Shane and Denise Jeter

MGM

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

How many more days until Creekside 2018?

Written by Staff on July 15, 2018 – 4:35 pm -

How many more days until Creekside 2018?

How many more days until Creekside 2018?

How many more days until Creekside 2018?

It’s only 15 weeks. 105 days. 2,520 hours. Time is ticking by!

Have you made your plans to attend yet?

The dates are: October 28 until November 1st. Be sure to put them in your calendar now if you haven’t already.

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2018, presented by Rob Patz and SGN Scoops Magazine, will be held at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center, in beautiful Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Creekside features music showcases, evening concerts, the Dr. Jerry Goff Honors, the 2018 Diamond Awards and CT Townsend Preaching. and midnight prayer.

For more information on Creekside 2018, visit www.sgnscoops.com or www.facebook.com/Creeksidegospelmusicconvention.

Creekside 2018 VIP

Creekside 2018 VIP

VIP tickets can still be obtained by calling Rob Patz at 360.933.0741 or emailing rob@sgnscoops.com




 

 

 

 

Read the June 2018 SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE

 

 


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Instruments of Peace: A Look at the Sharps

Written by Staff on July 10, 2018 – 7:05 am -

Instruments of Peace: A Look at the Sharps

Instruments of Peace: A Look at the Sharps

The first line of the Prayer of St. Francis says, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”

 

This prayer is the mission statement and title of the latest project from the family group, the Sharps. Hailing from Fort Payne, Ala., these men of faith are dedicated to spreading the gospel through song.

 

The Sharps

The Sharps

Andy Sharp and his son, Ben, lead the group as co-owners, carrying on the the legacy of Joel Sharp, the founder of the quartet.

 

“The Sharps is a family-based group that started in 1984 by Joel Sharp,” Ben shares. “Joel, having sung with gospel groups as early as the 50s, formed the Sharps that consisted of him, Andy and Janice Sharp, and Karen Sharp Twilley and her husband LaDon.

“Ben, son of Andy and Janice, was born and raised traveling with the group, and Mike (Leath) stepped in to fill in for Joel due to his illness and has continued on with the group after the passing of Joel Sharp.”

 

The SharpsThe current lineup features the lead vocals of Mike Leath, the soaring tenor of Andy Sharp (son of Joel), and rounding out the trio, Ben Sharp’s smooth baritone. For the past three years, Tony Lewis served as the bass vocalist, but he recently resigned.

 

Andy Sharp is the only original member still with the group. Leath was hand-picked by Joel Sharp to fill in for him during his illness. He has now been with the quartet for 11 years. Ben Sharp grew up traveling with the group and has played piano, drums and served many other roles as well.

 

The group has experienced great success over their 30-plus years. They have recorded more than 20 projects, have been honored with several awards, and several (of their) songs have charted on national gospel music charts. Andy Sharp has been honored with a lifetime achievement award in 2016 for his 30 years in Southern gospel music. The group’s unique sound was inspired by the Florida Boys of 1962, Glen Payne, Brian Free, Arthur Rice, and of course, Joel Sharp.

 

This group, steeped in Southern gospel tradition, shines on their latest CD release, “Instrument of Peace.”

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Selena Day: What do you fear?

Written by Staff on July 8, 2018 – 1:03 pm -

Selena Day: What do you fear?

Selena Day: What do you fear?

Day by Day: Fear is…

I wrote these first two words when I was beginning this article and I stopped and just looked at them.  Fear is…

What is fear to you?  

Selena Day: What do you fear?

Selena Day

Many years ago, when the Internet was in its infancy, I remember those childlike quizzes that popped up from time to time.  There would always be one question asking what you were most afraid of.

I hated to sound super religious, but the scripture: “He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of might, power and a sound mind…(2 Tim.1:7)” would spring up to my mind. As believers, we are called to live differently. We need to preach to ourselves that we do not live a life controlled by fear, but by the love our God has for us.  

If I said that I am not afraid, I would be lying. I am like any other person; I have those things that freak me out or scare me, but I choose not to focus on fear.  

Chuck and I have traveled to over 37 countries. Most of those were Third World countries where we stood out as older, white, fluffy Americans, which to them equates to “Rich American.” I have been afraid only once or twice, and those few times were never life-threatening, just an unease that I heeded to.

People sometimes ask me, “Aren’t you afraid leaving the country with our world in the shape it is in?”  

I hope that I have a healthy amount of fear, we need this to survive in our world, but I choose not to focus on my fear but on the king of this world, my King.  

Who is the king of your world?  

I’ll never forget one of my first journeys overseas to Thailand. I had been out of the country before, but only to first-world, English-speaking countries. As the time drew near to go, I felt fear creeping into my heart, and with that fear came dread. I didn’t want to go, I couldn’t leave my children. So many doubts and fears.  

One day while chatting with God, or more accurately, one day while I was worrying during my prayers, God asked me a question: “Selena, am I not the God of the universe?”  

“Why yes, Lord. I know you are!”

“Do you ever worry this much when you are packing up to go on your trips across the U.S.A.? There are more car accidents per year than airplane crashes. Terrorism can hit you in the U.S.A. Something can happen to your children in your backyard. You trust me with these familiar things. Can you not trust me with the unfamiliar as well?”

Selena Day and Chuck Day

Selena and Chuck Day

That conversation with God changed my heart and I decided to focus more on Him and what He was saying to me than focusing on my fear and the ‘what if’s’ of traveling overseas. I wish I could say that peace came over me and, bam, I was magically cured, but it didn’t happen that way. It has been a faith walk.  

Our first few times overseas I never left Chuck’s side. I made him stand right beside me.  I never strayed from where I couldn’t reach out and touch him.

We discovered these wonderful night markets that we both loved to walk through, discovering so many beautiful handcrafted items. Though, like most couples, we liked to linger over different things; so those first few trips I enjoyed my time, though I never enjoyed them like I did when the fear finally left and I trusted God in the same way I trusted him in the good ole’ USA. I could then wander off and discover the items that I loved and Chuck could go and buy me a little treat without me knowing it.  

Leaving my comfort zone has taught me to really listen to the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit. It has taught me how to discern the difference between caution and fear. Traveling and overcoming my fears taught me who I am in this world and not just how my culture defines me. It has helped me see where and in whom my strength lies.

 

Learning to overcome fear is an ongoing process that we face in our lives and if we turn from our focus of the fear, towards the one that holds the very universe in his hands we will truly become ‘more than conquerors.’ We will become the kings and priests that he longs for us to be, ruling and reigning in this world instead of reacting to the circumstances that fall into our path.

Fear is…

What fear is holding you hostage today? I encourage you to turn towards our redeemer and ask him to redeem your heart and help you to have the courage to overcome, so that you can rise up as a conqueror and become all that God has designed you to be.  

By Selena Day. First published by SGNScoops Magazine in May 2018.

Selena Day is a motivational speaker and is available to speak at your conference or event. She can be contacted by e-mailing selenaday@me.com, by visiting www.queenliving.org, or at www.facebook.com/queenismsbyselenaday.  

Read the June 2018 SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE

Download The PDF Version Of SGNScoops June 2018 Magazine HERE

Listen To The Best In Todays Gospel Music Online HERE


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Younger Perspective on Conner and Bailey Hayes by Erin Stevens

Written by Staff on July 6, 2018 – 4:03 pm -

The Hayes Family

The Mylon Hayes Family

A word from Erin Stevens…

What’s better than one “younger perspective,” you ask? How about two? It’s a twin takeover, featuring the sons of Mylon and Wendy Hayes. Conner and Bailey’s lights shine brightly for the Lord, as they travel and sing with their family. Today they share from their hearts as their individual personalities lead the way. Are you ready, guys? We’re all ears.

 

Erin Stevens: For those that aren’t a twin, are not related to a twin, or haven’t spent much time around twins, what are some insights and fun facts you can share about being your own, unique self while still having a look-a-like to enjoy life with?

 

Conner Hayes: It really is fun to be a twin and have a built in best friend. We are very similar in many ways, but our personalities are sometimes complete opposites. I can be a very quiet and reserved person, while Bailey is a little more talkative and outgoing; we balance each other out well.

 

Bailey Hayes: Even though we are so alike, we are different—our hair parts on opposite sides; our vocal ranges are opposite, in the fact that he sings bass and I sing tenor. Whenever we are shopping, everything I pick out is always more expensive than what he picks out. Even without looking at the price tag, his purchases come out cheaper. Conner tells me I have expensive taste, but I prefer to think I enjoy the finer things.

 

Conner Hayes

Conner Hayes

Stevens: Who is older and by how many minutes?

 

Conner: I am the oldest, but only by one minute. I try to tell Bailey to respect his elder, but he doesn’t seem to like that very much. 

 

Stevens: From school subjects, to hobbies, musical interests, and even favorite foods, where are you different in these areas?

 

Bailey: In school, we had the same strengths and weaknesses. In our hobbies, we are really the same, so we’re identical twins in those areas. But we are a little different in music; Conner is a drummer and I don’t have enough coordination to drum, but I do play the bass guitar. My brother has no clue how to play a stringed instrument. When it comes to food, he hates cheese and I love cheese, he likes green beans and I don’t necessarily care for them, but in almost all other foods, we like and dislike the same things.

 

Stevens: What are the most entertaining (and comical) comments fans have made to you two over the years? 

 

Conner: It’s a head scratcher when people come up and ask if we’re twins. When Dad introduces us from stage, he mentions the fact that we are twins, but we still get that question every night. 

 

Bailey: When fans come up and ask if we are brothers, I still have to laugh. We do get a lot of people asking which one is the smartest, to which I answer, “I am,” and which one is the meanest, which I answer, “He is,”…problem is, he says the same thing.

 

Bailey Hayes

Bailey Hayes

Stevens: Golf or baseball? Being at home or on the road? Neck ties or bow ties? Salty or sweet tooth? Biking or hiking?

 

Conner: Definitely baseball. I’m terrible at golf.

I love being on the road. I get excited to pack up and go somewhere new.

Neckties are my go-to. 

I have a bad sweet tooth. Candy and chocolate are my weaknesses.

I absolutely love to hike, especially with friends.

 

Bailey: I am a huge baseball fan.

I have to go with the road. I love traveling to new places and meeting new people. Living out of a suitcase is the best.

I love a good neck tie. I like to shop for unique patterns and colors in my ties.

Sweets. Kit Kats and Milky Ways are a bad weakness of mine.

I enjoy hiking. Hiking up a mountain or by a river are some of my favorite outdoor pastimes.

 

The Hayes Family performs at NQC 2017

The Mylon Hayes Family performs at NQC 2017

Stevens: Is there a song off your latest album that speaks to you personally? If so, why does its message specifically impact your heart when you sing it?

 

Connor: I love the song “God, Give Us Christian Homes” off our “Hymns And Classics Vol. 2” record. I was very blessed to grow up in a Christian home, with parents who loved the Lord and strived to teach us kids to live for Jesus. I hope to one day follow in the footsteps of my father, raise a Christian family, and be the kind of man that God wants me to be.

 

Stevens: How would you encourage other teenage boys as they try to fit in, while still upholding a godly example to their peers?

 

Bailey: My encouragement to other teen guys would be: Don’t compromise your faith or your convictions just to be cool. God has placed you where you are to be an example to others and shine a light for him. People may ridicule you for your faith, but you will make a larger impact on those people by walking the walk in front of them.

 

Erin Stevens

Erin Stevens

Closing thoughts from Erin Stevens…

We live in troubled times. Our faith is tested on every side. The temptation to give in to the ways of the world can be strong at times, but that is why we put our trust in the one who made the way straight for us to follow. Just as Bailey said, we may be ridiculed for our beliefs, yes, but we are striving to one day experience that great, eternal reward. Press on, friends. It will be worth it in the end.

And that’s my take on it.

Until next month, Scoops fans.

Connect with Erin:

Twitter: @photosforkeeps

Instagram: @photos_for_keeps

 

By Erin Stevens. First published by SGN Scoops in May 2018

Read the June 2018 SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE

Download The PDF Version Of SGNScoops June 2018 Magazine HERE

Listen To The Best In Todays Gospel Music Online HERE


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Southern Gospel Sweethearts: the Peyton Sisters by Fayth Lore

Written by Staff on June 20, 2018 – 10:06 am -

The Peyton Sisters

The Peyton Sisters

It is said that when a girl has a sister, she’ll always have a best friend. Not only are these sisters best friends, but they are also in pursuit of making a lifetime career out of their shared passion. Some of Southern gospel’s most beloved groups feature sisters, including Sisters (Kim Sheffield, Heather Bennett and Valerie Medkiff), Karen Peck and New River (Karen Gooch and Susan Jackson), the Collingsworth Family (Brooklyn Blair, Courtney Metz and Olivia Collingsworth), the Isaacs (Sonya Yeary and Becky Bowman) and the Martins (Joyce Sanders and Judy Hess).

 

Rachael and Riley Peyton began singing when they were only 5 and 6 years old, respectively, at a local nursing home. They would help their mother by offering some songs for the residents, following a devotion that she would give.

 

Eventually, a staff member of the nursing home asked the young girls to perform at her church for a mother-and-daughter banquet. Some local pastors’ wives heard the sister duo and invited them to their churches. And so, a career was born.

The Peyton sisters have been traveling and singing now for approximately four years. Based out of southern Illinois, the girls make most of their stops in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. They average 120 dates per year, with most of their performances happening on the weekend and an occasional concert during the week. While neither of their parents claim to be vocalists, the girls were raised with a rich understanding of Southern gospel music.

“We were surrounded by Southern gospel music growing up,” Rachael says. “When Mom would clean the house, she would put (on) a Gaither video. Riley and I would sit on a blanket, play with our toys and watch Bill Gaither.”

Sanders, a Gaither regular, is an inspiration to the girls.

“Joyce is our vocal coach,” Riley points out. “She is also an amazing person and encourager.”

 

Sanders was the producer of the Peyton Sisters’ most recent album, and the Gaither Vocal Band laid the tracks for the project.

 

The ladies released the CD, featuring four original songs, at the 2017 Gaither Fall Fest. Rachael wrote two songs by herself on the project, one of which she feels has had a big impact in their concerts.

 

The Peyton Sisters“My favorite would be ‘I Am There,’” Rachel shares. “I wrote that one, and I love it to bits. It has a beautiful message to it. Wherever you are in your life and your circumstances, He is right there. It is just an awesome reminder.”

These teenagers are eager to reach all generations. They want to span the gap between their peers and an older audience, as is evident in their latest project, entitled “Undivided.” Half of the album is contemporary, while the other half is Southern gospel.

 

“So many times people put a line in between Southern gospel and contemporary,” Riley says. “They think you cannot listen to both. I think it’s good to span the generations. Let there be undivided unity.”

 

Rachel adds, “The thing that sets Southern gospel apart from other genres is the lyrics and the music. It’s not the singer that makes it different. Any artist can learn to sing any genre they want to.”

 

The two have some interesting advice on the best way to reach their generation.

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A Younger Perspective on Danielle Allen of the Allen Family

Written by Staff on June 18, 2018 – 1:32 pm -

Danielle Allen with the entire Allen Family

Danielle Allen with the entire Allen Family

A word from author Erin Stevens about Danielle Allen of the Allen Family …

I am delighted to introduce a face you may recognize and a humble heart that deserves a spotlight all her own. My friend and roommate – while serving in Uganda, Africa – Danielle Allen of the Allen Family is my special guest this month. Traveling on a bus with seven other people is not for the faint of heart, but this is a special girl with a profound call of ministry on her life. Now it’s her turn to take a solo. Let’s listen in …

 

Erin Stevens: Beginning with some Allen history 101 – for those that may not know the story of the early days, share with the readers where and when your parents met and how they began their ministry.

 

Danielle Allen: My parents met in Hattiesburg, Miss., at William Carey College. When they first met, they didn’t like each other at all. My dad was a country boy from Louisiana, and my mom was a city girl from Florida. They were both in the music department. With some clever matchmaking, they were thrown together with a trumpet and soprano duet. The rest is history. They were married seven years before they began this ministry. My dad was the pastor at a church in Michigan when he began to sense God was calling them into full-time evangelistic ministry. He was afraid to tell this to my mom. When he finally told her what he believed God was calling them to, she admitted she had been sensing the same thing and had been afraid to tell him. They sold their house, bought a motorhome, and hit the road with my four older siblings. I joined the scene a year later. 

 

Danielle Allen of the Allen Family

Danielle Allen of the Allen Family

Stevens: Is there a place of ministry that you go to on a regular basis that is memorable to you personally? If so, what is the story behind it?

 

Allen: One of my favorite places to minister is Freedom Mission in Louisiana. We have been a part of their yearly bible conference for as long as I can remember. Freedom Mission is a ministry for recovering addicts. Throughout the years of being there, I have witnessed the power of God transform lives, I have been inspired by those who have given their lives to His service, and every year, I leave encouraged and strengthened to continue my own ministry.  

 

Stevens: Is there a hobby outside of your music ministry you enjoy that the readers might find intriguing? 

 

Allen: I love to sew. My interest in sewing began a few years ago when I had an idea for a cosmetic bag that was white on the outside and bright and colorful on the inside. It carries the message that real beauty comes from within. I have sold these bags across the country. My sewing skills are still young, but I would like to eventually design unique, modest clothing. I believe we can point people to God even with the type of clothing we choose to wear. I would love to demonstrate that belief with clothing specifically designed to honor God. 

 

Stevens: Is there a book you are currently reading or recently have read that has impacted your life?

 

Allen: I recently finished reading, “If I Perish,” an autobiography on the life of Esther Ahn Kim. She was a Korean Christian who spent six years in a Japanese prison during World War II because of her faith. As an American, I am protected from the type of persecution she suffered. While this is a great blessing, it also comes with its disadvantages. I have never experienced the power and grace of God the way Esther Ahn Kim did. Though her trials were great, her God was greater. 

 

Stevens: Is there a scripture you consider to be your life verse?

 

Allen: One of my favorites is Psalm 61:2 … “From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” A life of ministry can be crazy and stressful. I love this verse, because it reminds me that when I am overwhelmed with the pressures of life, God is my Solid Rock. I can cry out to Him no matter where I am, and He will lead me to Himself.  

 

Danielle Allen and the Allen Family

The Allen Family in concert

Stevens: Since I’ve had the privilege to travel to Uganda with your family and share your heart for this country, I’d love for the readers to better understand what your role is behind the scenes in this missions outreach. Also, describe what this ministry means to you personally.

 

Allen: The mission work in Uganda is literally at the heart of everything we do. I am deeply passionate about ministering to teenagers and young adults. Last summer, while in Uganda, I was privileged to lead, with my brother, a leadership conference for young adults where I taught several young women how to be leaders in their generation. I am also very involved in a program we started called the Straightway Education Project to protect girls from trafficking. Ugandan girls are very much at risk for trafficking. By enabling teenage girls to stay in school, the Straightway Education Project protects them from that risk. Additionally, I am the accountant for our ministry. I know that sounds boring, but it is essential to the efficiency and integrity of the ministry. I am blessed that God has given me the opportunity to be involved in His work. He truly is an awesome God.

 

April 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

April 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

Closing thoughts from Erin Stevens…

I told you that reaching people and shining the light of Christ is at the center of everything she does. You never know what corner of the world you were meant to reach. Wherever God has called you, I urge you to live the life He gave you as vivaciously and passionately as Danielle Allen endeavors to live hers. May we be challenged to answer the call. “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

 

And that’s my take on it.

Until next month, Scoops fans.

Connect with Erin on Twitter at @photosforkeeps and on Instagram at @photos_for_keeps.

By Erin Stevens. First published in April 2018 by SGNScoops Magazine. Erin Stevens is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.

Read the June 2018 SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE

Download The PDF Version Of SGNScoops June 2018 Magazine HERE

Listen To The Best In Todays Gospel Music Online HERE


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Rob Patz: You can’t get there from here

Written by Staff on June 17, 2018 – 8:48 am -

2018 June SGNScoops Publisher’s Point by Rob Patz

Rob Patz: You can’t get there from here

2018 June SGNScoops Publisher’s Point by Rob Patz

In the world we live in, everyone has GPS on their phone, so you can always find your way. However, I’m sure you also have heard the statement… “you can’t get there from here.”


I think I have probably heard that statement 100 times as I’ve traveled over the years and been blessed with the opportunity to work in Christian ministry. There are many times I’ve stopped at a gas station or store and asked how do I get to such and such town, and on many occasions I’ve heard that phrase.

I heard it recently and it made me start to think about our lives and how we live. How many of us have heard that we can’t get to where we need to go from where we are. How many of us in our life have allowed the roadblocks – whether real or imagined – to block our path? How many times have you said in your own head, “I can’t get there from here?”

Rob Patz

Rob Patz

As I look at my life, and as I come up to a significant birthday in a few months, if you would’ve asked me years ago if this is where I would be at this point in my life, I would’ve definitely said no. I’m one of those people that plans. I have ideas and goals, I make lists every day and I get excited about checking off things from my list when I’ve been able to accomplish things. This was not really where I planned to be.

 

That being said, we can create a plan but that isn’t always what God wants for us. God has a plan for you and for me and sometimes his plan is much different than what we think. I know, for me personally, that I have wondered how I would get to where I truly believe God wants me, from where I am at the moment. If we lean on our own understanding, we think we are never going to be able to accomplish the things that we believe God has for us to do.

Don’t misunderstand, I marvel at where God has taken me so far. He’s allowed me the opportunity to do the things that I have desired, and I am humbled by those things he has allowed me to do. However, being a person of lists and goals, I have not always done everything personally and in business that I wanted to do. In fact, there are times where I have missed the mark completely.

Recently, I was in the St. Louis airport and in my head I was thinking of all the things that I needed to accomplish. Some of those things seemed impossible at the time. There were things in my near future that I felt I couldn’t handle on my own.

 

June 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

June 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

Then I remembered the song, “God will make a way, when there seems to be no way…He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me…He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side. With love and strength for each new day, He will make a way…” (God Will Make A Way lyrics by Don Moen © Capitol Christian Music Group)

 

In the moment of an almost meltdown, I began to sing that song quietly to myself in the airport. I found comfort in the words of the song and I realized again that even when our natural man says you can’t get there from here, God says, “I will clear a way for you.”


I don’t know where you are today, I don’t know what things have not been fulfilled in your life, I don’t know what goals you haven’t seen come to fruition. But let me tell you that no matter where you are, God can make a way to where you need to be. So don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t get there from here.


Hey, I would love to see you in Vernon, Alabama, in September for an awesome weekend of gospel music. Vernon is an event I look forward to every year and I can’t wait for this year. Please make plans to join me and many great artists in Vernon, Alabama, September 7-8, at the Vernon City Auditorium.


Until next month, this is the Publisher’s Point for June 2018.

By Rob Patz

Read the June 2018 SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook HERE

Download The PDF Version Of SGNScoops June 2018 Magazine HERE

Listen To The Best In Todays Gospel Music Online HERE

 

 

 


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Larnelle Harris: The notes that shaped his life

Written by Staff on June 12, 2018 – 8:11 am -

Larnelle Harris

Larnelle Harris

Larnelle Harris has a different perspective now than he once did.

“As I’ve gotten older … I saw a picture in a magazine,” Harris shares. “It was a picture of a turtle on a fence post. When I first saw it, I didn’t think much about it. Then, I started to think about the people in Danville, Ky., and how they’ve spoke things into my life. Then, when I saw it again, I started thinking about it. The turtle doesn’t get on the fence post on his own. I started thinking about the people over the years and those who are still speaking, people who spoke a dream into my heart as a little kid. I didn’t see it as a kid. As I got older, I began to see that.”

 

Now, Harris is speaking … well, he’s letting his words do the talking anyway.

 

He released his first book on Feb. 6, “Shaped Notes: How Ordinary People with Extraordinary Gifts Influenced My Life and Career.” He wrote the book along with Christine Schaub.

 

“People who are close to me, who should be in the book, have talked about that for years,” Harris says of writing a book. “What am I going to tell them? ‘My name is Larnelle Harris. I grew up in Danville, Kent. My parents’ names were’ … there’s nothing to see here.

 

“I was at the Governor’s Mansion (in Frankfort, Kent.). I had been given an award. One of the ladies from Danville said, ‘Whatcha got coming up?’ I said, ‘I’m thinking about writing a book.’

 

Larnelle HarrisShe said, ‘You haven’t lived long enough to write a book.’ I said, ‘I know, but I want to take this opportunity to just say thank you to them, to those people who have spoke into my life.’”

One of those individuals who spoke into his life came along early on.

“Mrs. Georgia Donehy … Mrs. Georgie played the piano and organ for the church choir,” Harris explains. “She taught piano lessons to every kid in town, whether they wanted them or not. I didn’t want them at first.

“She found out there was a little hidden boy soprano in here, and she started taking me around different places to sing. I did a concert in our church when I was nine years old, and she played the piano. She didn’t want anything. Then, she passed on, and somebody else came along. It’s a wonderful exercise for everybody. We’ve all had those people.”

Larnelle summarizes the purpose of the book in two words.

Larnelle Harris“There are two little words we don’t use enough,” Harris points out. “It seems like as we go up in generation, we use it less and less. Thank you … that’s what it’s about.

“Mrs. Georgie used to get on my last nerve. She said to my mom one time, ‘you should not let Larnelle play any sports out in the dust, because the dust will hurt his voice.’ But, now, I hope that every town, city, parish has a Mrs. Georgie in it.”

Harris attempts to honor Mrs. Georgie during his concerts.

“I do a package of songs in concert to Mrs. Georgie,” Harris notes. “I wanted to do some songs that I did in that first concert with Mrs. Georgie in the First Baptist Church in Danville, Ky.

“This book is very little about Larnelle, but it is about the process of God putting people in your life, to take you to the next plateau. It’s about those people who guide you who don’t want a thing. Mrs. Georgie had no idea what the future would be for me.”

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Pastor Stephen Widener responds to Selena Day’s Open Letter about Musicians in Church

Written by Staff on June 1, 2018 – 10:07 am -

Selena Day

Selena Day

Several weeks ago, author Selena Day, a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine and wife of Chuck Day, Christian Country vocalist, wrote an open letter to pastors regarding outside Gospel artists being invited to sing at churches. To read it in its entirety, click here. Selena gives pastors valid reasons for inviting musicians to their services, including drawing new people into that assembly.

Pastor Stephen Widener, from Lenoir, North Carolina, who also writes for SGNScoops and SGMRadio in the column “Pastor’s Ponderings,” responded to Selena Day’s open letter. He writes,

The open letter that was in Scoops had me thinking because I have been on almost all ends of that situation.

As you know that as a singer/musician (with the Gospel group Faithful,) I don’t charge churches to sing and most of them give us a love offering. Now if we do travel more than, say, two hours, we may ask for enough to take care of expenses but that’s it.

As a minister of a small country church, I have been asked to bring artists in and I am glad to do this, but my dad (senior pastor) has final say about who comes because they are an extension of the ministry we (the church and its leaders) have. Plus, I have had a lot of groups ask how many people might attend their concert. I may say I don’t know because there are less than 300 people who live in that part of the world!  Yes, this has happened on more than one occasion.

Pastor Stephen Widener responds to Selena Day's Open Letter about Musicians in Church

Stephen Widener

Then there are people like Mylon Hayes, who don’t have a problem coming to where I am for a love offering and I love people like him. I have packed places out when that happens.

But then there is also the concert promotion side, of which I am also familiar, because of my work with Tony Greene for years. Last year, I was working on bringing the Talleys to a local church. This country church is losing members left and right, due to age and other issues. So, to try to bring people in, they asked me to speak to the Talleys, a group who would certainly fill the church. I spoke with them and Harper Agency (talent representative) to bring them in, but when the current leaders talked to them, they only promised the group a very low love offering. Now, I knew the Talleys would have gotten a much larger offering easy with a full house of 500 people. I even went to Lauren and had her waive the fee for the gas expense for the bus, but the promise of the low amount, which was insufficient for the Talleys to make the trip, ended the whole thing. I was saddened because they don’t even get 50 people on a regular Sunday night. The concert would have brought new people in, had the leaders been more farsighted.

I have been praying for an opportunity to have a summer sing here so we can bring other groups in, as Tony Greene did for years in Boone.

So I feel for her and know what she is experiencing.

God bless,

Stephen Widener

For more by Stephen Widener, click HERE.

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A Gospel Music Love Affair with Paul Belcher by Charlie Griffin

Written by Staff on May 31, 2018 – 10:21 am -

Gospel Music promotion is a love affair for Paul Belcher

Gospel Music promotion is a love affair for Paul Belcher

In the early 1980s, I was working with the Singing Americans. As Ed Hill and I were working to fill some dates, Paul Belcher called the office to say he had heard good things and wanted to book the group.

“Whiter Than Snow” had just hit the top five on the music charts, and people were talking. As Paul and I talked, one date led to another. And as the story goes, the rest is history. That day a long-term friendship began with Paul Belcher Promotions.

Promoting gospel music comes easily to a man who has had a 45-year love affair with gospel music.

“Mom and Dad use to book artists in churches in Michigan,” Belcher said. “I went to an all-night singing in Detroit (with the) Blackwoods, Statesmen, Thrasher Brothers, and Speer Family in one package. I was hooked. I thought I would like to try this. I could not have done this without my mom. I wasn’t old enough to sign contracts.

“I started promoting gospel music in 1973. My first concert was in Detroit with the Hopper Brothers and Connie. I was 17 when I booked them the first time. This year makes our 45th year of promoting Southern gospel music concerts in a ticketed format.”

Paul Belcher and Connie Hopper. Detroit MI. 1975

Paul Belcher and Connie Hopper. Detroit MI. 1975

Belcher has been influenced by some of gospel music’s most noted icons.

“I go back a long way,” Belcher said. “When you have dealings with J.D. Sumner, James Blackwood, Hovie Lister, Brock Speer, Martin Cook, Howard and Vestal Goodman, Les Beasley, Wendy Bagwell, and Roy Carter … there’s history right there.”

Some of gospel music’s best men mentored and coached Belcher in concert promotions.

“Martin Cook of the Inspirations gave me sound advice about promoting the right artist and was always suggesting ideas,” Belcher said. “Claude Hopper (was) very business minded, always a friend, but never shy about giving me pointers. Promoter W.B. Nowlin from Fort Worth, Texas, I bought a half interest from him in the Battle of Songs in the 80s. He taught me about packaging the right artists together, who to use, and who to stay away from.”

Over the years, the art of promoting concerts has truly changed.

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