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Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Greater Vision:  A Legacy of Faithfulness

Written by Staff on May 12, 2015 – 2:09 pm -

Greater Vision

Greater Vision

By Matt Baker

It was 2006. I was scheduled to sing in a church in Clovis, New Mexico. I didn’t realize whom I was opening for until that week. The group I opened up for that night made a lasting impact on me; they became my favorite group and still are to this day. I’m talking about Greater Vision, from Morristown, TN: lead singer/emcee Gerald Wolfe, baritone Rodney Griffin, and Chris Allman singing the tenor part.

Chris Allman

Chris Allman

Gospel music fans from all over the world have fallen in love with the smooth harmony and the timeless lyrics heard on each project they release. What I’ve come to love is their class and consistency on and off the stage; the Greater Vision I saw in 2006 is the same Greater Vision I saw a couple weeks ago in Morganton, NC. Their love for the Lord is evident in their music, and in this conversation, we’ll see some of the heart behind this faithful journey they’ve been on for 25 years now.

Gerald Wolfe is a powerhouse in the world of Southern Gospel, and it’s hard to imagine Greater Vision, or the Southern Gospel industry itself, without his presence. However, he says, that almost happened. “During High School, my plan was to go to the Navy after graduation, using the ROTC Program to pay for my education, since I had finished my High School’s three-year ROTC program. Thankfully, God had a different plan that brought me to where I am today.  If I had followed my plan, I would probably be retired from the Navy by now, and playing the piano or organ in a church in Morristown, TN., or leading congregational worship.”

Gerald Wolfe

Gerald Wolfe

Chris Allman is the most recent addition to this bunch and after a break of several years you’d think there would be changes to the focus of Greater Vision. “Well,” says Allman, “At this point I wouldn’t really be considered the newbie anymore. I’ve been back nearly five years. Believe it or not, it’s not much different. We’re just all older and more patient!”

This older group of Greater Vision still has the powerful singing and heart-gripping songs of the earlier version. It’s not often that in a group, you have at your fingertips two of Gospel Music’s most prolific songwriters. Rodney Griffin and Allman have written literally hundreds of songs in their career and they say this desire to write came out of the need to express themselves more personally in their music.

“Sitting at my desk in Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia in 1989, I wrote my first song,” says Griffin. “I found myself writing during my lunch breaks. The only problem was I didn’t have an outlet for any of my songs. I wasn’t singing with a group at the time, yet I had a desire to say something. I had written 25 to 30 songs before I had the nerve to try to pitch something to a group.”

Allman notes, “I just had a real desire to say something through music. It was as if just singing other people’s thoughts wasn’t altogether satisfying. I prayed for the gift to write and God granted it.”

Occasionally the writers will bring forward a song that just doesn’t work for the trio, and other artists then record these works. Griffin comments, “I’ve been blessed to write several songs that we haven’t recorded. One of those that touches me deeply is: “Will You Marry Me.”  I believe it was recorded on Lauren Talley’s first solo project. Musically, it doesn’t fit us, but wow, when I think of the message, it is deep.”

Rodney Griffin

Rodney Griffin

Griffin and Allman songs have garnered awards and accolades for the group, but this doesn’t make the Greater Vision men stand-offish or place themselves apart from their audience. On any given night, a concert attendee will find any of the men, or all three of them, at the product table. Griffin comments, “It’s always a treat for me to hear how a particular song we sang encouraged someone in some particular instance. There is nothing more encouraging to a writer than to hear what God did with a song in someone’s life – especially when you are looking them in the eye!” Read more »


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