Southern Gospel Weekend

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Rob Patz: Because He Lives

Written by Staff on January 25, 2020 – 5:42 am -

Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland. Road to Creekside

Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland.

2020 January SGNScoops Publishers Point By Rob Patz

Welcome to the January Publisher’s Point. Can you believe it’s 2020? As I get older, it is amazing to me how time seems to move so much more quickly, and how we need to cherish the moments that we have.

Over this past year, I dealt a lot with mourning, as my family dealt with the sorrow of death. Now, I will tell you that, as a Christian, I have said many times, that even though someone in our life has passed away, we will have the joy of seeing them again. I can also tell you that in the last year, those words seemed to ring hollow inside of me as I missed seeing family members.

Recently, I have found comfort in a song that I’m sure we’ve all sung: “Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow.” If you really think about it, facing tomorrow isn’t always easy, but we know that because Christ died and rose for us – for you and for me – we can face tomorrow no matter what the struggle is.

Maybe you’re struggling with your health, or with finances, or with finding a job; just know that you – like me dealing with mourning – you can face tomorrow because Jesus is going to be there with you. Just think of how amazing God is! He is not only here right now, but he is also already in tomorrow! Nothing catches him by surprise. Nothing will take him off guard. He knows your steps.

Rob Patz celebrates his birthday Sept. 24My dad used to reassure me about how much God loved me as a child, when he would tell me that God knows the number of hairs on your head. He would sit me on his lap and he would tell me that if God cares enough about you to invest the time in counting the number of hairs on your head, then he cares about your daily life, and He cares about your joys and your sorrows.

In 2020, my theme song is going to be “Because He Lives.” Not only that “Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow,” but also, “Because He Lives,” I have the hope that I will see my family and friends again. “Because He Lives,” I know that he will take care of my finances, he will take care of my family, and he will take care of my job. “Because He Lives,” I do have hope for tomorrow.

I know that in most years past, I have spent the first Publisher’s Point talking about getting ready for the new year. But this year, it just feels different. This year, it feels like we need to talk about life, about what this year is going to hold for all of us. I know one thing: that “Because He Lives,” I can face tomorrow with joy, hope, and strength; that everything is going to be awesome.

Hey, I’d love to see you in Oxford, Alabama, March 19 – 21, 2020, for Southern Gospel Weekend. If you can’t make that, I would love to see you in Tupelo, Mississippi, April 23 – 25, 2020, for Gospel Music Expo.

SGNScoops Cover January 2020Also, watch the website for the opening of the Diamond Awards 2020. And let this be your special invitation to join us for Creekside 2020, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, October 25 – 29, 2020. For more information on any Coastal Events, email events@sgnscoops.com.

Read the latest Gospel Music News in SGNScoops Magazine online HERE

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SGNScoops DJ Spotlight on Sylvia Green of WVOB

Written by Staff on January 20, 2020 – 5:32 pm -

DJ Spotlight on Sylvia GreenDJ Spotlight on Sylvia Green

By Vonda Easley

WVOB 91.3 FM went on the air in December of 1988 with 2,500 watts of power. The studio is situated in the main Administration Building of Bethany Divinity College and Seminary.

 

WVOB offers Great Christian Programming, including the best and latest in today’s Southern gospel music, 24 hours a day. WVOB 91.3 FM is a listener-supported radio station and is the home of this month’s DJ Spotlight, the amazingly talented Sylvia Green. I quizzed Sylvia with five unique questions. Check out her answers and get to know her. You will be glad you did!

 

Vonda Armstrong: Sylvia, tell us about your current radio position. station, location, job, years on the job, and how you got started? 

Sylvia Green: Our station is Gospel 91-WVOB Dothan/Webb, Ala. We’re a 24 hour, seven days a week Southern gospel music station that covers parts of the tri-states area of Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Currently holding the position of Assistant Program Director, I’m proud to say I’ve been associated with this station since the first few months of 1992.

Keith Brady, from the group I sang with at the time (the Bradys) was working at WVOB part time when not on the road. When a sister station was opened in nearby Bonifay, Fla., due to my knowledge of gospel music, the management asked me to help spearhead the opening of WJED.  I had no prior on-air experience, but with great on-the-job training and help from up above, WJED became a vital station in that area for many years. When management decided to sell it a few years ago, they transferred me to Dothan’s WVOB where we soon started the “Coffee-Break with Keith and Sylvia,” which has become dear to my heart. We love sharing behind the scenes news in gospel music, jokes, trivia, and a whole list of other things, plus we have the “Word Game” each segment where listeners can win gift items.

 

VA: You are not only a DJ, but a singer, songwriter and an inspiration to many. Do you have a favorite song that you have written? Tell us about that song of one that is special to you and why?

SG: “Here I Am” which was recorded by the Hoppers would have to be my first choice. I was so honored that it became Song of the Year in 1990 and was Song of the Decade for the 90’s. But what means the most to me are the thousands of testimonies connected with this song that I’ve heard through the years. Each time I stop to think about the far reaching effects for the cause of Christ this song has had, I’m blown away yet again by the fact that God allowed this simple girl from lower Alabama to write it. Next year marks the 30th anniversary of “Here I Am” winning Song of the Year. I’m still getting testimonies of how it changes lives. To God be the glory, he far exceeded my goals and I’ll always be humbled by it.

 

DJ Spotlight on Sylvia GreenVA: Please share your testimony. 

SG: I became a Christian at the young age of six years old during a revival at the church my dad and mom pastored in Troy, Alabama. I guess some think that is too young, but I knew exactly what I was doing. My heart was touched, the tears flowed, and I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life. I’ve rededicated my life to him many times since then because none of us are perfect.  We all fail, we all mess up, we all stray a little from where we know we need to be in our walk with him. We break his heart, but his mercy and grace woos us back to him and I’m so thankful for that. Too many feel that because they’ve made a mistake, that God hates them. But nothing could be further from the truth, that’s what the cross was for. I’ve spent a lifetime in gospel music, whether through singing, songwriting, or on radio, sharing the good news of his love and forgiveness; I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 

 

VA: What is something you  look for from artists who send music to Gospel 91-WVOB? 

SG:  Our station has certain guidelines set up by management, that we as employees must adhere to when it comes to what is allowed to be played. One in particular is that it must be recognizable as a gospel song in lyric content. We are reminded that there are many good, positive songs, that may not necessarily fall under our guidelines. In the position I hold of being the person who approves or disapproves what gets to be added into rotation, this can sometimes be a hard task. Because I applaud great, positive lyric content, and because we always want to be relevant as music progresses in ways we can, as we maintain our original goal, I do my very best to make the distinctions needed so that management is pleased, God is glorified, and artists continue to send us great music! Having said that, listeners are facing some tough times, they struggle with things they never thought they’d have to face, so I love getting songs that point us to the source of our joy, our strength in times of trouble, and remind us that although what we are facing right now seems to have no answer, we have hope in a heavenly father who can bring miracles to pass!

 

VA: Do you have a bucket list? We’d love to hear about things you’ve checked off and what’s still there? 

SG: When I was young, the first time I saw Vestal Goodman sing, I wanted to sing. When she became “Queen of Gospel Music,” I immediately wanted (to be) that one day. That of course wasn’t meant to be. When I started writing, I dreamed one day of winning the “Song of the Year Award.” And, for some reason God saw fit for that little 14-year-old girl’s dream to come true.  Veering away from music a bit, I marked several things off my list, like, owning my own golf clubs and learning how to play, learning to shoot a target with a gun, learning to make old fashioned cat-head homemade biscuits, and learning to decorate cakes with roses. But there are some things on my bucket list I have not done. These include, going to Australia and Hawaii for vacation, and becoming a pilot. (Sylvia laughs.) How many would like to fly on a plane I was piloting?

 

Vonda Armstrong

Vonda Armstrong

Thank you Sylvia for sharing with us. I’d fly with you anywhere! Let’s go.

By Vonda Armstrong

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in June 2019

 

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SGNScoops shines DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER 

Written by Staff on January 20, 2020 – 2:50 pm -

DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER 

DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER

By Vonda Armstrong

WMER AM 1390 and FM 91.3 is a radio station broadcasting from Meridian, Mississippi. The station airs gospel music, weather, news and community programs. In Meridian, you will love the sights and sounds of the city from the country music history and railroad heritage, to musical performances and outdoor activities. But, in the afternoon from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., the town of Meridian is tuned in to Jason Dyess and his gospel program. This month we are shining the DJ Spotlight on Jason. Join me as we get to know Jason and his ministry better. 

 

Vonda Armstrong: At what age did you know that you would like to work in radio? Please give us your current radio position and station information. 

Jason Dyess: That’s tough to nail an exact age. I’ve always loved music of all types. I can remember making mix tapes from old cassettes and radio. I’ve always dreamed of doing talk radio from current events to sports talk radio. It took me losing my job last year to finally get my chance with a Southern gospel radio station with music I was raised on. I now manage WMER 93.1FM/1390AM which is a Southern gospel music radio station in Meridian, Miss. I also have a talk show once a week entitled “Good News Meridian,” where I bring in government leaders, civic leaders, pastors and other guests, so we can spotlight positive things going on in the city and area we cover. It seems people are tired of hearing negative news, and this is an opportunity for listeners to hear some positive news to go along with our good news gospel music. 

 

DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER Vonda: If you could interview any person alive, who would that be and why? 

Jason: When I first read this question, three people came to mind. Pastor Jentezen Franklin, John Maxwell and President George W. Bush, because they all have so much information that I love learning from. I love to listen to Pastor Franklin; he’s an awesome pastor and I admire him. Being an ordained minister myself, I have so many questions. 

Then there’s John Maxwell, with all of his leadership and management advice he gives. I learn so much from him and I think it’s because of his past pastoral background. Thirdly, President George W. Bush because of the way he led this nation while still being a family man. I even gained more respect watching the way he led his family in grieving with the passing of his father in the public eye last year. I really cannot narrow this down to one. 

 

DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER Vonda: Please share your testimony. 

Jason: At a young age, my mawmaw Jet and my parents always said I was going to be a preacher or politician. For a while as an adult, I ran from God’s calling on my life. In July 2002, the Lord really grabbed a hold of my life. In April 2006, I finally surrounded to the Lord’s calling in my life, and began the process of ministry schooling, becoming an ordained Assemblies of God minister in May 2017. I’ve been hoping to pastor a church. I have been bi-vocational by serving on ministry staff and a regular job in the past. The company I had worked at for 18 years left Meridian last year. We had opportunities to leave this area, but I felt the Lord was not done with me in my hometown. As a family, we felt this was the time to pastor a church. Although those doors didn’t open, the radio station did and now gives me a bigger platform to share God’s word. My heart is to still serve and help people to get to know God on a more personal way. So my prayer now is that the Lord will use and guide me with the plan he has for me, and not what I feel is my own plan. 

 

DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER Vonda: Please tell us about your family. 

Jason: My wife, Dawn and I began dating in January of our sophomore year of high school. Everyone in high school said that we were going to get married, and I proudly say I married my high school sweetheart. We’ve been married for almost 22 years. I almost lost my wife and daughter Katelyn during Katelyn’s birth. Now, 16 years later, both Dawn and Katelyn are healthy. Dawn works for Mississippi State – Meridian campus, and Katelyn is 16 years old and is a junior in high school. 

 

DJ Spotlight on Jason Dyess of WMER Vonda: When you are not behind a mic, what do you enjoy doing ? 

Jason: When not behind the mic, I enjoy doing photography. I do freelance sports photography for newspapers, colleges and other media outlets. I also love opportunities to preach and visit other communities when being able to share God’s Word. I also love deer hunting when the season is open. We are all big Mississippi State fans and we have season tickets to football and women’s basketball. When not traveling to Bulldog events, we love traveling to NASCAR races, the Smoky Mountains and Gulf Shores, Alabama. Family is important to me, so any time all of our family can come together is important to me. 

 

Vonda Armstrong

Thank you Jason Dyess for giving us a glimpse into your life of radio and ministry. When you are  in Meridian, tune into WMER AM 1390 and FM 91.3 between 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., to catch Jason playing great Southern gospel music.

By Vonda Armstrong

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in August 2019

Read the latest Gospel Music News in SGNScoops Magazine online HERE

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SGNScoops shines DJ Spotlight on Darrell Gibbs

Written by Staff on January 20, 2020 – 12:18 pm -

Darrell Gibbs DJ Spotlight

Darrell Gibbs under DJ Spotlight

SGNScoops DJ Spotlight: Darrell Gibbs

By Vonda Armstrong

Recently, we shone the DJ Spotlight on Darrell Gibbs from WUAT AM in Pikeville, Tennessee. Darrell spent the week with us at the 2019 Creekside Gospel Music Convention, and it was a joy to get to know him better. Check out our conversation below. 

Vonda: Tell us about the station, where it’s located and how we can listen.

Darrell: The radio station is WUAT AM 1110. It is an “old-time” radio station, and has been around since 1960. We are considered the giant of the valley, and have an antenna on the top of the mountain that reaches way out there. 

The station is located on the corner of Main Street and Cumberland Avenue in Pikeville. We have around 3700 listeners. Many businesses in Pikeville and the surrounding area tune into our station in their stores, doctors’ offices, and even at the courthouse. The radio station “blasts through the streets” and side streets on speaker in town. It is  really old school and really cool.

Billy Bridges is our station manager, and is a great guy. We have several TV shows filmed at the station every week. The very popular “Albert and Billy Show” is filmed here, along with my program as the only Facebook Live. We hope to become an FM station in the future, and to purchase additional equipment as well. It takes time and money though. 

 

Vonda: How did you get your start in radio?

Darrell: The very first time I ever played gospel music as a DJ was in the 80s.  I was working on Christian Night at a skating rink in west Nashville. I was the only one that knew anything about gospel music, because of my dad’s love for it. The area I grew up in used to be called “the Star Route” in Nashville. I knew a lot of those people from school or at least their kids and grandkids.

 

Darrell Gibbs under DJ SpotlightVonda: Can you tell our readers your testimony?

Darrell: I was raised in the Methodist church. Once, I was able to take a ride to the Carolinas with Harold Lane. Some of your readers may remember him with the Speer Family. He told me about a simple gospel that started my way to salvation. I was working on pools in the summer, and in the winter I would do anything I could do to make money. I was driving my own car to school in the 9th grade. I worked hard, sometimes two or three jobs, as a teenager because I wanted to, not because I had to. I was making my own money and doing my own thing. 

Soon, I found myself doing things I shouldn’t. I was about to get into some trouble and I decided to leave and move to Chattanooga with my parents. Right away I went to the skating rink and got a job. They had a “Christian Night” and I was the only one that knew about Christian music. Fast forward to three years ago, I went into a radio station in Pikeville, wanting to DJ a show for Facebook and for the local radio station. 

I was called to preach many years ago. I told God he had the wrong guy. I told him that I don’t look right, I don’t talk right, and I can’t stand up straight.  But opportunities kept opening for me to speak on the road in churches and even colleges. God has given me my heart’s desire. A beautiful wife, a beautiful place to live on the Cumberland plateau, and a voice on the radio station. That’s what brought to where I am today and God is still working in my life today.

 

Vonda: If you had to play one group all day long, who would it be and why?

Darrell: This one is easy. I would play the Primitive Quartet. I had the opportunity to interview them once.They are amazing and so friendly.

 

Vonda: If you could interview anyone, who would it be and why?

Darrell: Well I would love to interview Johnny Cash. I would also like to interview Harold Lane and let him see what God has done in my life since the last time we saw each other. And besides them, I would also love to interview the McKameys, Guy Penrod, Gold City, and Squire Parsons.

 

Vonda: If someone is interested in working as a DJ, what advice would you give them?

Darrell:  My advice to them would be don’t give up trust in Jesus in all you do.

 

Vonda Armstrong

Thank You Darrell! Keep spinning those songs and thank you for sharing with us….

Vonda Armstrong

First published in SGNScoops Magazine in December 2019

Read the latest Gospel Music News in SGNScoops Magazine online HERE

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National Disc Jockey Day

Written by Staff on January 20, 2020 – 10:40 am -

National disc jockey dayHappy National Disc Jockey Day from SGNScoops Magazine! We want each of you who play good Christian music to know that we appreciate you and the time you spend to share our music and our message with our world.

We would especially like to thank each of the disc jockeys from radio stations that chart for SGNScoops Magazine. Thank you for your time and expertise. We know you love the music as much as we do.

National disc jockey dayThank you as well to the new stations who have signed up with us over the past couple of months. Thank you that you believe in us and recognize our place in this industry.

Over the next few hours, we will be posting some of the DJ Spotlight articles that have been in our magazine, written by Vonda Armstrong. We hope you enjoy them!

Thank you DJs!!

SGNScoops Team

Read the latest Gospel Music News in SGNScoops Magazine online HERE

You Can Download SGNScoops Magazine Here
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Listen To Todays Gospel Music Here

 

 

 


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Hug a Disc Jockey Day: Brandon Bearden of SOGR

Written by Staff on January 20, 2020 – 10:18 am -

Brandon Bearden of SOGR

SGNScoops DJ Spotlight on Brandon Bearden of SOGR Radio

By Vonda Armstrong

SOGR Radio is dedicated to bringing the best gospel music in Powell, Tennessee. It was established in 2012 by Brandon Bearden, and since then has grown to become a favorite station with gospel music lovers everywhere. Recently, we spoke with Brandon and here is what he had to say.

 

Vonda Armstrong: Brandon, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Can you give us the history of SOGR?

Brandon Bearden: Thanks Vonda for the opportunity to do this. SOGR Radio is an internet radio station. I launched it in 2012, when I saw that there were not that many gospel stations for people to listen to. I live out in the country in an area without much signal for an FM Station. I thought an online station would give other people like me a chance to listen to the Word of God and some great gospel music. You can listen to SOGR Radio either online via our website which is www.sogrradio.com, or you can listen on Tune-In, Roku, or our free mobile app. SOGR Radio is located in Powell, Tenn., as part of Kenny Interactive Media, a media company owned by Jay Stuard III and myself. We offer services such as website design, creating apps, and streaming services to name a few. 

 

Armstrong:  Can you please share your testimony with our readers?

Bearden: Many people don’t know this but I grew up in a gospel music ministry. At three months old, I had been traveling on a bus with my mom and the group she sang with out of Maryville, Tennessee. My grandfather was a preacher. I loved watching him preach, especially when the spirit fell. When I was eight years old, we were having a singing one Sunday morning and the spirit was moving. I could feel the Lord tugging at my heart. I went to the altar and got down on my knees, and my grandfather led me to the Lord. And I have served the Lord since that day.

 

Armstrong: At what age did you know you wanted to be a DJ? What happened that caused you to know that?

Bearden: I was 19 years old when I knew I wanted to be a radio DJ. I started the station because I saw the need for it. Since becoming a DJ, I have seen God work in so many ways in my life. 

 

Brandon Bearden of SOGR radio DJ spotlightArmstrong: If you could interview anyone, who would it be? Why would you choose this person?

Bearden: Wow, that is a hard one. I would have loved to have interviewed Howard and Vestal Goodman. I have heard other people that knew them talk about how you could feel God’s presence when talking with Vestal. I sure would have loved that interview!  That would have to be number one on my list.

 

Armstrong: Other than being a DJ, what are some other things you enjoy doing?

Bearden: I love spending time hanging out with my family. We love to sit out by the pool on a hot summer day. Another thing we love to do is visit the mountains in the fall and enjoy the beautiful foliage, God’s beautiful handiwork. But I would have to say that the thing I enjoy most is sitting behind the microphone in the studio and spinning this great music and telling folks folks about what the Lord has done for me.

 

Armstrong: What is your favorite gospel music event that you attend?  Tell us what you do there.

Bearden: My favorite event is the National Quartet Convention (NQC). I love seeing all the people that come from all over the world to hear Southern gospel music. My typical day at NQC is loading in equipment, setting up my booth, and doing live remotes and interviews. I try and keep the folks updated on what’s happening at NQC, but my favorite thing to do is catching up with the artists and finding out what’s going on in their ministry.

 

Vonda Armstrong

Thank you Brandon for sharing with us about SOGR Radio. God bless you.

By Vonda Armstrong

First published by  SGNScoops Magazine in September 2019

Read the latest Gospel Music News in SGNScoops Magazine online HERE

You Can Download SGNScoops Magazine Here
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Listen To Todays Gospel Music Here

 

 

 


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Master’s Trio emphasizes ministry above all else

Written by Staff on December 3, 2019 – 8:28 am -

Master’s Trio emphasizes ministry above all else

The Master’s Trio, from left, Kevin Willis, Steve Black and Mike Chatterton, formed in 2017 with the current alignment coming together last year. The group was named Best in Show at the Kentucky State Fair last summer. (Photo furnished)

The Master’s Trio really didn’t know what they were getting into when the Southern gospel group agreed to perform in the Gospel Music Showcase at the Kentucky State Fair (this past summer).

“There was a gentleman at a church in Bath County, which is near here,” remembers Trio tenor Kevin Willis, a resident of Mt. Sterling. “He was really pushing for us to be a part of that. He had been talking with the guys at (Bath County) Farm Bureau and was actively involved in it.”

So, the Master’s Trio, a group that has only been around since 2017 but is comprised of gospel veterans, agreed for a chance to sing and share the ministry on a larger stage.

 Master’s Trio

The Master’s Trio performs “Every Word” at the Kentucky State Fair. (Photo by John Herndon)

“When the fellow told me about it, he didn’t mention anything about it being a competition, so to speak,” smiles Steve Black, a South Point, Ohio, resident who says he can see Ashland, Ky., from his back door. “We didn’t realize (the showcase would be a competition) until we were filling out the paperwork.”

As it turned out, the Master’s Trio was named Best Variety Group along with Best of Show at the annual event, held Aug. 22, 2019, at the fair. The event is put on by the Kentucky Farm Bureau with local Farm Bureau organizations sponsoring the entries for the show. Hundreds of gospel music fans packed into a second-floor conference room for an afternoon of soloists, trios and traditional quartets.

The Master’s Trio received a monetary prize along with two large ribbons and trophies commemorating being judged best in the division and Best of Show.

“We went down there and it was a blessing that came our way,” says Black, the group’s lead singer. “We appreciate that.”

Master’s Trio

The Master’s Trio at the Kentucky State Fair. (Photo by John Herndon)

Black’s cousin, Mike Chatterton, a retired law enforcement officer from Poca, W. Va., sings baritone and rounds out the group.

Taking the stage last, out of 12 entries, the Master’s Trio turned heads with rousing covers of the Down East Boys’ “Every Word” and Greater Vision’s “Rolled Back Stone.” While the Trio was honored and humbled to receive the accolades, it was really another opportunity to share the word and encourage those in attendance.

It’s the philosophy of a Trio that tries to live as its name suggests. “We don’t want to just be known as three guys up there singing,” Chatterton says. “We want to use this as a ministry.”

As we gathered around a table at Willis’ home, ministry was evident. The group had just earned one of the highest statewide honors, but the members talked much more about how God had blessed the undertaking, which began on April 8, 2017, at the very same table.

Willis, who began singing with his parents as a sixth-grader in Dixon, Ill., had been a part of several groups before locating in Mt. Sterling, where he at one time served as the worship pastor of First Church of God. His Southern gospel roots had taken him to several groups in Indiana and Illinois, most recently with Common Bond, a well-known regional group based in Mt. Sterling at the time. Willis joined with Black, who had retired from the construction business, and Bryan Hatton to form the Master’s Trio.

From left, Kevin Willis, Mike Chatterton, and Steve Black make up The Master’s Trio. (Photo by John Herndon)

Hatton soon left the group, but Black says that was an opportunity for God to provide. “We prayed the Lord would lead someone our way,” he says. “It’s kind of ironic, but this is how the Lord works. Our baritone (Chatterton) is my cousin, so I have known him all my life, basically. He had called me before and asked if I knew a group that needed a singer, but at the time we didn’t need anybody.

“I thought I would call back. Mike had been in a revival service and the preacher said, ‘What can you do for the Lord? What can you do in his service?’”

Chatterton had been singing some solos in his church but when Black called a few days later, he jumped at the chance to join the Master’s Trio.

Black continues, “So we got together and God has blessed this thing more than we ever thought he would. The biggest blessing is to be able to share the message of the gospel.”

Black and Chatterton have been singing gospel music for more than 40 years.

The style is decidedly Southern gospel and the Master’s Trio delivers a message of Christ wherever they can. The group is based in Mt. Sterling, but simply lists its hometown as “Central Kentucky” on its Facebook page, and while Black and Chatterton reside in the Kentucky-Ohio-West Virginia Tri-State area, the bulk of the group’s appearances have been in central and east-central Kentucky.

Willis, who works as a truck driver, says the group has been as far south as Tennessee and will be making its third trip to Kewanee, Ill., about an hour southeast of Davenport, Ia., this fall.

The music is outstanding and the singers are all talented, but sitting down with the group after their regular rehearsal session revealed the intangible that sets the Master’s Trio apart. At times, these grandfathers cut up with each other like little boys. “Honestly, this is more like a brotherhood, if that makes sense,” Black says. “If you can’t get along with the person you are singing with, it’s going to reflect to the people listening.”

Since the fair, the Master’s Trio has received many congratulatory messages and they’ve struck up a friendship with The Noblemen, the popular Shelby County quartet that won that division at the fair. By chance, the groups were seated next to each other throughout the Gospel Music Showcase and Black says they will put on a joint concert at Camargo (Ky.) Church of God.

Master’s Trio

The Master’s Trio at the Kentucky State Fair. (Photo by John Herndon)

The group is also looking forward to releasing their first CD. The project was recently recorded and includes a song Willis wrote with his college buddy, George Mick, entitled, “A Blessing’s on the Way.”

Right now, the Master’s Trio is blessed by simply sharing the gospel in song. It’s a passion and a life.

Says Willis, “The story is told that when I was one week old, I was pushed under the front pew at a singing because my mom and dad had a quartet singing somewhere.” He laughs. It’s because the story underscores that singing about Jesus is simply in the Master’s Trio’s blood. And it’s there to stay.

Master’s Trio has well-known connections

Kevin Willis remembers those days when he was a student at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois and singing with a gospel group.“We used to do a lot of stuff hanging out with the Cathedrals,” he says. “Particularly, the piano player at the time, Roger Bennett, kind of hung out with us.” Bennett, a member of the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame, would stay with the Cathedrals until the group retired. He then helped form Legacy Five but passed away in 2007 at age 48.

For Steve Black and Mike Chatterton, the connections are much closer. First, they are both related to country and bluegrass music Hall of Fame member Ricky Skaggs and commend his deep faith. “He’s got the goods,” Black smiles.

And Black and Chatterton became close to one of gospel music’s all-time greats, Squire Parsons. “Mike and I sang many church homecomings with the group Squire used to sing with the Cavalrymen, before joining the Kingsmen,” Black says. “In that group was Conrad Cook, another great songwriter, as well as Squire’s brother Virgil. A few years later, Mike became a neighbor of Squire’s. I think it’s safe to say that Mike has been in touch with Squire more than I have. As a matter of fact, Mike was asked by Squire to make the first trip with him when he went to join the Kingsmen.”

The Master’s Trio accepts the First Place ribbon at the Kentucky State Fair. From left is Scott Christmas of the Kentucky Farm Bureau, Steve Black, Mike Chatterton, and Kevin Willis. (Photo by John Herndon)

By John Herndon

First published on kentuckysings.com, September 11, 2019 (kentuckysings.com/tag/masters-trio/)

John Herndon is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine

John Herndon is a writer for SGNScoops Magazine and also has a website called KentuckySings. John is a Kentucky native who was raised listening to gospel music. As a child, the Sunday morning routine always included the Gospel Singing Jubilee and his summers were filled with all-day-singings-and-dinner-on-the-ground listening to local groups just about every Sunday. He remembers seeing The Prophets at his county fair when he was seven years old and eventually, he became a huge fan of The Oak Ridge Boys, The Imperials and J.D. Sumner and the Stamps. John spent 20 years in the located ministry and during this time, he began writing local sports for The Anderson News in Lawrenceburg, Ky. For the last 16 years, he has been the full-time sports editor of that paper. John has won over 100 awards from the Kentucky Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and Landmark Community Newspapers. He loves listening to gospel music or playing one of his guitars. John lives in Lawrenceburg with his wife, Stephanie, and a 17-year-old daughter. He has three grown children and four grandchildren.

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Thanksgiving Day 2019: Living a grateful life

Written by Staff on November 28, 2019 – 5:53 pm -

Rob Patz writes his Thanksgiving prayer

Our SGNScoops friends have much to be thankful for this year. From family to friends, work to worship, joys to journeys, these grateful ladies and gentlemen have learned that God’s wonderful gifts fill our lives every day, not just at Thanksgiving. The more we live each day acknowledging that even the air we breathe is a gift from above, the more we loosen our grip on things that don’t really matter.

As we live our lives giving thanks to God, let’s share this thankfulness with those around us. Happy Thanksgiving.

ThanksgivingWe are forever thankful for God’s forgiveness, grace, and salvation. There are not enough words or days to express our thankfulness for these. When asked what we’re most thankful for in the past year, we’d have to say the many opportunities that God has allowed us to share the Gospel message through song to people and in places that we could have only dreamed of. We are also thankful for the many new friends God has placed in our lives this year. — Danny Daniels

Everything.. God is so good !!! — Missy Kinchen

Love- It covers it all. — Sharon Kisor

I am thankful for the precious blood of Jesus. No other blood could save my sin sick soul. I am thankful for friends and family. Thankful to be called by God and trusted by Him to bring the Word of God to a lost and dying world So with all that. I’m just Thankful — Vanessa Milligan

I am thankful for God’s amazing grace.. I thankful that he chose are family to travel together and bring a message that Gods the answer to any situation they may be going through.. I’m thankful for husband, 3 children, 2 daughter in laws and 1 son in law and 5 AMAZING grand children..I am thankful for the promise that one day when God calls me home, that I will enter into my heavenly home to be with the one who gave his life for me… The Gibbs Family is honored and thankful that God chose us to go out into this world and tell others about his amazing grace.. BLESSED! — Vernon and Susan Gibbs

Thankful for living in America and having a Good President who Values Christianity. — Burnett Judith Joyfully

Thankful for all of the artists, writers, creative people and volunteers who make SGNScoops a pleasure to work on and to read. You all are artistic, creative, generous and inspired. I thank my God for you! — Lorraine Walker, SGNScoops Editor

Happy Thanksgiving 2019!

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Rob Patz: Happy Thanksgiving…or is it?

Written by Staff on November 28, 2019 – 9:37 am -

Thanksgiving

Rob Patz talks about Thanksgiving 2019

Publisher’s Point by Rob Patz for November 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

Can you believe that it is already November? This year has gone by so fast, with so many incredible events, so many new friends, and getting a chance to reconnect with old ones at the same time.

When we get to the month of November and Thanksgiving, I always try to take at least a few hours to reflect on how thankful I am for the opportunities that I have received. This year I was in more states and more events talking about the magazine I love and my passion for this music.

Even more than those opportunities, I am thankful for the old friends who continue their friendships, and the new relationships I’ve made.

I often think about the verse, Psalm 107:1 (NIV) “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Happy Thanksgiving from Rob Patz

Rob Patz and Vonda Armstrong at Creekside 2019

During this year I’ve dealt with several hardships, but I’ve always been reminded that we need to give thanks because God’s love endures all the time. Even in the midst of darkness in our life, God is there and his love endures in everything that we go through.

I know there are a lot of you out there who look at the holiday season as a time of sadness. For many of us, this year will bring a change in the norm of how our holiday will unfold. For me, this year will have a large void, as someone who I have celebrated the holidays with my entire life won’t be there. But I take heart and realize that at some point in the future I will be reunited and get to see them again.

Stephanie Kelley and her mom

Stephanie Kelley and her mom, Sharon Kramer

This year at Thanksgiving, it will not be like it has in the past, as Aunt Sharon will not be there to make her gravy. Aunt Sharon embodied a true servants heart to every person she touched. This holiday season for me and my family will be difficult but I realize that she would’ve wanted us to continue to celebrate and continue to serve those around us.

As we move forward into the holiday season, may I encourage you to find joy and to give even when it’s hard, realizing that although some things have changed, God’s love endures forever.

November 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

November 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

Hey, it’s never too early to start planning for 2020. We have multiple events happening next year and we will probably be in a state near you, so check our website for upcoming events at gospelmusicconvention.com

Of course, start making your plans now for Creekside 2020, October 25 – 29, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. If you’d like more information, you can contact me personally at rob@sgnscoops.com or 360-933-0741.

Read more Gospel Music News in the latest SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE.

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Josh and Ashley Franks

Written by Staff on November 15, 2019 – 10:18 am -

Josh and Ashley Franks

Josh and Ashley Franks

There was a young man from Florence, Alabama who met a young lady from Anniston, Alabama in 2006 at the National Quartet Convention. They were both singing in a showcase. Was it love at first site?

 

Ashley Franks says, “Absolutely not!” 

 

Ashley has many childhood memories of making mud pies at her grandmother’s house. She was born in a musical household with her grandparents playing and singing bluegrass music. 

 

Josh and Ashley Franks“My pawpaw loved to pick and grin!” Ashley smiles.

 

Ashley has two brothers, Brad and Michael, and attended Cleburne County High School. Later in life she sang with New Desire from Aragon, Georgia. When she was a junior in high school, she and her mother (Vonda Armstrong) formed Hope’s Journey where she would stay until 2007.

 

There isn’t enough space for Josh Franks, an only child, to tell about his childhood years. He attended Hardin County High School. 

 

Josh and Ashley Franks“Both sides of my family has some musical talent, however none of them ever did it professionally,” says Josh. “I was born into it. So I don’t know a life without music.”

 

God blessed Josh with the ability to play numerous instruments. 

 

“Now I don’t claim to be the best, but I know a few chords and notes on most instruments,” says Josh. “I have so many wonderful people who have been a great influence in my life. I’ve been influenced by every day normal people, then there are church people, and of course many singers and musicians.  Pastors and evangelist have also influenced my life. I am grateful for each person.”

 

Josh proposed to Ashley at Taco Bell with a sauce package that said, “will you marry me?” 

 

Josh and Ashley Franks and familyThey were married on December 8, 2007, at Liberty Hill Congregational Methodist Church, and began singing together as a duet known as Josh and Ashley. 

 

“I got to sing background vocals on Josh’s last solo album,” Ashley says. “He recorded a song I wrote called ‘He Loves Me.’ We also sang on a couple of other songs. We first performed together in Columbia, Tenn. on New Year’s Eve 2007.”  

 

Lauren Talley has been a big musical influence in her life. However, Ashley states that if she could be like anyone, it would be Karen Peck, with Karen’s heart and spirit.

 

A lot of milestones have been reached throughout the Frank’s 12 years of marriage and ministry together. They have had two great children, Priscilla and Eli. 

 

“A couple of years ago, Priscilla loved to watch a show with a character named Michael,” says Ashley. “When she would play with her brother, she would pretend they were the show’s characters and called him Michael. For several months, Eli was totally convinced his name was Michael. We got a good laugh.”

 

Josh and Ashley Franks have had God’s true blessings and God has given them the desires of their heart. They have been privileged to sing on many stages including N.Q.C., Singing in the Sun, Gospel Music Winter Convention, Gatlinburg Gathering and many, many more. Also, Josh has been asked to speak at the Creekside Gospel Music Convention this year. 

 

Ashley FranksIn addition to singing, the couple is involved in several other ministries including pastoring at Peoples Tabernacle Church in Savannah, Tenn., where they are getting ready to start construction of a brand new sanctuary. They also work with gospel music promoter Bill Bailey promoting concerts while doing some promoting on their own. 

 

“Pastor Bill has been a dear friend of our family,” says Josh. “We are so much alike, yet we are 30 years apart in age. It is sometimes scary. We enjoy so many of the same things of life. I count it a high honor to be apart of such a wonderful ministry and share the same vision reaching people for Christ through Southern gospel music.” 

 

The couple now have a regular TV program on WATC-TV that airs on Saturday afternoon, The Josh and Ashley Show.

 

What does the future hold for Josh and Ashley Franks? They don’t travel as much as they did. At one time they were up to 200 dates a year, but with their church and other activities they are only doing around 70 dates a year. This is still a great number for a pastor and his wife with all their church obligations where they try to be at every Sunday and Wednesday. They are thankful that God has given them a chance to do both. 

 

Josh and Ashley Franks“While we have a home base and wonderful church family who supports everything we do, I don’t ever see us off the road completely,” says Josh. “I think there will also be a part of us that travels and ministers to other people outside our home church. Either way, whether we are on the road or on the platform of our church, we are going to sing for Christ and pray that our music and message blesses people.”

 

You can learn more about Josh and Ashley and keep up with them and their TV schedule HERE  

By Robert York

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in August 2019

 

For more information on Creekside click HERE or email rob@sgnscoops.com.

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