Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Goodman Revival: A Happy Surprise

Written by Staff on August 11, 2015 – 11:12 am -

Goodman Revival

Goodman Revival

 

The name Goodman is synonymous with Southern Gospel Music. This legendary group will forever be remembered for their timeless classics, such as, “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now” and “Who Am I.”  While Howard, Vestal, Rusty, and Sam are now singing on Heaven’s shores, another generation of Goodmans has stepped up to continue the family’s musical legacy. Tanya Goodman Sykes, Michael Sykes, and Johnny Minick are singing songs in the key of happy. What was thought to be a one-time special performance at Johnny’s church, River of Life Assembly of God Church, in Smyrna, Tennessee, has now blossomed into a new ministry. Goodman Revival seeks to not only maintain the uniqueness of the Happy Goodman Family musical style, but to also preserve the purpose of ministry: to share the love of Jesus Christ every time God opens the door.

Tanya Goodman Sykes

Tanya Goodman Sykes

Sometimes, it is evident that God works in mysterious ways. Tanya says the formation of this new ministry was a complete surprise, yet a tremendous blessing. She discussed their decision to move back to Tennessee: “When we first moved back here, we were staying with Johnny and Sherry while we were looking for a house. One Sunday, I sang, ‘Who Am I?’  Just different things, and Johnny would play, and he and Michael would sing harmonies. Then one Sunday, we decided to sing, ‘Until You’ve Known the Love of God.’  We worked it up on Saturday night and we did it on Sunday. At that time, they were posting the services online and putting stuff on YouTube. I saw it on YouTube and it had like 10 or 15,000 hits. We were just shocked. A few months went by and a promoter called us. He said, ‘I want to know about how I can get Johnny, Tanya, and Michael to come and sing.’ We said, ‘We don’t have a group.’”

According to Tanya, the promoter wanted to schedule the group for a reminiscing night of Gospel Music, featuring Tanya, Johnny, and Michael, along with the Rambos and Hinsons. Tanya said they decided it would be fun, but they had to learn more songs to sing, since they had only prepared a couple for church. She said someone got very excited about their limited performances and gave them the money to make a record.  Soon the Gaithers wanted them to do a video and as they say, they rest is history. That’s how Goodman Revival was born.

Goodman Revival has, of course, a strong musical influence from the original Happy Goodman Family.  As the daughter of Rusty Goodman, Tanya shares her father’s heart for ministry. So do Johnny and Michael.  Tanya added, “My dad was a stickler for a good song. A lyric was really important to him and it was also really important that the melody marry that lyric and really represent what that lyric was about, so we all are very picky about songs. One of the things that Michael, Johnny, and I learned by example from my family is that you just need to use the gift that God put in you.” Read more »


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JOEL AND LABREESKA HEMPHILL: SWEETHEARTS FOR A LIFETIME

Written by Staff on February 10, 2015 – 9:52 am -

Labreeska and Joel Hemphill

Labreeska and Joel Hemphill

By Sandi Duncan Clark

In 1957, life was more relaxed, things moved a little slower and almost everyone went to church on Sundays and for revivals. This was especially true in the south. That spring, Joel Hemphill met the love of his life, LaBreeska Rogers at a church revival in West Monroe, Louisiana and it didn’t take long for him to make her his wife. The young couple began a lifetime of ministry and they have been sweethearts and partners in ministry for more than fifty three years.

Music played a major role in the life of young Joel Hemphill, the son and grandson of ministers of the Gospel. LaBreeska was part of the famous Goodman family, and when she was nine years old, she sang at the Ryman Auditorium with the Goodmans. Immediately following their marriage, the happy couple began singing together in their home church and for revivals around the area.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen the three Hemphill children came along, they joined the family’s music ministry, forming one of the premier family groups in Southern Gospel music. Joey was only ten when he joined his Mom and Dad on stage playing drums. Trent followed at age fourteen, playing bass guitar. Candy soon joined in and with her strong soprano, she quickly became a featured voice in the group. Her first recorded song with the family was “I Came On Business For The King,” written by her father.

The Hemphills were traveling extensively then, and decided to move Nashville, Tennessee, to be more centrally located. Their music was original, written by Joel, and their close family harmony and exciting band found them much in demand by concert promoters and church pastors. Their many top-charting songs were penned by Joel, and at the same time, the children were honing their song writing craft.

The Hemphills had many number one songs in the industry charts over the years. Joel’s songs were sought after by every artist planning studio time for a new recording. The Goodmans, the first professional group to record Joel’s music, (“Pity The Man,” “He Filled A Longing,” “I Found A Better Way,” etc.), The Blackwoods, The Speer Family, The Gaithers, The Florida Boys and The Cathedrals all recorded songs written by Joel Hemphill.

JOelIn 1990, the Hemphill children chose to develop their individual ministries, and once again, as in 1957, Joel and LaBreeska Hemphill were two sweethearts in the ministry. Singing and preaching dates filled their calendar, yet God chose to change their direction.

Joel had successful surgery for colon cancer, yet the enemy launched a battle of clinical depression and for two years, Joel faced debilitating days, for the most part being home-bound, often bed-ridden. On November 8, 1992, his home church anointed Joel and prayed for his healing. From that day till this, Joel and his doctors agree the healing miracle came for God.

Joel and LaBreeska became even more excited about the Lord and pursuing the ministry. Joel’s sermons had new meaning, and where he had not written a new song in over two years, he received two new songs from the Lord on that Sunday, and six new songs the following week.

LaBreeska wrote a book about that dry spell in their ministry, titled, “Partners In Emotion.” She shares that although Joel was the one suffering from the trauma, she and the entire family were greatly impacted. When asked how Joel’s illness and depression affected her, LaBreeska shared, “It hit me in the pit of my stomach. I have prayer time very early every morning and I just talked to God about it. I prayed throughout that battle and was able to be the strength Joel needed to get through till the healing came.”

LaBreeksaMIn October of 2010, Joel experienced a new health issue. He tells the story, “The doctors found cancerous tumors in my bladder, and did two surgeries to remove them. I completed six chemotherapy treatments and will return to the doctor on February 1st for a biopsy,” Joel said. “Unlike my first battle with cancer, I have no depression and no doubt that this is another avenue added to our ministry, whereby we can testify to God’s amazing grace and healing.”

Joel has written several insightful books dealing with Biblical doctrine. His most recent book, “GLORY TO GOD, IN THE HIGHEST,” strips the teachings of many Roman and Greek philosophies from the Christian doctrine, and presents Joel’s research into those influences.

Joel and LaBreeska continue to minister, both with preaching and singing. They find joy in presenting the Gospel as “Sweethearts for a Lifetime,” and as an evangelistic team, “Partners in Ministry,” ironically, the title of one of their recordings!

And to quote LaBreeska Hemphill, the beautiful wife of Joel Hemphill, as she laughingly states, “More correctly, we’re the Sweethearts of the Geritol Generation!”

LaBreeska_JoelHemphillContact information: Joel & LaBreeska Hemphill , P.O. Box 656, Joelton, TN 37080-0656,(615) 299-0848 (Office Phone,) (615) 299-0849 (Office Fax,) Joel and Labreeska  E-mail: jhemphill@wildblue.net
Website: www.thehemphills.com

By Sandi Duncan Clark

First published February 2011 by SGN Scoops Digital Magazine

For more features on your favorite artists visit SGN Scoops for the latest edition of SGN Scoops digital magazine. www.sgnscoops.com


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