Southern Gospel Weekend

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Diamond Awards 2019 to be aired December 27, 2019

Written by Staff on December 24, 2019 – 1:14 pm -

Diamond Awards aired on WATC

Williamsons at Diamond Awards 2019

Atlanta, GA. (December 24, 2019) – WATC Television out of Atlanta, Georgia, will be airing the SGNScoops 2019 Diamond Awards celebration on Friday, December 27, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. The ceremony was held at Creekside Gospel Music Convention on Tues. Oct. 29, 2019, at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. This year’s awards honored industry veterans Eddie Crook, Jan Goff, Kenna Turner West, and Gerald Crabb, as well as newcomers Jessica Horton, Chronicle, Day 3, and Justified. “King Jesus” singers, Eagle’s Wings, swept the Bluegrass awards, winning all four categories.

Diamond Awards 2019

Ken and Jean Grady of Gospel Music Today produced the 2019 Diamond Awards op

Patricia Mathis and her crew of WATC TV, Atlanta’s TV 57, recorded the 2019 Diamond Awards. Those outside of the Atlanta, Georgia viewing area can view it online at www.watc.tv.

Rob Patz, CEO of Coastal Media Group and Publisher of SGNScoops commented, “The Diamond Awards are always a special time of honoring the Gospel artists that fill our world with the music we love. We are glad to be able to share the 2019 ceremony with fans across the nation and the world by television and internet. We are grateful to Patricia Mathis and WATC-TV for their professionalism, experience and dedication in airing quality Gospel music programs. We had a great time at the Awards and we hope everyone will tune in and watch!”
2019 Diamond Awards on WATC

Rob Patz and Jan Goff at the 2019 Diamond Awards

The Williamsons, The Dodrill Family, Mark209, Cami Shrock, The Pine Ridge Boys, and Josh and Ashley Franks, were a few of the artists on the Diamond Awards schedule. The program will re-air again in 2020 on the WATC network.

About WATC TV: WATC TV provides Atlanta with a mix of family, Christian and educational programming. It is known to viewers as the home of Atlanta Live and is seen over the air throughout the metro Atlanta market and also in over one million cable and satellite homes. WATC is the home of many original series and has been honored with numerous Angel and Telly Awards, as well as receiving its first EMMY in 2010. The station’s programming can be seen around the world via video streaming located on the WATC website at  http://www.watc.tv/

About Creekside Gospel Music Convention: Creekside Gospel Music Convention held its inaugural event at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in 2012. The CGMC is presented by SGNScoops and Coastal Media Group at Pigeon Forge and is the home of The Diamond Awards, Jerry Goff Award, Christian Country at the Creek, and other special events. Next year’s dates are October 25 – 29, 2020. For more information on Creekside Gospel Music Convention visit http://www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.coms

About SGNScoops: SGNScoops Digital is a fully-downloadable monthly magazine that exists to promote the gospel by unveiling what is intriguing and real about Southern Gospel and Christian Country music. SGNScoops offers music news and views as well as concert and book reviews, inspirational articles and features reaching beyond our gospel music world. SGNScoops is the home of the Diamond Awards, a fan-based annual awards program recognizing the best in Southern, Bluegrass, and Country Gospel music. For more information: http://www.sgnscoops.com/


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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.

Download The SGNScoops Magazine PDF Here
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Listen To Gospel Music Here

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Throwback Thursday – Creekside 2016 with Mark209

Written by scoopsnews on October 10, 2019 – 11:06 am -

Throwback Thursday - Creekside 2016 with Mark209Creekside Gospel Music Convention is coming up, on October 28th through 21st, in beautiful Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Today we go there for Throwback Thursday.

Here is a Throwback Thursday to 2016: MARK209 was singing outside the convention center. There is some outdoor music planned for this year as well.

At Creekside, there is something for everyone. There will be Daytime Showcases, Evening Concerts, Christian Country at the Creek , and Midnight Prayer, just to name a few.

Evening concerts

Throwback Thursday to Creekside 2016: Mark209

Creekside 2019 presented by Coastal Media

Creekside 2019 presented by Coastal Media

For more information on Creekside and other Coastal Events, please write to: events@sgnscoops.com or click HERE.

For more Gospel music features, read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine In PDF Here
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook Here

Listen To Todays Gospel Music Here


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Justified Quartet will be Singing on the Square at Creekside

Written by Staff on October 3, 2019 – 9:40 am -

Justified quartetPigeon Forge, Tennessee (October 3, 2019) — Creekside Gospel Music Convention, Pigeon Forge, has offered something new to its schedule every year, but this year, one of the most exciting additions is Singing on the Square.

This new event will occur on Monday, October 28th and Tuesday, October 29th, outside of the Smoky Mountain Convention Center. Two exciting artists will play outdoors in the afternoon, prior to the indoor evening concert. Singing on the Square will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., with Joy Holden as the first artist on Monday.

JustifiedCreekside is thrilled to announce that on Tuesday, the Singing on the Square artists will be Justified Quartet. This male quartet from Flint, Michigan, is made up of Tim Caldwell, Mark Jacoby, Carl Ledford, and Dave Potts. They will be singing from their latest release, “Take a Stand.”

During the live performance of this quartet, there will be an outdoor dinner available for attendees. This dinner will be free to the first 100 fans that arrived for the concert.

Creekside 2019 and Singing on the Square are presented by Coastal Media and Coastal Events.

Justified Quartet at Singing on the Square Creekside“I am so excited that Justified is joining the Singing on the Square concert series,” says Rob Patz, head of Creekside Gospel Music Convention and CEO of Coastal Events. “This is going to be a great new addition to the Creekside experience, and I’m so looking forward to the presentation of Justified Quartet during our outdoor concert and dinner. I invite all of our Creekside and Pigeon Forge friends to join us.”

Creekside Gospel Music Convention will be held from Oct. 27 – 31, 2019, at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The Creekside experience includes daily showcases, evening concerts, special speakers, and midnight prayer. Also, Christian Country at the Creek is being held simultaneously, from Oct. 30 – 31. Adding to the diversity of the musical offerings, there will be a bluegrass gospel music presentation on Wednesday, entitled Eagle’s Wings and Friends.

Creekside 2019VIP tickets are still available for this event, along with a few rooms remaining in the preferred accommodations. For tickets and accommodations, call Rob Patz at 360-933-0741.

For more information on Creekside and other Coastal Events, please write to: events@sgnscoops.com or click HERE.

For more information on Justified, click HERE.

For more Gospel music features, read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine In PDF Here
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook Here

Listen To Todays Gospel Music Here


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Christian Country at the Creek

Written by Staff on October 2, 2019 – 5:19 pm -

Christian Country at the CreekCreekside Gospel Music Convention has several new and exciting events occurring during the week of music and fellowship in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, on Oct. 27 – 31, 2019. Running consecutively with Creekside is the inaugural Christian Country at the Creek.

Leslie and Dennis McKay of McKay Project and M.A.C. Records

Leslie and Dennis McKay of McKay Project and M.A.C. Records

Tuesday night, Oct. 30, after the 2019 Diamond Awards and evening concert, event goers will travel from the Smoky Mountain Convention Center, to the Creek Stone Inn, located less than one-half mile from the Convention Center at 4034 S. River Road. A fun $5 pizza party will begin at 10:30 p.m., ushering in the Christian Country at the Creek kick-off, featuring artists Jessica Horton, Tonja Rose, and the McKay Project.

Creekside Diaries v4: Eagle's Wings, C.T. Townsend and the Browders

Rob Patz and Gerald Crabb

Wednesday, Oct. 30, Christian Country at the Creek begins at 8:45 am at the Mill Creek, 2772 Florence Drive, with The McKay Project. On Thursday, Oct. 31, Gerald Crabb will begin the day of Christian Country. In these two full days of music, fans will hear over 30 artists,  such as: Bonita Eileen, Pardoned, Carol Barham, and more.

Christian Country at the Creek will feature Jessica Horton and Tonja Rose

Jessica Horton and Tonja Rose

Each evening, concert goers will join with those at Creekside, to enjoy Southern, Bluegrass, and Country gospel music on one stage, at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center.

For more information on Christian Country at the Creek, Creekside Gospel Music Convention, the 2019 Diamond Awards ceremony, as well as accommodations and VIP tickets, contact Rob Patz at 360-933-0741, email events@sgnscoops.com, or click HERE.

For more Gospel music features, read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine In PDF Here
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook Here

Listen To Todays Gospel Music Here

 


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Creekside welcomes Eagle’s Wings and Friends

Written by Staff on September 29, 2019 – 5:20 pm -

Bluegrass Gospel at Creekside with Eagle's Wings, Stevens Family Tradition, East Ridge Boys, Sowell Family.Creekside Gospel Music Convention welcomes Bluegrass Gospel with Eagle’s Wings and Friends on Wednesday,  Eagle’s Wings will be joined by the Stevens Family Tradition, the East Ridge Boys, and the Family Sowell.

Creekside’s first all Bluegrass Gospel event will be held on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Showcase Hall.

Eagle's Wings. Picture courtesy of Vonda Armstrong. Road to Creekside

Eagle’s Wings. Picture courtesy of Vonda Armstrong

The annual convention has long welcomed Eagle’s Wings as a favorite participant. This beloved family group will be joined by Brad Stevens and the Stevens Family Tradition, a relatively new band on the Bluegrass scene. The East Ridge Boys, Richie Rose, Fondo Fields, and David Taylor, from Lick Creek, Kentucky, will also be bringing some picking and grinning. The concert wouldn’t be complete without the Family Sowell. This family is based in Knoxville, Tenn., and presents high energy, acoustic music.

Bluegrass Gospel at Creekside with Eagle's Wings, Stevens Family Tradition, East Ridge Boys, Sowell Family.

Stevens Family Tradition

Creekside encourages all bluegrass fans to make plans to join them for the best week of Southern, Country, and Bluegrass Gospel music, presented in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Bluegrass Gospel at Creekside with Eagle's Wings, Stevens Family Tradition, East Ridge Boys, Sowell Family.

East Ridge Boys

Held at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center, Oct. 27 – 31, 2019, Creekside presents music in a family atmosphere, morning through evenings, and ending with midnight prayer.

Bluegrass Gospel at Creekside with Eagle's Wings, Stevens Family Tradition, East Ridge Boys, Sowell Family.

Family Sowell

For more information on Creekside and all Coastal Events, email events@sgnscoops.com or click HERE.

For Creekside VIP passes, accomodations, and more, call Rob Patz at 360-933-0741.

For more Gospel music features, read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine In PDF Here
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook Here

Listen To Todays Gospel Music Here


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Rob Patz: What if I told you…?

Written by Staff on September 25, 2019 – 10:40 am -

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

Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland.

Publisher’s Point for September 2019 by Rob Patz

What if I told you…?

What if I told you that I never imagined my life would be exactly the way it is? I felt that I was going to do something completely different with my life, that I would be married, and that I would have kids. I’ll be completely honest: There are nights I have laid in bed and wondered what was wrong with me, and why it didn’t happen the way I wanted it to. But in the end I will tell you that I didn’t imagine this place, but God did.

 

What if I told you that everything you see on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter really isn’t what is happening? That people place so much in what they see and not what really is the truth?

 

What if I told you that every year in September when it’s my birthday, I reflect back on my life, and most of the time I’m not happy with any of it. That’s just the truth. Raw truth. I’m sure most of us can say that. As my mom used to say, “Hindsight is 20/20!” So, looking back on what decisions we’ve made during the year, or years past, they are easily dissected in the rearview mirror.

 

What if I told you that it took until this year for me to be comfortable in my own skin? For me to realize that God created me to be just who I am, for just his plan? I hate to admit it but I’ve always been one of those people for whom appearance was important. What other people thought and other people perceived about who I was, was something I worked on daily. I struggled with the thought that people saw parts of me that I didn’t want viewed. Over these last 12 months, I’ve come to realize that all the parts of me make up who I am, and I need to celebrate who God made me to be.

 

What if I told you that the blessings God gives you are not for you to keep, but for you to bless those that are less fortunate, whether that be through financial, or mentoring, or just an act of kindness? 

 

September 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

September 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

We live in a society now that stares at their phone more than they stare at their TV. To be honest with you, people spend more time looking at their phones, then they do interacting with other people. I’ve noticed this more and more as I travel. 

 

A week ago, I was sitting in a hotel breakfast room, which happens to be one of my favorites. I get to stay there at least once a month. On this morning, I looked around at the other people in the large restaurant area and I realized that no one was really talking except for a cluster of men in the corner, obviously headed off to do sales that day. But other than that, everyone in the room was staring at their phones. What if I suggested that you put the phone down and interact with those people around you? You may just change someone’s day.

 

What if I told you your dreams aren’t dead, or that they may have just taken a detour in your mind, but not in God’s? I’m amazed how many times in my life I have thought I had blown everything and that God couldn’t put back together everything that I had messed up. But it has been awesome to see how God takes all of the pieces and turns them into something incredible – a mosaic – beautiful, broken pieces put together into an incredible, beautiful picture.

 

Stevens Family Tradition, with Rob Patz and Vonda Armstrong

Stevens Family Tradition, with Rob Patz and Vonda Armstrong

What if I told you it was not by accident that this month that you are reading my Publisher’s Point? What if I told you that God is working in your life in ways that you can’t even imagine, to bring you to the point of the dreams that you’ve always had?

 

Creekside 2019 presented by Coastal Media

Creekside 2019 presented by Coastal Media

I hope to see you next month in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019, Oct. 27- 31, at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center. Contact events@sgnscoops.com for more information.

For more Gospel music features, read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine In PDF Here
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook Here

Listen To Todays Gospel Music Here

 


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Creekside presents new Singing on the Square with Joy Holden

Written by Staff on August 19, 2019 – 9:17 am -

Joy Holden at Creekside. Singing on the SquarePigeon Forge, Tennessee (August 19, 2019) — Creekside Gospel Music Convention has offered something new and different each year, but in this eighth year of gospel music presentation, there are many original features. One of the newest, most exciting additions is Singing on the Square.

Creekside presents new Singing on the SquareJoy Holden is the first artist to open this new addition to Creekside. On Mon., Oct. 28, 2019, she will bring the music of Creekside out to the people of Pigeon Forge. Singing on the Square will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., outside of the Smoky Mountain Convention Center. Holden will perform with her live band, bringing her original music to the forefront of the Convention Center outdoor stage.

Creekside presents new Singing on the Square

“I’m honored to be a part of Creekside 2019,” says Holden. “I’ve always heard such great things about Creekside in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. It’s not just the music element that gets me excited – it’s the great spirit of joining in authentic ministry with my gospel family and friends, that connect us all like small pieces of thread in Grandma’s hand sewn quilt. God’s handiwork!”

Holden is a gospel singer/songwriter/music producer, from Boiling Springs, South Carolina. Singing Southern/Country/Progressive music, her latest single on the charts is entitled, “Under Water.”
Joy HoldenA seasoned musical veteran in the fields of pop and rock, Holden’s debut Christian album was released in 2017. Since that time she has been presenting her high energy, foot stomping music, blessing audiences across the country.
Holden adds, “I also recognize that we have an opportunity to witness to people on the Square who may not have  intentions of going inside to the Music Convention. So that is super cool.”
Creekside 2019 presented by Coastal Media

Creekside 2019 presented by Coastal Media

“I am so excited that Joy Holden is going to be initiating the singing on the square concert series,” says Rob Patz, head of Creekside Gospel Music Convention. “This is going to be a great new addition to the Creekside experience, and I believe Joy Holden is exactly the kind of artist to debut our outdoor concert and dinner. I invite all of our Creekside and Pigeon Forge friends to join us.”

Along with the beautiful vocals of Holden, an outdoor barbeque dinner will be held at the venue.This meal is free to the first 100 people that arrive.
2019 Christian Country at the CreekCreekside Gospel Music Convention will be held from Oct. 27 – 31, 2019, at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The Creekside experience includes daily showcases, evening concerts, special speakers, and midnight prayer. Also, Christian Country at the Creek is being held simultaneously, from Oct. 30 – 31.
Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland. Road to Creekside

Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland.

VIP tickets are still available for this event, along with a few rooms remaining in the preferred accommodation. four tickets and accommodations, call Rob Patz at 360-933-0741.

For more information on Creekside and other Coastal Events, please write to: events@sgnscoops.com or click HERE.
For more information on Joy Holden click HERE.

For more Gospel music features read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine In PDF Here
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook Here
Listen To Todays Gospel Music Here

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Road to Creekside concert wrap

Written by Staff on August 18, 2019 – 4:42 pm -

Bibletones at Mississippi for all roads lead to Creekside

Bibletones. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland. Road to Creekside

On Saturday, August 17, Laurel, Mississippi, was the site for a concert dubbed, “Road to Creekside.” Featuring artists who are on the roster for Creekside Gospel Music Convention, a lot of great gospel music was thoroughly enjoyed by all who were in attendance.

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

Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland.

Rob Patz was the emcee for the evening, bringing his own flare to the proceedings. Live and in concert were: the Bibletones, Hope’s Journey, Eagle’s Wings, Gloryland, Charlie Lucas, and Hunter May.

Eagle's Wings. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland. Road to Creekside

Eagle’s Wings. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland.

“The people of Mississippi are awesome,” says Patz. “I had a great time. The music was terrific and the food was fantastic!”

Gloryland and Vonda Armstrong

Gloryland and Vonda Armstrong

Pictures shown were taken the night of the event.

Hunter May. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland. Road to Creekside

Hunter May. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland.

For those wishing to see these artists live, as well as many others, Creekside Gospel Music Convention is slated for Oct. 27 – 31, 2019, at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Gloryland and Rob Patz

Gloryland and Rob Patz

Held at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center, events each day include showcases, seminars, chapel, nightly special features, midnight prayer, and more.

Hope's Journey. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland. Road to Creekside

Hope’s Journey. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland.

New events this year include Christian Country at the Creek, Creekside Bluegrass, and Singing on the Square.

Charlie Lucas. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland. Road to Creekside

Charlie Lucas. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland.

For VIP Tickets and accommodations, contact Rob Patz at 360-933-0741.

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

Gloryland. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland.

For more information please visit the Creekside Facebook page HERE or contact events@sgnscoops.com.

For more Gospel music features read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine In PDF Here
Find SGNScoops Magazine On Facebook Here
Listen To Todays Gospel Music Here

 

Finale. Picture courtesy of Vonda Armstrong. Road to Creekside

Finale. Picture courtesy of Vonda Armstrong.

Eagle's Wings. Picture courtesy of Vonda Armstrong. Road to Creekside

Eagle’s Wings. Picture courtesy of Vonda Armstrong.

 


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Christian Country at the Creek artists speak out about family and faith

Written by Staff on July 22, 2019 – 12:59 pm -

2019 Christian Country at the CreekIt’s almost time to come down to Christian Country at the Creek. Four months from now, the newest event in Christian Country music will debut at Mill Creek in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on Oct. 30 and 31, 2019. Concerts will run daily from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

2019 Christian Country at the Creek“We are excited to begin this new event running alongside Creekside,” says Patz. “Come hear more than 30 Christian Country artists during two music-packed days of concerts. This is one of the greatest musical styles today. Don’t miss it!”

Patz says he is excited to have Pardoned, Jessica Horton, Sara Lewis, and Bonita Eileen, among those slated to perform during Christian Country at the Creek.

“These artists have many different musical influences, but they all come full circle, back to what these events are all about: Family,” Patz states.

Jessica Horton will be appearing at Christian Country at the Creek

Jessica Horton

Jessica Horton shares, “I owe almost every part of my musicianship to my grandpa. I called him ‘Pop.’ We were two peas in a pod. I was his shadow and sometimes he’d pretend he was mine. We spent nearly every weekend of my childhood at the Sparta Opry, then later Blackhawk and Longview Opry. I remember traveling with him to Bruce for country music singings. We even went as far north as Illinois, singing at old school houses or for festivals. Every weekend there was some music adventure for us. Pop sang and played for every child in his life for his whole life, and I think that’s how we all remember him. So as soon as I could make a sound, he had me learning the old songs, and as soon as I could wrap my fingers around a fret, he had me strumming chords. I couldn’t reach all the strings for the G chord, so you’ll still catch me playing it how he modified it for me! It’s hard to break old habits.”

“I’ve certainly had other influences, of course,” Horton continues. “My dad always played guitar beautifully, and a lot of folks on my mom’s side of the family know how to pick and grin. I joined the band in school and learned to play the French Horn. My band teacher Mr. Hawkins taught me all the fundamentals of music theory and reading notes. This proved to be the perfect foundation for my college musical education experience. At the university I studied classical voice, and I was able to learn how to understand and control my breath and voice. I took some theatre classes that taught me about diction. Music and theatre together taught me so much about making intentional choices when I tell a story through song.”

Horton is inspired about her journey ahead as she reflects on God’s direction in the past. “I truly believe God orders every step we take, even when we think we are taking them ourselves. I get excited when I look at all these people and how God loved us so much that he put us together to help us along our journey. I would not be who I am without them, and I certainly wouldn’t be half the artist.”

“I’m very excited to meet some new influences at Christian Country at the Creek. It’s an honor to be a part of something so amazing. I can’t wait,” exclaims Horton.

Pardoned will be appearing at Christian Country at the CreekChristian Country at the Creek is thrilled to welcome new artist, Pardoned, whose members are Donnie Marr, Rusty Rowan, and Parker Rains.

Donnie Marr sings tenor for Pardoned and is responsible for the vocal arrangements of the group’s songs and the sound production of each show. He was influeneced by his “Paw-Paw Marr” who played guitar and piano and sang bass. It was Donnie’s “Paw-Paw Marr” who helped birth Donnie’s love for music.

A gentleman named Mike Spears taught Donnie Marr to “hear the harmonies” in the music. Spears was an electrical engineer and passed his knowledge and understanding of sound systems down to Marr.

“Rusty Rowan is a musical hero to me. He is one of the greatest musical influences in my life,” Marr says. “Rusty’s talents are second to no one and even Rusty himself doesn’t recognize how good he is. He really is one of the most talented people I have ever known.”

Rowan and Marr are co-owners of Pardoned and also own stock together in a retail automotive dealership.

Marr’s spiritual influences were his Maw-Maw Reid and Jimmie Rowan (Rusty’s father).  Marr says his Maw-Maw Reid taught him how to pray and was his spiritual rock. Jimmie Rowan helped Donnie understand what real ministry is.

“He taught me that ministry has to go beyond the walls of the church to really be effective, and that it has to come from the heart,” Marr says  He can still hear Jimmie Rowan tell him, “No matter who they are or what they have done, its our duty to show them the love of Christ.”

Pardoned will be appearing at Christian Country at the CreekRusty Rowan sings lead for Pardoned and writes most of the group’s songs. His biggest influence were his parents.

“When I was a kid, my mom and I would listen to country radio every night until my bedtime,” says Rowan. “I couldn’t have been more than five or six years old at the time. I remember my excitement when she would let me call the show and request a song. It was always ‘Coca-Cola Cowboy,’ by Mel Tillis. My dad took me to see Mel Tillis when I was six and we went to a concert every year after that. My favorite concert memory is of Marty Robbins. I was only eight years old.”

Rowan says his parents always encouraged him to follow his dream of playing music. He laughs and says, “There’s no telling how much money they spent on lessons and traveling, trying to help me achieve my goals musically.”

As for the daily business of operating a musical group, Rowan credits Lynn Fox and Jackie Wilburn as his biggest influences.

“Those two men were professional in every sense of the word,” says Rowan. “They operated in different areas of music and ministry but their morals and ethics were perfectly in line with each other, in my eyes they were the best.”

Rowan cannot say enough about either of these men or their families. “They taught me how to talk to people, how to work with churches and talent buyers, and how to enjoy life on the road. They were great men.”

Rowan says he still turns to Lynn Fox for advice and encouragement today. “Jackie Wilburn passed away a few years back, but I think about him everytime i drink a Coca-Cola; he loved them.”

Parker Rains sings baritone for Pardoned. He is the youngest member of the group and takes care of merchandise and lighting. Rains says his mom and dad raised him on Southern Gospel music. “My parents had a Southern Gospel group and I became amazed by anything that was related to drums and percussion.”

Rains says he was playing drums for his church choir when he first had the opportunity to sing: “I realized that music could give me a break from everyday life and allows me to express myself while sharing the message of the gospel.”

Pardoned’s baritone is drawn to the harmonies of music. “I love the way Diamond Rio, Lonestar, and the Gatlins structure the harmonies of a song; and nobody can deliver like Vince Gill.”

Rains hopes to help bring more attention to the fact that young people can enjoy Christian music. “The stuff we do right now is really cool. If we can get more folks in my generation to give it a chance, I have no doubt that they will love it as much as I do.”

Bonita Eileen will be appearing at Christian Country at the Creek

Bonita Eileen

Another talented Christian Country artist that will be appearing at the Creek is Bonita Eileen. “My love for Christian music has been a passion to me since I was age five,” says Eileen. “Music strengthens the faith of believers and helps lead the lost of all ages to Christ. Music is an outlet of praise, joy, and refreshing that brings glory to our Father, changing lives one at a time.”

Bonita Eileen talks about her musical influences. “Being raised in a musically inclined, close-knit family, I would have to say my parents have been the biggest influence in my life through song. My mom played the piano and daddy led the singing. I watched their love for the Lord and their walk grow tremendously through Christian music.”

“My daughter Ashley will always be my hero and example of what love for gospel music truly is,” Eileen shares. “As she now sings with the angels in Heaven and I have the hope of singing with her again some sweet day.” A talented singer in her own right, Ashley died in 2003 at the age of 14, from a brain tumor.

Sara Hambrick Lewis is an artist who also allows the experience of grief to touch her audience in a special way. Her husband passed away two years ago. She says, “I began singing with my dad in church at a young age, then my mother and I started singing together in church when I was 12. My biggest influence and encourager had to be my late husband, Roy Hambrick, and a very special cousin, who I love like a dad, Rodney Eakins. He writes some of the songs I sing. He encourages me and supports me so very much. He will never know what that means to me and how much I enjoy getting to sing with him each week.”

Sara Lewis will be appearing at Christian Country at the Creek

Sara Hambrick Lewis

Lewis continues, “My biggest influences in gospel music are also Bill and Gloria Gaither, along with many of the Homecoming Friends. I was watching a Gaither video at the age of 12 and said then and there, this is what I want to do. Today I’m even more excited about what God has in store for me in gospel music”

“Sheri Easter has to be my biggest female influence,” Lewis continues. “I love that lady. I love her style and her voice, but most of all, her sweet spirit and her love for God and people.” Other musical influences for Sara include the Primitive Quartet, Heirline, and Heaven’s Mountain Band.

2019 Christian Country at the CreekThese artists and many more will be appearing Oct. 30 and 31. The inaugural Christian Country at the Creek is the exciting sister event to Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019 and will be presented at the Mill Creek Conference Center, which is located at 3785 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tenn. One Christian Country artist will be chosen from each day’s concerts to perform that evening during the Creekside Gospel Music Convention.

The Creekside Gospel Music Convention, Oct. 27 – 31, 2019, offers Bluegrass, Country, and Southern gospel afternoon music showcases, evening concerts, and the 2019 Diamond Award presentations.

For more information on the Christian Country at the Creek, Creekside Gospel Music Convention, or the 2019 Diamond Awards ceremony, as well as accommodations and VIP tickets, contact Rob Patz at 360-933-0741.

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