Southern Gospel Weekend

MGM

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

The Heart Of The Matter: A Conversation With Three Bridges

Written by Staff on February 21, 2014 – 2:06 pm -

[Editor’s note: First published by SGM Radio Website in May 2013, written by Matt Baker.]

Three Bridges

Three Bridges

I first heard Three Bridges a few years ago on my local radio station. They were playing a song called, “I’m A Soldier”. I remember thinking to myself, “Those guys sound like they have a blast singing that song!” It was such a fun song to hear. They certainly have ridden off of that hit and brought many more toe-tappers to the airwaves. But their current single, “Forgive Myself”, struck me in a different tone. We certainly need those fast, fun songs that still have truth in the message, but we also need songs like “Forgive Myself”. When I had the chance to chat with Elliott McCoy, Shannon Smith, and Jeremie Hudson, and get their thoughts on the song, I had no idea how special the testimonies would be. There’s no better way to show the power of the song than to go straight to the ones who recorded it.  Here’s my conversation with Elliott (EM), Shannon (SS), and Jeremie (JH):

MB:  Let’s start with the basics. How did you all get started in Gospel Music?

Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith

SS – My family was musical. I sang my first solo in church at the age of five and began voice lessons at age 14, continuing formal voice training for the next 12 years or so. I was a voice performance major at the University of South Carolina and traveled with a college music group. I served as a Minister of Music, Senior Pastor, and then began to do solo ministry wherever I could. I filled in with N’ Harmony at the tenor position in the late ‘90’s. I went into full-time solo ministry in September 2000 and then was the lead singer for The Imperials from 2002 to 2008. For about 18 months I was the worship leader for a church in Miami, FL. I started with Three Bridges in March 2010.

JH – I started singing when I was eight years old. My father, who sang baritone for The Churchmen, was practicing one day and I just started singing alto with him. I realized that day there was something special about singing for God. I continued singing in church as well as competing in talent showcases and later won the regional Church of God Teen Talent Contest for the state of Alabama. In the early 1990’s some friends

Jeremie Hudson

Jeremie Hudson

and I formed the group, Fresh Anointing, at which time I discovered I could sing the tenor part. For the next five years the group not only sang on weekends but also worked full time jobs. In 1999, I joined The Imperials as their tenor and I was there until 2008. I needed to get off of the road for a while so I served as a Worship Pastor in Alabama. I started with Three Bridges in May 2013.

EM- I grew up in a musical family. My grandparents were great influences on me. I began singing with groups like The Laymen Quartet, The Premiers Quartet, and Southern Tradition. As a member of The Premiers, we were able to work with ministers like Dr. John Rawlings and Rex Humbard.

 

 

 

MB: Tell us how Three Bridges was started, Elliott, and where the name came from.

Elliott McCoy

Elliott McCoy

EM: I had wanted to start a Gospel group for a long time but in 2001 it seemed like the Lord’s time had finally come. I sang in a church choir with Mitch Kenitzer (Mitchell Jon) and talked with him about my dream of starting a group. He became the lead singer and we found a wonderful tenor, Stephen Blanton, to join us. We recorded our first CD, Soldiers, released a couple of songs to radio, which were very well received, and the rest is history. We chose the name, Three Bridges, because we liked the word “bridge” as we have bridged our lives to Christ and we want to be a bridge for others to get to Christ, and there were three of us so we decided on Three Bridges.

MB: Let’s talk about “Forgive Myself.” What does a song like this, a very personal song, mean to the three of you?

SS: This is one of those songs where the beauty of the lyric and the beauty of the music come together to create a breathtaking and powerful song! Most Christians know that God has forgiven them of their sins, but many of us struggle to forgive ourselves. We tend to focus so much on our sin and its consequences that we forget that God dealt with the sin when Jesus took our punishment at the cross. Rather than receive the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to become sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” a lot of Christians become trapped in an “I’m just an old sinner saved by grace” mentality. Do we honestly think that the sacrifice of Jesus wasn’t enough to make us righteous? Read more »


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