Bev McCann

MGM

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Autumn Nelon Clark is a Southern Gospel Sweetheart

Written by Staff on October 18, 2017 – 7:44 am -

Autumn Nelon Clark with the Nelons at the Dove Awards. Photo by Craig Harris

Autumn Nelon Clark with the Nelons at the Dove Awards. Photo by Craig Harris

Most individuals dream of living a life that will make this world a better place. They hope that they can leave a legacy behind that reflects a life of positive influence. This dream is one that Rex Nelon accomplished. It was his vision 30 years ago, which sparked the national ministry of the Nelons. It was also his influence that helped begin the careers of some of Gospel Music’s most beloved artists, such as Karen Peck Gooch and Janet Paschal.  

 

For years, Rex Nelon’s daughter, Kelly, sang alto alongside him. Now, Kelly sings with her two beautiful daughters, Amber and Autumn, and her husband, Jason Clark. It is the legacy of this Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame inductee that is still being lived out through his daughter and granddaughters. I had the privilege of interviewing Autumn Nelon Clark, Kelly’s youngest daughter.  


Born on January 20, 1997, Autumn is now 20 years old. While she has always been behind the scenes of her family’s career, she has recently taken on the role of singer/mandolin player for the group.

 

Autumn Nelon Clark with her family, the Nelons

Autumn Nelon Clark with her family, the Nelons

“For a while it was just the three of them – my mom, dad and sister,” Amber says. “But a few years ago, my dad got sick, and I had to fill in for him. I’ve been up there ever since.”

 

While Autumn has watched her family walk onto stages all of her life, it never made it easier when it was her turn to finally take the stage. The young lady confesses that it was more than a little intimidating for her to sing in front of people for the first time.  

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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

For the latest issue of SGNScoops magazine click here
For more gospel music news click here.
For online gospel music click here.

 

 


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The Akins: Singing To The Heart

Written by Staff on October 11, 2017 – 11:12 am -

The Akins

The Akins

David Akin, a man called of God, is a preacher, musician, singer and father of three boys. His journey started 30 years ago when God called his name while he was leading praise and worship from a piano at his home church, Harp’s Crossing Baptist in Fayetteville, Ga.. For a few years, he worked with preaching evangelists, leading choirs and singing special music. When his boys became three, five and seven, God laid it on his heart to go out on his own and form a family ministry. The Akins immediately started singing, never had any stage fright, and never looked back.

Some years earlier, David had been with a friend who had lost his dad, a well-known evangelist that had traveled worldwide. That night, as he watched the tears run down his friend’s face, he felt compelled to go to his room, where he fell on his knees and asked God not to let him be the one who travels the world and doesn’t get to spend time with his children.

 

“I believed that I could win the whole world to Jesus, but if I didn’t have time for my own, I would have messed up on the most important thing that God put me here to do,” David says. “That night, I know that God heard a brokenhearted dad’s prayer. My boys began to show interest in singing and playing musical instruments and began to flourish at an amazing rate. Only God could have done what was done in our family, and I give Him all the glory.”

 

The AkinsIn 1990, the Akins sang their first song in public. David performed with his sons – Davey, who played bass, Nick and Eli. After 19 years, God called Davey and led him to leave the ministry and go to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

 

“I always want my kids to be exactly where God wants them to be,” David says. “Davey was feeling that God wanted him to work with men hooked on pornography and (warn) young men the dangers of pornography. We don’t feel like we lost a bass player but that we gained another minister going out from our family.”

The AkinsThe Akins’ ministry continues with David, Nick and Eli, singing and playing many instruments, leading revivals and concerts. Eli and his wife write almost all of the original songs that the group records. Their latest recording, “Eyes on the Road,” includes 10 songs written by this talented couple. It is scheduled to be released on Aug. 27 at the Akins Harps Homecoming at Harp’s Crossing Baptist Church in Fayetteville.

 

David confesses that with all of the concerts the group is doing, there is always an embarrassing moment on stage. At one concert, he realized in the middle of their first song that his fly was open. He couldn’t even turn around because the choir was behind backing them up. He finally found the perfect opportunity to accidently-on-purpose drop his mic so that he could quickly close his zipper.

“I don’t think that it was successful, people noticed anyway,” he admits.

If God hadn’t led them into the ministry what would they be doing?

“Who knows … I am a do-it-yourselfer,” David shares. “I love taking on a project, doing research and completing it. I’m sure there would have been plenty of things that I might have tried if God had not chosen me for this.”

Nick would probably record other people in their recording studio. God has really blessed him with an amazing ability to hear things in the mix-downs that no one else can hear. He would continue writing songs also.

The AkinsEli is a jack of all trades. He not only plays almost every instrument that he picks up, but he has built several guitars that he plays on stage and is an amazing photographer. He also would like to have his own restaurant some day as he loves cooking and smoking meat.

David is currently writing a book entitled “You’ve Brought Us This Far.” It is about his life and family and all the miracles that God has performed over the years to bring them to this point. He hopes to finish it someday. Nick records young artists from time to time, and Eli and his wife Whitney shoot photos and videos for realtors in Atlanta to assist with home sales.

Being Bill Gaither fans, they would like to sing on a Gaither video and share a meal with him. Dave said he would want his kids and the world to be able to say that David Akin was the same off stage as he was on stage, like their song, “My Stage Was an Altar.”

The Akins“I recently had the opportunity to share a conference with the Akins,” Dr. Jerry Vines says. “My, what a blessing this talented father and young men are. They play many instruments and sing beautifully. But, most important, they sing to the heart. We are in great need of musicians who are not only musically superior, but (who are) also spiritually sensitive. The Akins are both. If you ever have the opportunity, please hear them and use them in your meetings.”

Photographs courtesy of the Akins and Robert York.

By Robert York

The AkinsFirst published by SGNScoops Magazine in August 2017

 

For the latest issue of SGNScoops magazine click here

For more gospel music news click here.

For online gospel music click here.

 


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Kevin Mills: Changes, Bees and Serving God

Written by Staff on October 10, 2017 – 12:12 pm -

Kevin Mills: Changes, Bees and Serving God

Kevin Mills: Changes, Bees and Serving God

I first met up with Kevin Mills online when I was researching Canadian Gospel Music artists. At that time, the Gospel Music Association of Canada had nominated his debut self-titled album for Southern Gospel Album of the Year 2006. Since that time, Mills relocated to the United States, married his sweetheart Amanda and ended up on Virginia Beach during Hurricane Sandy.

The Mills have weathered many storms, both weather-related and personally, and now make their home in Rochester, Washington. They are owners of Mills Diner, Hive 5 Bees, and Kevin has just released his current album, “God, Family & Country,” with Song Garden Music Group. This busy vocalist took a moment to help me catch up with his busy world.

Kaleb Powell did a full review of Mills’ new album which can be found in the October 2017 SGNScoops Magazine here. Mills says he is pleased with his solo project. “It has better flow and focus in its musical style,” says Mills. “We really focused on songs that told stories and also represented spirituality in a very non-threatening way. It was great working with Gus Gaches and Song Garden Music Group again – it’s because of them that the project was possible and ended up so excellent.”

Kevin Mills is originally from Canada

Kevin Mills is originally from Canada

Mills loves all the songs on this country-flavored, smooth-as-honey album. However, one song, in particular, stands out. “‘In God We Still Trust’ seems to be very timely for our country. I’m seeing a spiritual longing within our nation that is very encouraging,” says Mills.

This new album represents a change for this vocalist. Many readers may remember Mills from Keepers of the Faith quartet, out of Puyallup, Wash. when he filled their bass position for several years. That tenure also included an appearance on the NQC stage in 2014. However, Mills is now performing as a solo artist. “I spent almost three wonderful years with Keepers of the Faith Quartet and retired from them in January of this year,” explains Mills. “They provided me with a great opportunity to grow professionally and vocally and I’m very grateful for the time we worked together.”

Kevin Mills with Keepers of the Faith quartet

Kevin Mills with Keepers of the Faith quartet

Retirement from a busy quartet’s traveling schedule does not mean a slower timetable for Mills. The singer with a voice like honey has recently returned to a former love: Beekeeping. “I love my bees,” says Mills. “I’m going on almost 18 years of beekeeping. I began at age 13 and ended up being mentored by some of the largest commercial beekeepers in Canada. It’s a fascinating industry and one that’s crucial to the majority of our food supply. Levi from Keepers of the Faith actually got me back into it last year. The demand for bees on the west coast blew me away and I struggled to keep up. This year was the same, consequently, it’s ended up being an accidental business but one that I’m rather familiar with from prior experience – plus it keeps me sweet.”

Kevin MillsA huge part of what keeps Mills sweet is his wife Amanda and their daughters, Brooklyn and Meagan. Another large part of their lives is Mills Diner – The Local Breakfast and Lunch Place. It may seem strange that a singer would transition into a diner owner, but Kevin says that is not so. “ My wife introduced me to the food/hospitality industry when we first met (she owned a restaurant). I quickly fell in love with the people and the industry. Providentially we were provided with the opportunity to assume ownership of an existing restaurant. We are very blessed with the community and the staff that make Mills Diner what it is. Amanda (my wife) handles the day-to-day operations whereas my strengths lay more in strategic planning and HR management.” Mills concludes,” The hospitality industry is a great place to naturally present and represent God’s love and service to others.”

Kevin Mills and wife Amanda, daughters Brooklyn and Meagan

Kevin Mills and wife Amanda, daughters Brooklyn and Meagan

The Mills’ home seems to be a busy place with so much going on. Mills isn’t quite sure how he keeps all of the juggling balls aloft. “Can I get back to you when I figure it out?” Mills continues, “Seriously though it’s amazing how much you can do in a day when you set out with a daily plan/list and quickly execute from the highest priority items to the lowest. I still battle procrastination and if it wins I quickly become overwhelmed.”

“Amanda’s and (my) drive for business comes from a belief that business is a gift God gives us to help shape and influence people, society and ourselves,” Mills explains.

Although change appears to be the operative word in Mills’ life, he admits it hasn’t always been easy to adapt to the new normal. “It’s been a very interesting time spiritually – even though I feel closer and more real in my relationship with God then ever before – it’s been a very difficult transition. Even though I grasped intellectually the importance of placing my music career and passion in His hands – I really struggled with Him pulling me out of full-time music,” he admits.

Kevin Mills' diner“However, it’s very clear that this was the direction that He wanted both Amanda and I to go in and even though we still do not have total clarity of the ‘why’ – we certainly get glimpses of what He’s doing in us individually, as a couple, and in our customers/patrons through our different businesses,”says Mills.

Even mature Christians struggle with sometimes knowing the will of God during change. “I did struggle (and sometimes still do) with whether we’ve made the right decisions but upon reflection, it always circles to this is exactly where God wants us.

“As most everyone knows – life is tough – but as Zig Ziglar used to say, ‘If we’re tough on ourselves, life is going to be infinitely easier on us.’(Paraphrase.) I find my continued studies in Judaism and Christian theology along with reading authors such as Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, Norman Vincent Peale and others – helps keep my mind (and body) in a good place. Discipline mentally, physically and spiritually is what it all comes down to.

Kevin Mills Diner“I definitely do not have this figured out but I’m having an awesome time learning and I continue to be amazed with how God walks right alongside us.”

Kevin Mills has experienced a lot and at the same time has learned so much about God and life. You can hear this in his voice and see it in his zest for life. Be sure to visit his Facebook page and the Mills Diner page. If you are in his area, drop by, have a sandwich and meet the Mills. Be sure to ask Kevin to sing you a song and ask him about his life of change. He might just show you his bees.

By Lorraine Walker

For the latest issue of SGNScoops magazine click here

For more gospel music news click here.

For online gospel music click here.

Kevin Mills' bees

Kevin Mills’ bees


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The Exceptional Talent of Bo Hinson

Written by Staff on October 6, 2017 – 6:45 am -

The Original Hinsons: Ronnie, Chris Freeman, Larry, Bo Hinson
The Original Hinsons: Ronnie, Chris Freeman, Larry, Bo Hinson

If you’re a Southern Gospel Music fan, you’re definitely familiar with the legendary Hinson family. Their music and variations of Hinson groups has spanned decades; their sound and message as moving and relevant today as it was when they started.

Hinson connoisseurs will tell you quickly which one is their favorite singer, which is their favorite song, era, group, and hybrid. They can tell you the place, date, and lineup of each Hinson performance they’ve attended.

They talk of how they miss Kenny Hinson and how his son Weston sounds a lot like him when he sings. And you can certainly hear the resemblance.

Kenny Hinson

Kenny Hinson

Gospel singers everywhere, even those named Hinson, are compared to Kenny. And he was one of the greats, no doubt. His music lives on.

I don’t know the Hinsons, and have, unfortunately, never been to hear any of them sing in person, but have been blessed by their music since I became a Christian in 1980 at the age of 20.

It didn’t take me long to discover the Hinson music on the radio and a few Christian TV appearances. Now I enjoy them on the internet. Their songs minister, teach, and inspire Christians seeking a closer walk with Christ. They may never know how many lives they’ve touched, or how, with their music. But I suspect there are many more like me that have untold stories of how their Christian lives were enriched by Hinson music.

Weston Hinson and the Hinson Family

Untold until now, that is. I’m telling my Hinson story in this article.

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Shelly Wilson: Heart of a Servant

Written by Staff on October 4, 2017 – 2:25 pm -

Shelly Wilson: Heart of a Servant

Shelly Wilson: Heart of a Servant

Shelly Wilson resides in East Texas, and though she comes from a small town, she’s always had big dreams. As a young girl she walked the aisle in a church and professed Christ, yet at 30 she realized she was not born again. She says there was quite a battle for her soul as she began to hear the voice of the Lord clearly for the first time.

 

Wilson had no idea the Lord would soon call her and fulfill her dreams. In 2002, she gave birth to her son and a few months later began having health problems. She literally lost her mind for a season.

 

The doctors were unsure why and no one could help her. She was not in church but knew to run to the church. She visited many and the message was the same: “Use your gifts for the Lord.”

 

Wilson suffered terrible panic attacks, nightmares and incredible fear, but in the midst of it all she began to hear clearly the voice of the Lord and surrendered her life to Him. From that moment on, He slowly began to change her desires from partying to reading her Bible. Ephesians 3:20 became her life verse.  Wilson understands the verse and says, “I chose you, you didn’t choose Me. I’m grateful for a loving Savior. Although valleys come and go, He is always there.”

 

Shelly Wilson: Heart of a ServantWilson spent a year learning about the Bible because she knew very little.  She began to sing for the Lord but had terrible stage fright. The Lord had to gently show her that He could be trusted each time she stepped onto any platform.

 

Wilson wasn’t writing songs yet and said she honestly never considered it an option because she plays no instruments, reads no music and harmony is simply not her gifting. Yet one day in her closet the Lord said, “Shelly, you receive not because you ask not,” so with that nudge she asked to become a songwriter.

 

Soon the Lord woke her up with her first lyrics rolling around in her head and she began to receive full melodies with the lyrics.

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Memories of Tony Greene on his induction to the SGMA Hall of Fame by Stephen Widener

Written by Staff on September 26, 2017 – 2:18 pm -

Tony Greene and The Greenes. Photo by Lois Quinn Clardy

Tony Greene and The Greenes. Photo by Lois Quinn Clardy

I got the call a few weeks ago that Tony Greene was going to be inducted into the SGMA Hall of Fame posthumously on September 26.

I’m sure he would have been beside himself about what to say and who to thank.
I would like to share some memories with the readers of some things that some probably don’t know.  This might be a more tender-hearted than a lot of the stories you may have heard.
Tony always wanted to make someone smile or laugh, or both. Whether it be wearing “bubba” teeth to Wednesday night prayer meeting or sharing a ‘Dinky’ story.
The Greenes. John Jeffrey, Tony Greene, TaRanda Greene and Jeff Snyder

The Greenes. John Jeffrey, Tony Greene, TaRanda Greene and Jeff Snyder

One year at the Greenes’ Jubilee outdoor singing, he decided to take up an offering to help build a church in Panama.

I had a certain section along with 11 others, and carrying two KFC buckets through the tent was my job.
A little girl came running up to me as I was starting to go back to the stage and said, “All I have is 35 cents; can Jesus use it to help those people build their church?” I said, “Yes dear. Jesus will do more with 35 cents than we can imagine.”
Later, I told Tony what happened and he said, “Not only did she put a smile on my face, but on Jesus’ face also.”
Luke 21:2-4 Jesus tells of a widow who put in two mites. All she had. With all her heart.
[The following is reprinted from an earlier story published July 2, 2011 on SGMRadio.com by Stephen Widener]

We first met The Greenes in ’95. I knew of them and had heard them perform in concerts with my Aunt and Uncle. I first heard Tony sing when he was ten and he stole the show then.

In 1995, my brother Jonathan and I started singing and we were going faster than we could keep up. It wasn’t long until we were going from North Carolina into Tennessee and Virginia and other states to sing. We were glad but overwhelmed. People wanted us to record, so after much prayer and searching, I went to talk to Tim Greene and met all three of the Greenes. (Pictured: Jonathan Widener, George Younce, Stephen Widener).

Tony seemed to know me all my life, but that’s how he was. He didn’t know a stranger.

Jonathan got to meet the Greenes as well and started to going to Westview, the church they attended, on Wednesday nights. My brother told me about the meetings at Westview, and how he and Tony had become fast friends. In ’98, I changed jobs, and soon began going with Jonathan to Westview where we became part of the congregation. We still love Westview even though we don’t attend quite as much.

Jeff Snyder and Tony Greene

Jeff Snyder and Tony Greene

It was there where we became friends with Tony and Tim, and many others. Tony and Jonathan and I became best friends, and our stories are too numerous to tell. In the many adventures from the Greenes’ autobiography “Hold On”, my brother and I were there as well, living out several of those stories. The memories we have will live in our hearts and minds forever.

I’m glad Tony could talk personally with me, even before I became a preacher. We were close and I ended up helping him with his concerts and promotional efforts, so that’s how a lot of people came to know me. I always called Tony’s mother, Carolyn, “Mama” and still do.

My first funny story was the first time I was at their church on Wednesday night. Tony didn’t go out on the road until Thursday. Tony and his cousin, Gina, came in wearing false ‘Bubba’ teeth. No one knew he was wearing the teeth until the fourth song. Toward the end of the song, Tony was grinning like a ‘mule eating sawbriars’ and the whole church was rolling in laughter. Then Gina turned and was wearing them too. Six months later he did it again, but this time he was wearing vampire teeth with fake blood.

We would go out to eat and Tony would sing ‘Elvira’ driving up the road at a modest 90mph, and slow down to sing Conway Twitty’s ‘Linda on My Mind’.

The Greenes. Jeff Snyder, Tony Greene, TaRanda Greene, John Jeffrey

The Greenes. Jeff Snyder, Tony Greene, TaRanda Greene, John Jeffrey

When TaRanda first joined the Greenes, she and Tony fought like cats and dogs. We wouldn’t have known they would end up married at the time, except Tim and Carolyn somehow knew.

Tony had gotten out of a relationship that was difficult for him, but he hid it well. There were other girls he was interested in, but once TaRanda or ‘Daisy’ started taking a liking to ‘Buck’ (Tony), she would buy him Mountain Dew and mark her territory.

Tony was a great undertaker, he helped with my Grandma’s funeral, and the Greenes were there when she passed.

I remember when we were at Kirk Talley’s house and Kirk threw a great birthday party for himself. Tony saw a tie of Kirk’s he liked and nagged Kirk to death until Kirk finally let him have it. That was just Tony.

No one was safe from Tony’s humor. When Nic Holland first took Tim’s place, they sang at Providence Baptist outside Hickory. Poor Nic went up onto the platform first in front of Tony and TaRanda and tripped onto the stage. Tony and Taranda laughed so hard that the whole church was in laughter too.

One of the biggest nights in Tony’s life was the night he proposed to Daisy at the National Quartet Convention. My brother Jonathan and I were there. We knew about the proposal from Greg Crowe because he was carrying the ring and daisies. Greg was wearing a suit and he never wears a suit, so we knew that this would be the night. Tony was scared to death!

Tony came to me beforehand and asked me, “Stephen, what if she says no?” I told him not to worry; he could trip like Nic, fall flat on his face, make a total fool of himself, and she would still say yes. They had tried to hide the relationship, but we knew they were an item for five months. (Pictured: Front – Tony and TaRanda (Kiser) Greene, NQC on ‘The Proposal Night’. Back – (unseen) Stephen Widener, James Kiser (Taranda’s father). )

One of Tony’s best-known stories is the tale of “Jingle Bells”. I know it’s true because I encouraged him to tell it. We went out to eat after church one evening and he related what had happened that day at a funeral. Tony said, “I just gotta tell ‘youinzis’ (that’s a word, really. That’s mountain for Y’all, which is southern) this story…”

“I got into work today, this lady asked me to sing at her husband’s funeral. I said, ‘Why, yes, anything I can do for you. What would you like for me to sing?’

“She answered, ‘He requested that you sing, Amazing Grace, Beulah Land, and Jingle Bells.” Tony’s eyes were as big as 50-cent pieces when he said that. “’Jingle Bells?’ She said, ‘Why yes Tony, you just got to sing it.’ So I said ‘Yes, ma’am, whatever you need, I’ll do.”

Tracy Stuffle and Tony Greene. 2010. Photo by Libbi Perry Stuffle

Tracy Stuffle and Tony Greene. 2010. Photo by Libbi Perry Stuffle

That’s was one thing about Tony, he would go out of his way to help someone, if there was a way for him to do it. His heart was twelve times bigger than most people’s.

“So, at the start of the memorial service, Tony sang, ‘Amazing Grace’ and sat down. The preacher said a few words, a prayer, and Tony got up and sang Squire Parsons’ song ‘Beulah Land’. He sat down and waited for the next preacher to say a few words and pray.

Then, as reverent as he can, Tony stood and bellowed out “Jing-le Bells, Jing-le Bells, Jing-le all the way…”. A song that usually takes two and a half minutes to sing went for 5 minutes, and Tony said, “You should have seen the looks on their faces! Their jaws dropped so fast and so far, you would have thought..” Here he paused to laugh and then continued, “…I’d have cussed someone in church or something…” By now Tony is laughing and we’re all in tears. “ And then I sat down,” said Tony.

Tony Greene. Photo by Elaine Reyes Harcourt. 2010

Tony Greene. Photo by Elaine Reyes Harcourt. 2010

“After the funeral, I went up to her and said, “I hope everything went the way you wanted it to.’ She said, ‘Tony, it was wonderful. You did a great job. But, I don’t know what I was thinking!’ I said, “What?” and my jaw dropped open. She said, ‘You see Tony, with so many people coming by and bringing food and staying all night, I haven’t slept in three days. I’m so tired, I don’t know why I said that you should sing ‘Jingle Bells’. What I meant to say was, ‘When They Ring Those Golden Bells for You and Me’.”

The thing is, Tony loved people. He wanted to see the lost saved, and he wanted to put a smile on someone’s face wherever he went. Now he’s in heaven and people somewhere are laughing at one of his stories.

My prayers are always with the family. I love them very much. I hope Tony’s girls will one day be able to see how great a dad they have and know that they were the apple of his eye.

Editor’s Notes: Tony Greene passed away September 28, 2010 at the age of 41 from Renal Disease. He is survived by his wife TaRanda Greene and their two daughters, Isabella and Jocelyn, as well as many other family members. For more on Tony and his music ministry, click on to http://www.thegreenesgospel.com/

The author of this feature, Stephen Widener, is an ordained Pastor, Southern Gospel Singer, Musician, and Youth basketball Coach from North Carolina. A fan of Southern Gospel, he has been in and around the industry for several years, as well as having relatives within the industry. Stephen can be found in many places on the web including Facebook and Twitter, but you can reach him personally at snwidener2000@yahoo.com.

 

 

SGNScoops salutes the family and friends of Tony Greene as he is inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame today, September 26, 2017.

For the latest issue of SGNScoops magazine click here

For more gospel music news click here.

For online gospel music click here.

 


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Rob Patz asks: Does God care about You?

Written by Staff on September 16, 2017 – 5:50 pm -

Happy September birthday Rob Patz

Happy September birthday Rob Patz

Welcome to the September edition of the Publisher’s Point. I hope everyone had a fantastic summer. Of course, September means we are drawing to the end of the great weather. I have to admit that fall is my favorite time of year, partially because my birthday falls in the fall … September to be exact. That’s what we’re going to talk about this month in the Publisher’s Point. No, not my birthday, though if you want to send birthday cards or gifts, get in contact with me, and I will give you my address … just kidding.

Rob Patz at six weeks

Rob Patz at six weeks

I have been thinking a lot lately about how amazing God is. Not only does He know us before we were even formed in our mother’s womb, but He selected a date for us to enter this world. How amazing is that, that the Creator of the universe thought enough about me to select a date for me to be born and a set of parents for me. If you really think about it, it is pretty incredible.

I know all of us at times struggle with feeling important, or wanted, or special, but if you look at this one point in our existence, how God orchestrated everything in the universe to coincide with our birth, how cool is that to think He loved us so much that He planned the date of our arrival? So, not only does He care for us enough to plan the date of arrival, but He has a plan for our daily life if we are sincere and ask Him for direction.

Rob Patz celebrates his birthday Sept. 24

Rob Patz celebrates his birthday Sept. 24

I also think about the fact that God planned the arrival of His Son. He knew the beginning, He knew the end, and He knew the reason for both. Not unlike His plan for Jesus, He has a plan for your life. He knew your beginning. He knows your middle, and He knows your end. Think of how amazing that is, that the God of the universe, who loves us so much, has planned the date of our birth and planned our life. He has a desire for you to fill His great plan.

So many friends of mine will tell me, “well, I can’t share the gospel,” or, “I can’t be a soul winner, because I have a full-time job.” There’s nothing further from the truth. We all have opportunities daily to live out our faith.

Recently, I heard a story from Jesse Duplantis about how he witnessed to a gentleman at the gas station, and the entire conversation started because of his boots. Let that sink in for a minute. Jesse won this man to Christ by the boots he wore. You stop and think today about what it is that you have in your life that you can use to win others to Christ. Not all of us are going to preach from the stage. Not all of us are going to sing a song that will change someone’s life. Sometime, in the most unusual place, you can be Jesus to someone.

Mrs. Shirley and her son, Rob Patz on his first birthday

Mrs. Shirley and her son, Rob Patz on his first birthday

So, as I celebrate my birthday month, I feel a sense of peace about my relationship with Jesus, knowing that He loves me so much that He had a plan from the very day that I was born, to this very minute as I write this to you.

I know you might be struggling today with loneliness. You might be struggling with feeling unloved, or you might be struggling with a direction in your life. However, I want to tell you this … instead of looking at the problems that you see, put your focus on what Jesus says in the Bible, in Jeremiah 29:11, “for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

Just reading that encourages me. I hope it encourages you.

Join Rob Patz at Creekside

Join Rob Patz at Creekside

Join me in October for Creekside as I truly believe this is going to be the best year ever. Creekside Gospel Music Convention is being held in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2 at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center. For more information, check out the Creekside update in this month’s edition.

Until next month, this has been the Publisher’s Point.

Don’t miss the latest issue of SGNScoops Magazine.
Find out more Gospel music here.
For online Gospel music click here.

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Rob Patz: What road are you on?

Written by Staff on September 3, 2017 – 11:44 am -

Rob Patz Publisher’s Point for August 2017

Rob Patz

Publisher’s Point by Rob Patz

Where has the summer gone? I’ve already started seeing back-to-school fliers. As a child those were the most depressing of any advertising throughout the year.

I have to be honest … over the last couple of days, I have written and rewritten the Publisher’s Point. It seems like I had no clear answer, no clear direction, of what I should say this month. I know that it is important for me to say exactly what God wants. It’s like choosing the road you have to go on, the right road to get to your destination. That’s what we’re going to talk about in this month’s Publishers Point.

Rob Patz Publisher’s Point for August 2017It seems as though I have picked transportation themes over the last few months. We started off in the car behind a tractor. Last month we were on a train. This month, we’re deciding on the road we are going to take.

Life is full of choices. I know that statement isn’t anything new to any of us. I’m sure, since you were a child, you’ve heard your family tell you that life is about the choices you make. Rob Patz Publisher’s Point for August 2017That is true. The choices we make today, even this minute as you’re reading this, are the choices that will resonate tomorrow. I know that sounds ominous, but it’s true. Choices we can make not only to follow God in our decisions, but to choose joy in the journey.

Rob Patz Publisher’s Point for August 2017

Rob Patz on the wrong road

I have to be honest with you … there are days when I can’t figure out what road to take. I know I have to make a decision, but at the time, I’m not sure. I truly believe that over time, as Christians, we become more attuned to what God has for us, and those choices and decisions become easier. But even for someone who has been a Christian for a while, there are times where those decisions don’t seem quite as clear.

I think this is where we insert ourselves into the equation. So often, we want to create the road that we believe God will bless, but God never had any intention for us to travel that road. Instead, He has a much better path for us, but we struggle because this is what we want … this is what we’ve desired … this is what we have built up in our minds to be the correct thing.  

Rob Patz Publisher’s Point for August 2017Think of all the people that walked with Jesus. They wanted Him to create a kingdom on earth right then. They didn’t want to wait, nor did they really understand the whole scenario. They wanted the instant answer. They didn’t understand the life-saving road that Jesus was taking them on.

So many times in life, I’ve taken the road that I felt was right, but I wonder how many times the road that was paved by God was just one turn away. Yet, I refused in my own stubbornness to stop, to pray, and to seek the direction God was taking me.

Rob Patz Publisher’s Point for August 2017

Rob Patz

Instead, I wanted to go 100 miles an hour on this road that I had paved, and what I believed was what God wanted. All along, just one turn away was a perfectly paved road with happiness, with joy, and with peace that I could’ve easily taken, if I would’ve only stopped and waited for His word.

As Christians, we are to choose God’s road, and ultimately, prayer is the best GPS that we can have. If we seek God’s will, we will know what direction to take.

Rob Patz Publisher’s Point for August 2017

Vernon Alabama’s Gospel Music Weekend

Join me next month in Vernon Ala., from Sept. 8-9, and of course for the Creekside Gospel Music Convention, from October 30 through Nov. 2, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Until next month, this is the Publishers Point.

By Rob Patz

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in August 2017.

For more Gospel Music news click here.

Listen to Gospel music online here.

For the latest edition of SGNScoops Magazine click here. 


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Gerald Crabb – A Man of Many Talents

Written by Staff on September 2, 2017 – 1:09 pm -

Gerald Crabb

Gerald Crabb

Gerald Crabb was born in the small rural town of Rosine, Ky. As a young boy, Crabb was passionate about music and was always in church. His mom taught him how to pray and made sure he attended services. He sang for the first time in public at age five, at a church in Louisville, Ky. By age 11, Crabb was playing the guitar and then preaching by age 17.

When Crabb was just nine years old, George Esterly – a blind man from Louisville – came to his house and brought his SG Gibson red guitar and taught Crabb how to play it. He loved it so much that he never looked back. It wasn’t long before Crabb was singing on a television program called “Country Music Jubilee” on Saturday nights.

Over the years, God has blessed Crabb with a thriving ministry and a compelling career in music as a singer, songwriter, publisher, and producer. He says he is a man that has been blessed, and he has no problem telling others just how blessed he is. God took a simple, ordinary man from the backwoods of Kentucky and used him to touch the hearts of millions of people around the world. He is a living testimony of how God can take your circumstances and use them for His glory. And if God can do that for him, He can certainly do it for others.

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