a writer, does the apple fall far from the tree? We’ll get a glimpse over the next few months as some of his efforts will likely be unveiled.

 

Guardians. Photo by Craig Harris

Guardians. Photo by Craig Harris

The Guardians are a picture of consistency with Dean Hickman and Neil Uhrig, who were original members when the group formed in 1988. John Darin Rowsey joined the group in 2012, and now, the group has experienced great success in recent years, on the radio charts and on stages that the male trio has been invited to perform upon. I first heard their latest radio hit – “Present in the Presence of the King” – at Jackson Sings the Gospel last July in Jackson, Tenn., and immediately fell in love with it. It’s no surprise that it was released to radio and has rapidly climbed up the charts. “Packin’ Up,” “It Ain’t Gonna Worry Me Long,” “Somebody Prays,” “Shoutin’ Sounds” and “Let the Healing Begin” are all popular requests for the Guardians. What’s next for those guys? Stay tuned.

 

Southern gospel music fans adore the Mark Trammell Quartet, Greater Vision and Pat Barker. How then could they not love it when Greater Vision’s Gerald Wolfe, Rodney Griffin and Chris Allman teamed up with Trammell and Barker to form the Second Half Quartet. The response they receive is always overwhelming. Surely, there has to be something new – well, possibly a new version of something old – coming from that ensemble soon, right? I won’t be the only one looking forward to seeing what it will be.

 

Goodman Revival. Photo by Craig Harris

Goodman Revival. Photo by Craig Harris

 

And there’s lots of groups that we’re all constantly keeping an eye on. I’ll look forward to seeing what Legacy Five, Goodman Revival, the Jim Brady Trio, Gold City, the Booth Brothers, Triumphant, Jeff and Sheri Easter, the Whisnants, Greater Vision, the Mark Trammell Trio and many others have in store this year. They’re some of your favorites … and mine too. Here’s to lots of great music and many memorable moments over these last 10 months of 2018.

By Craig Harris, writer and copy editor of SGNScoops Magazine

Craig Harris

Craig Harris

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in February 2018

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Rob Patz asks if You are Missing the Mark

Written by Staff on February 28, 2018 – 5:10 pm -

February 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

February 2018 SGNScoops Magazine. Publisher’s Point by Rob Patz

Publisher’s Point by Rob Patz

Welcome to the February edition of the Publisher’s Point. So how was the first month of the year? Did you complete everything you wanted to accomplish? Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions? Are you on the path to a successful 2018?


Okay, right now is a moment of transparency. To be completely honest with you, I haven’t kept either of my resolutions. One was to exercise. Now, I’m not saying I haven’t exercised at all, but I haven’t exercised with any consistency.

 

I blew the other resolution too.  I was going to be more organized. Yeah, that one hasn’t worked out too great either. In fact, I probably will lose this Publisher’s Point at least once before it actually makes the magazine. If that doesn’t make you laugh, nothing will.

Sometimes in life, we set standards and goals for ourselves, both of which are sometimes not attainable. I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive for high standards, or for lofty goals … far from it. I think we should always dream bigger than we can imagine, because we serve a God who wants us to set goals that are beyond our normal beliefs.

 

However, I do want to talk about something that has been weighing on my heart, and that is missing the mark when you set goals and standards. I’ll be honest with you … over the last month, I have struggled with my own self-worth. They say, in life, you can be your worst critic, and there have been times when I have questioned my own decisions. I’m not saying we shouldn’t question our own decisions. Again, this is something that we need to pray about.

When I wrote last month’s Publisher’s Point, I didn’t realize how the words that God had given me would come to such life, when I said, “2018 is a new year and new you.” As I have watched circumstances and events unfold in my own life over the last 30 days, it has made me realize that I may miss the mark I have set for myself.

 

Rob Patz with Mark Trammell, Nick Trammell and Pat Barker

Rob Patz with Mark Trammell, Nick Trammell and Pat Barker

I sometimes struggle to even see the mark, but I know that God is with me. I know that He cares very much for me and for what I’m doing, but He hasn’t brought me to this point to leave me. I do know that He alone is who I should focus on.

 

For so much of our life, we want to set these great and grandiose New Year’s resolutions. Please listen to me … I do think that we should all set goals. I think we should have things that we want to accomplish, because without goals – especially written down – we will never accomplish anything. But what I’m saying is that our first and foremost thing in life should be to immerse ourselves in what Jesus wants.


This month, I want to encourage you to know that if you are a Christian, you serve a God who is closer than a brother and who sees everything that you’re doing. He knows what you’re striving for. He knows that, at times, you’re going to miss the mark that you have set. Remember, He may not make the goal that you believe you should reach.

 

He is the God of grace, the God of love, and the God of peace. He loves you regardless of what you are striving for and wants you to make His goals your standard for your life this year.

Make plans to join me in Oxford, Ala., from March 1-3.We are going to have an awesome time. God is going to move, and we believe that lives will be changed. See you then.

 

Until next month, this is the Publisher’s Point.

 

By Rob Patz

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in February 2018

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A Younger Perspective featuring Chris Taylor of the Taylors

Written by Staff on February 26, 2018 – 9:38 am -

Chris Taylor of the Taylors

The Taylors

A word from author, Erin Stevens about Chris Taylor of the Taylors…

 

Welcome back Scoopers. We’re ringing in the new year in Younger Perspective style. I thought we’d kick January off on the right foot with someone you all have come to know and love. Chris Taylor of the Taylors is up first. There are aspects of his musical childhood, love story, and miraculous healing that you do not want to miss. Let’s get right to it…

 

Erin Stevens: As many know, you grew up in a ministry home, influenced by your family’s love of music. Describe for us some your earliest memories of harmonizing with your siblings. And at what point did you feel this was a calling on your life?

Chris Taylor: I was involved in church choir ever since I was old enough to speak. My mother, being the music minister at our church, began working with us on harmonizing around age 13. I remember vividly standing around the out-of-tune church piano, in our small rural church for what seemed like hours. At that point, we were each fairly good at singing the melody, but mom wanted to teach us all the parts. So, we listened as she played out each note on the piano so we could hear it exactly how it should be sung. We’re all pretty fast learners, and since it was fun to hear the parts together, we quickly learned how to harmonize. So, we formed the Taylors as a four-part quartet when I was 15, and in 2008, I realized this was what God called us to do. 

 

Stevens: Is there a particular Taylors concert from 2017 that stands out as having a lasting impact upon you?

Taylor:  There have been so many. But there was one that was pretty special just a few weeks ago. We have been praying for a family member to get in right relationship with the Lord for over two years. He decided to attend our local concert and cried during the entire service. He told us after that he re-dedicated his life to the Lord that night. 

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Abraham Productions Celebrates 20 Years with New Car Giveaway

Written by Staff on February 9, 2018 – 6:42 am -

Abraham Productions Celebrates 20 Years with New Car Giveaway

Abraham Productions Celebrates 20 Years with New Car Giveaway

More Than $25,000 in Cash & Prizes Will Be Given to Concert Fans by Abraham Productions 

CLEMMONS, NC, February 7, 2018 – In celebration of their twentieth anniversary, Abraham Productions, Inc. (API) announced today it will be giving away a new Ford Focus SE on Saturday night, April 21st at Singing in the Sun at Myrtle Beach to someone in attendance.  The vehicle, valued at $20,145.00, is fully loaded with keyless entry, power windows & door locks, cruise control, MP3 and CD player, Bluetooth, backup camera, integrated blind spot mirror, and much more.  No purchase is necessary; however, you must be present to win and eligible according to the car giveaway guidelines listed on the API website.  

In addition, if the winner of the Ford Focus SE has been in attendance 5 of the 6 days at Singing in the Sun, not only will they win the brand new car, but they will also win tickets to every Abraham Productions Concert in 2018, tickets to Singing in the Sun next year, and $1,000 cash!  “God has really, really blessed Abraham Productions with this event,” says Ray Flynn, President of API.  “We know that there are people who have supported this event for years and we have always tried to give something back to the fans throughout those years.  API has given away cruises, cash, and concert tickets.  This year, we wanted to take it beyond that and do something history-making in our genre, something not even secular events do – we are going to give away a brand new car at Singing in the Sun.”  

Abraham Productions Celebrates 20 Years with New Car Giveaway

Abraham Productions Celebrates 20 Years with New Car Giveaway

Flynn continues, “Our focus has always been on the ministry side of these concerts.  Many people who attend tell us that they feel like they’ve been to a revival instead of a concert, and it is our heart’s desire to be able to bless these special people by giving back to them in this way.”  

 

Along with the car giveaway, API will be giving away cash and prizes every night to say thank you to the fans for their support of this event.  Altogether, more than $25,000 in cash and prizes will be given to concert fans during the week at Singing in the Sun at Myrtle Beach.    

 

Appearing at Singing in the Sun this April will be notable artists such as Grammy Award winning Jason Crabb, Grammy nominated Karen Peck & New River, Joseph Habedank, The Isaacs, Collingsworth Family; runner up from The Voice, Emily Ann Roberts (season nine); and top name artists such as Guy Penrod, Ivan Parker, Hoppers and more.  On Saturday night, Miss North Carolina, Victoria Huggins will make a special appearance to draw and announce the name of the car giveaway winner.

 

Singing in the Sun is an annual six-day event held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, SC that attracts thousands of attendees from over 45 states and Canada.  The event combines quality Christian music and world renowned speakers in a concert setting creating an atmosphere without denominational barriers.  To view car giveaway guidelines or learn more about Singing in the Sun visit the API website here

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Michael English: Love Is The Golden Rule

Written by Staff on January 20, 2018 – 6:22 am -

Michael English

Michael English

CD Review – Michael English: Love Is The Golden Rule by Jimmy Reno

 

Michael English is one of the rare vocalists in Christian music who has a following in both the Southern gospel industry and in the Contemporary Christian market. Including stops with the Happy Goodmans, the Singing Americans and the Gaither Vocal Band, English has firmly established his roots in Southern gospel.

 

His subsequent solo career launched English into becoming a household name in the Contemporary market.

 

Michael English

Michael English

The latest album for English, “Love Is the Golden Rule,” was produced by his long-time friend and fellow artist, Jason Clark of the Nelons.

 

Clark points out that the intent of “Love Is the Golden Rule” was a return to the vintage English style of his past solo albums, like “Hope,” which was released on Curb Records in 1993.

 

“What an honor to produce and arrange this project for one of the world’s most legendary singers and performers,” Clark said. “As a lifelong fan, I suggested to Michael that we make this recording the one his fan base has long been waiting for. It is undoubtedly and unashamedly, vintage English. Production took over eight months as we assembled a cast of the world’s greatest musicians, writers, singers, engineers, from various genres of music. Michael worked extremely hard, and what he delivered on this recording, I believe, is some of his best work in his entire career.”

 

Michael EnglishEnglish’s foray back into the adult contemporary field has produced one of his best efforts to date. The project kicks things off with “My Love.” This mid-tempo number reassures us of His love for us and that the sun will rise despite hardships we endure.

 

“Little Is Much” is up next, and while it’s not the Kittie L. Suffield song of a similar title in 1924, it’s message is very similar. This is a tender ballad that English sings with a lot of passion. Little definitely is much when our God is in it, a simple, powerful truth.

 

In 1988, Mike + the Mechanics released their second album, titled “The Living Years.” English has remade the title song from that album. English identifies with this specific number as he laments his relationship with his father. The song’s theme, about saying what you need to say to your loved ones while they are still here, is a very thought-provoking truth. English excels vocally on this ballad.

 

“Finally Coming Home,” is another highlight of the album. This ballad, which English sings with conviction, is the classic prodigal son story.

 

“Hello Happiness,” is a fun, light, upbeat tune that is easy to tap your toes on.

 

Vintage can be defined as an exceptionally fine wine from the crop of a good year. English and Clark paired up with the goal of producing a project that meets this definition, and they have delivered.  

 

This project harkens back stylistically to English’s early solo career. He sings with passion and conviction throughout the album. Listeners will welcome English’s signature vocal stylings as well as the excellent instrumentation.

 

“Love Is the Golden Rule,” is sure to be a favorite of English fans very quickly. This is a must-have project for fans of adult Contemporary Christian music.

By Jimmy Reno

First published November 2017 by SGNScoops Magazine

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The Stray captures the heart in a big way

Written by Staff on January 16, 2018 – 11:10 am -

The Stray

The Stray

Sometimes God answers prayer in the most unusual way. Sometimes hardships and family crises become just the catalyst needed to make a change. And sometimes help comes from the most unlikely place. In “THE STRAY,” help for the Davis’, a family on the brink of falling apart, arrives in the form of Pluto, a stray dog who saves their lives—literally.

 

When one of the Davis kids prays for a dog, Pluto, a stray, shows up and makes himself at home with the struggling family. Mitch Davis, a workaholic father, seems unsure about taking on a pet, but when Pluto—“the Wonderdog,” they lovingly call him—manages to save one child and bring companionship to another, he can’t help but agree to keep him. But Pluto is not only a guard dog, he’s a guardian angel. While on a camping trip, Pluto the Wonderdog saves Mitch’s life during a freak lightning storm, and the act changes the Davis family forever. “He was the answer to problems we didn’t know we had,” someone explains in the film.

 

The StrayBased on the incredible true story of Hollywood producer Mitch Davis (The Other Side of Heaven) and starring Michael Cassidy (Argo, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Sarah Lancaster (Everwood, The Judge), “THE STRAY” is a film for all audiences and illustrates how the unconditional love of a pet can change your life and how important the love of and making time for family are. The film also received the Dove Family Approved seal for its portrayal of positive values. “Although The Stray reflects my personal story, I know there are countless families across America who could say the same thing about a pet that greatly impacted them with its unconditional love—which is why I hope families will see this film together,” Davis explained, adamant that audiences understand that God can work through the most unlikely circumstances.

 

Though it took a shock from God for Davis to learn, he hopes families who see the film together will come away knowing that “Families are what life’s all about. Families are hard, but they’re by far the most important thing,” in life. For the Davis’, Pluto helped them learn this lesson. “Pluto was a dog, but in our family he was an angel. He showed up in answer to prayer at a time when our family needed something, and we didn’t quite know what we needed,” Davis described. “Pluto gave us our lives back. We saved the dog, and then the dog saved us.” In the film, Davis ruminates to Pluto while staring at the stars in the sky, “We’re awfully small, aren’t we boy? Or maybe we’re just a part of something awfully big.” For the Davis family, Pluto was both.

THE STRAY released October 6, 2017 via Pure Flix. Visit THE STRAY movie website at www.TheStrayResources.com and follow THE STRAY movie on Facebook and Twitter and follow the conversation at #TheStray.

Reviewed by Suzanne Mason. Special to SGNScoops.

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Thanks living with Matt Fouch and Aaron Hise

Written by Staff on November 12, 2017 – 6:18 am -

Matt Fouch with Legacy Five - photo by Craig Harris

Matt Fouch with Legacy Five – photo by Craig Harris

I’ve heard it stated a million different ways: “Thank you.” I’m guilty of saying it without truly meaning it. I know I’m not the only one. So often, we’re obliged to express our thanks by simply saying two words. It’s easy to just spit them out and not even really remember why we said it in the first place. We say it to the barista at the coffee shop. Ladies say it when someone opens a door for them. Men say it when someone compliments their golf game. Children say it, often at the prompting of Mom or Dad, when they’re given a gift. As a parent, I’ve worked to instill in my two children to say “thank you” every chance they get. I hear them say it many times; but sometimes, there’s a magical moment when I hear them say it from their heart. How my heart swells with pride to see genuine gratitude in their eyes.

Legacy Five’s Matt Fouch releases “Born and Raised”

Legacy Five’s Matt Fouch

I’ve entitled my article for this month Thanks-Living for this reason: There are times when we express thankfulness in our heart by our words, and there are other times that we express gratitude in our lives. One of the greatest ways we can express this is in song, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to discuss all things Thanksgiving with two friends who just happen to be outstanding artists: Matt Fouch of Legacy Five, and Aaron Hise of the Whisnants.

 

The atmosphere of the Thanksgiving season is surrounded by things we all love: food, family, and more food! We can throw in some football for all who love sports, and the day just can’t get much better. Family traditions often are born during this time of the year. “We always get together on Thanksgiving Eve. It’s such a fun night!” Matt shares. Aaron added, “Our family’s tradition has always been to get together an extra day to celebrate the holiday. We love the tradition of just having more family time.”

 

Aaron Hise with the Whisnants

Aaron Hise with the Whisnants

As many readers have probably experienced, having more family around usually provides some free entertainment. Aaron’s story is too good not to share: “The most memorable Thanksgiving that I have ever experienced was when my mom had fixed the most beautiful dinner for me, my dad, and my brother. I was nine years old and my brother was 13. We both had been playing ball outside and came in for dinner. When we got to the table, the turkey had been placed on the edge of the table before we said the blessing. As we were praying, my brother was trying to make me laugh by poking my side. Well, when I tried to get away, I bumped the table just hard enough to make the turkey fall right onto the ground. Needless to say, we called the ‘ten second rule’ and enjoyed a great turkey!”

 

Aaron Hise of The Whisnants

Aaron Hise of The Whisnants

I haven’t had that kind of experience but one memorable experience for me, was as a boy with my cousin. We were given the daunting task of being the Thanksgiving-trash-taker-outers. We wore that badge with pride all day long. We were taking out one set of bags filled to the top and I opened one of the trash cans, when like a SCUD missile, the biggest opossum I’d ever encountered shot out of the trash can with every tooth in his face showing as he flew right by me. I’ll never forget it, and I’ll never blindly open a trashcan again!

 

Naturally, the subject of Thanksgiving-themed songs came up, and I asked Aaron and Matt what some of their favorite songs were along the theme of thankfulness. “The Easter Brothers put it best when they said, ‘There’s a roof up above me, I’ve a good place to sleep, there’s food on my table, and shoes on my feet. You gave me Your love, Lord, and a fine family, thank you, Lord, for Your blessings on me!’”1 Aaron said. Matt added, “Soul’d Out Quartet recorded a song called, “Thank You Lord.” My wife Candice and I had a beautiful moment one day just driving in the car and listening to this song.”

 

Obviously, when you get three grown men talking to each other, the subject of food came up. Aaron laid it all out for us. “All of the traditional items will be served this year: turkey, ham, green bean casserole, homemade yeast rolls, dressing, gravy, homemade macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, deviled eggs, and the list keeps going on!” Matt added many of the same traditional menu items, but said that there was one thing he couldn’t live without on Thanksgiving: “Cool Whip for the pumpkin pie. I like a little pie with my Cool Whip.”

 

We could all put down a mile-long list of all the blessings we’ve enjoyed this year, but Matt Fouch and Aaron Hise each added specific things that they were thankful for. Matt tells us, “I’m thankful for the peace that passes all understanding! In the midst of a crazy life in a crazy world, as believers, we can have a peace beyond our human comprehension.” Aaron added, “I’m especially thankful this year for the family that God has blessed me with. Suzanne (Aaron’s wife, who sings with The Taylors) and I are expecting our first child in March (2016). We’re beyond excited!” That’s definitely something to be grateful for!

 

I mentioned as we began the article about the word Thanks-Living. Are we just saying “thank you,” or are we living  “thank you?” My prayer for myself and for each of our readers is that we won’t just take one special Thursday that’s set aside, and rattle off an impromptu prayer to God for the many blessings He’s given us, but that we, like David the Psalmist, will take time to meditate and think upon the Lord’s goodness to us. His mercy endures forever, and his faithfulness is sure. My sincere thanks to Aaron Hise of the Whisnants and Matt Fouch of Legacy Five for their time and effort this month. Happy Thanks-Living, everyone!

By Matt Baker

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in November 2015

  1. “Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me,” Easter, James and The Easter Brothers. Copyright 1975. Renewed 2003. LeFevre- Sing Publishing Company/BMI. (website c.October 21, 2015). www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0085124

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BELL BUCKLE WEEKEND WITH RUSS AND TORI TAFF

Written by Staff on November 7, 2017 – 1:23 pm -

BELL BUCKLE WEEKEND WITH RUSS AND TORI TAFF

BELL BUCKLE WEEKEND WITH RUSS AND TORI TAFF

What does it take to get this Canadian girl to go to some place called Bell Buckle, Tennessee? Well for starters, a getaway weekend simply titled: Russ and Tori Taff’s weekend in Bell Buckle, consisting of some of the best Gospel music there is today. Throw in some of the best southern cooking, hospitality, and charm. Think it is hard to fit all of this into a charming hamlet of 500+ inhabitants? Well, it is possible because that’s exactly what happened. To quote our weekend host Tori Taff, “A joyful oasis from your daily routine,” and that’s what this amazing weekend delivered.

What I am referring to? The 2nd Annual Russ and Tori Taff ‘s Weekend in Bell Buckle, Tenn., on Oct. 7 and 8. From the moment I stepped into the Bell Buckle Banquet Hall on the Friday for early registration, I was greeted with open arms, which quickly got filled with the warmest and most sincere hug from our greeter

Russ and Tori Taff

Tori Taff

Tori herself. As a guest, you get treated to a registration bag filled with goodies; name tag/badge, lovely commemorative mug, a professional and gorgeous autographed 8×10 picture of Russ Taff, yummy moon pie samples, Bell Buckle bumper sticker, and an exclusive CD by Russ of never before released songs. In addition, a list of shops indicating their discounts especially for the weekend guests, all packed into a nice yellow tote bag. Tori is definitely in her wheelhouse, hosting, greeting and scheduling this annual event. Leaving Russ, who has been called “the introvert in an extroverts career,” to do what he does best: sing. And that he did, in spades.

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Hope To The Hill with Nathan Kistler

Written by Staff on October 12, 2017 – 1:37 pm -

Hope To The Hill with Nathan Kistler

Hope To The Hill with Nathan Kistler

What a blessed month we have had. God has opened new doors of ministry, and on top of that, we had the great privilege of celebrating our nation’s independence on July 4.

I am so thankful to God for His continued blessing in this land. Our nation’s beginnings were truly guided by the hand of God, and even today, we find that He is still working amidst the seeming chaos we experience.

Hope To The Hill with Nathan Kistler

Nathan Kistler

The media tends to blow out of proportion what is happening in Washington and in some cases they outright make up stories.

It is imperative now more than ever that we understand what is at stake here in this land and that we recognize what God is doing in the 115th Congress. There are more Christians in Congress right now than we’ve had in many, many years. I firmly believe that revival is just around the corner.

Every day, great prayer warriors are on their knees begging God for mercy and blessing, prayer warriors that include many members of the 115th Congress.

Hope To The Hill with Nathan KistlerThese men and ladies are key as they are standing in the gap for truth in this modern day Babylon we find ourselves in.

Please set down the TV remote and take some time in God’s Word whilst praying for our elected officials.

Also, I would ask that you pray for us as we endeavor to minister to these wonderful men and women who represent us every day. We desperately need your prayers and support for the days of battle which are ahead of us. God’s people must stand up while they speak truth in love.

Hope To The Hill with Nathan KistlerI am so thankful for each of you and your prayers.

Your friend in Washington,

Nathan Kistler, nathankistler@gmail.com, www.hopetothehill.com

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in August 2017

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Sights and Sounds of the Carolina Quartet by Charlie Griffin

Written by Staff on August 29, 2017 – 1:42 pm -

Carolina Quartet

Carolina Quartet

The Carolina Quartet is rich in talent and legacy. Most of the group members have been together off and on for 20-plus years. When you attend one of their concerts, you will enjoy energetic performances, great songs, clean vocals, enthusiasm and a true love for the people they sing for and the Lord they serve. Those Carolina characteristics are the ingredients of a professional music group that can only be said for a few in today’s gospel music circles.

 

The group’s sound is defined by the recognizable lead voice of Scott Whitener. Now, Whitener is no stranger to gospel music. His first singing experience was with the church trio where his dad pastored. He was an influential member of the regional powerhouse quartet the Regals for many years. In 1987, he joined the award-winning Singing Americans. His dynamic voice and interpretations really grabbed the attention of Gospel Music fans in this time.

The 1989 version of the Singing Americans 1989 consisted of (from left) Scott Whitener, Clayton Inman, Greg Shockley, Dwayne Burke and James Rainey. Carolina Quartet

The 1989 version of the Singing Americans 1989 consisted of (from left) Scott Whitener, Clayton Inman, Greg Shockley, Dwayne Burke and James Rainey

After leaving the Singing Americans, Whitener also sang lead with Jericho – which was formed along with Dwayne Burke of the Singing Americans – until 1996. This group was recognized for their smooth, focused vocals in a church ministry setting.

Subsequently, Whitener transitioned to the Melody Masters in the mid-1990s as lead singer. During that time, the group lineup of Chris Roberts, Whitener, Roger Burnett, and Richard Sanders achieved success with performances at the National Quartet Convention and the Canadian version of the NQC, which was held in Canada’s in Red Deer, Alta.

As in life, things come full circle. After more than 20 years in full-time Gospel Music, Whitener is now an ordained minister, serving as senior pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Gastonia, N.C., and as lead pastor of Gateway Cowboy Church in Stanley, N.C.

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