Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

35 Golden Years for Gold City Quartet

Written by Staff on February 22, 2015 – 7:08 am -

DSC_0074 editBy Melissa Joy Wright

Since the group’s inception in 1980, Gold City Quartet has become the standard to which all other quartets strive to meet. This Quartet’s legacy is rich and deep with talent, ministry and love for the Lord. The current line-up is no exception. If you ask these guys each other’s best attributes, they’ll tell you first that their success in ministry is a collective team effort. They are a great team as a whole.

One part of that team is Chip Pullen. Chip sings lead for the group and is a down-to-earth guy who is a great friend to have. He brings energy and excitement to the Quartet both on the stage and off. He is an asset to the group and you can see his heart for Christ with every word that he sings.

DSC_0962Robert Fulton is another part of this team. Robert sings the tenor part and is a self-professed nerd who loves trivia and game shows. He is the go-to guy if you want to be in the know on world events. He has a tender heart to serve and you can hear that when he shares the gospel from the stage.

Daniel Riley sings the baritone part and manages the group. Daniel is a constant source of encouragement for these guys. Not only does he pray for them, but he prays with them, as well. Daniel builds confidence in the lives of others and truly has a heart for ministry, in addition to being the man behind the details of running this successful quartet.

3 editIf you were asked to name an icon in southern gospel music today, the name Tim Riley would be on your short list. This Hall of Fame inductee has truly been famously singing the bass part for Gold City. He is the mentor of the group, resonating with each member as the ultimate voice of experience. The other group members all agree they seek Tim’s advice and wisdom 4 editin all things, and his road stories can’t be rivaled. He has a real desire to reach the lost. Tim wants to see others make great music and perpetuate Southern Gospel. Reports of his progress since his recent stroke are positive. He is at home, in good spirits, and making great strides toward recovery.

5 editChris West is helping to hold down the bass part while Tim is recovering. Chris is a long time Riley family friend who has filled in beautifully. The guys say Chris is great to travel with and has become a real friend. He has a laid back personality and he really enjoys serving the Lord.

Another important member of this team is Bryan Elliot. One of the very best musicians in this business, Bryan makes the piano sound fabulous day in and day out while bringing glory to God. He is a devoted family man who has a wonderful sense of humor, and he genuinely cares for people and truly desires to see others come to a personal relationship with Christ.

6 editThe sound for this quartet has never been better and part of the reason the mix is always perfect is because of Chuck Howe, Gold City’s sound engineer and road manager. He is their resident MacGyver, fixing the most difficult problems with nothing more than a rubber band and drinking straw. Chuck is willing to help do anything and help anyone at anytime. He is invaluable to Gold City Quartet.

7 editThese men love their job and they love their Lord. They all share a firm desire to see people come to the salvation of Christ. They strive to encourage believers in their faith and further Southern Gospel music. Gold City Quartet has an historic legacy and a bright future, in fact; you could say it’s as bright as…gold.

For more information on Gold City, visit http://www.goldcityqt.com/

Photographs courtesy of Kimberly Roberts

By Melissa Joy Wright

First published October 2014 by SGN Scoops magazine.

For current issues of SGN Scoops visit www.sgnscoops.com


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Perspective: A Fresh Look at The Bowling Family

Written by Staff on September 30, 2014 – 12:20 pm -

DSC_0018By Melissa Joy Wright

Google defines the word per-spec-tive “perspective” as a particular attitude toward, or way of regarding something; a point of view. Google defines the word fresh “fresh”as recently created or experienced, and not faded or impaired. Let’s take a look at The Bowling Family with fresh perspective. This family group has deep roots in Southern Gospel music, and The Bowlings combine a beautiful bridge from a solid past to a youthful future.

Youth is the perfect word to describe the newest full time member of this mixed quartet. Hope is the 14-year-old daughter of Mike and Kelly Bowling. This sweet little face is becoming a vocal dynamo! She sings with a big voice that commands the audience’s attention.   “Hope brings a fresh outlook and youthful zeal to our group,” says Troy Peach. Both Mike and Kelly agree with Troy.   “She has a young perspective that is rare in our music,” Kelly mentions. Mike agrees that Hope’s young talent is an attribute to the group’s ministry. Hope shares, “I’m an avid reader. I like reading the Bible and fiction.” She has a humble spirit and shared her desire to be a Godly woman who also has a funny side!

DSC_0020Speaking of humor, Troy Peach is this group’s funny guy. He always has a smile on his face, and as Hope relays, “Troy is a people-person, who likes to interact with everyone.” Troy started his gospel career playing drums for his family group when he was just five years old. This is a man who wears many hats, and does it successfully. He helps manage the group, is an audio expert who runs sound flawlessly, and sings well. His voice and style convey a passion for the truth of the lyric he is singing.

Troy believes in the true faithfulness of God. He says, “The Bible tells us God was tempted in all points, so He understands us, no matter what we get ourselves into.” Troy is married to the beautiful Katy Peach and the two share twin boys Clayton and Shelton. Last summer at vacation bible school, both boys accepted Christ as their personal savior at the age of seven years old, and Troy says it is the highlight of parenting, watching his children maturing spiritually. Mike and Kelly both agree that Troy is a very hard worker, who never quits and has an excellent work ethic. Troy strives to be the ‘Real Deal’ that is the same guy once, twice, and every time you see him.

DSC_0028Kelly conveys the same thought. She wants to be the ‘Real Deal’: genuine. Everyone who knows her confirms that she definitely is. Kelly grew up singing with her brothers and sister as a member of the Singing Crabb Family, and now with her husband and three daughters, she is carrying on a legacy of ministry.

Speaking affectionately of his wife, Mike says, “Kelly has a heart for God and ministry. She loves the Lord and is a great wife and mother.” Kelly’s desire is that all people know that Jesus loves them, and God has a plan for them no matter who they are or what they’ve done. Hope says, “My Mom is the one who will go pray with someone, even if it stops the concert set.”

DSC_0039Kelly is a sensitive woman who cries every time she hears the song, “Wind Beneath my Wings”, and her fans find her down-to-earth personality sweet, and very easy to talk to. Troy speaks jointly of this couple saying, “Mike and Kelly have a very special anointing on their life since the bus crash in July of 2010. God has touched them, and they don’t take this anointing for granted.”

Mike Bowling has had the touch of God on his life since he was very young. In fact, while he was in the 10th grade, his parents allowed him to leave public school and go on the road full time with the LeFevres, singing gospel music, while accomplishing home schooling. He’s been singing and sharing the love of God for 33 years.

Hope says of her dad, “He’s the face of our group, the one everyone knows.” Mike has a soulful voice that allows the message in a song to penetrate the heart of the listener. “He brings wisdom and experience to our ministry, and as a man, he is even-tempered and loyal,” says wife Kelly. Mike has a tremendous love for his God, family and friends, and wants people to know how much our faithful Lord loves and cares for them. He is proud of all three of his daughters, watching them grow in the Lord.

The two youngest Bowling girls, Katelanne and Gracie, join their older sister Hope on stage and sing as The Bowling Sisters. Their harmony is perfect and their sweet little spirits are uplifting to the listener’s soul. Kelly beams and says of her daughters’ singing for the Lord, “It is the most rewarding experience in my life, and my cheeks hurt from smiling so much just watching them.”

“It is my goal in life for my kids to know Jesus and have that personal relationship with Him,” says Mike. “All three of the girls have accepted Christ as their personal Savior, and my desire is they will always serve him.” Hope loves singing with her little sisters, citing Gracie as the little star that makes everyone laugh and Katelanne as the sweet one that always brings a smile.

Not to be forgotten is the quiet demeanor of John Jeffrey. John helps run sound and plays the piano for the group, while doing the bus driving duties as well. He has a kind, smiling face, and is always quick with a warm greeting for fans. He doesn’t miss a beat changing the set list in the middle of a concert to accommodate a request, or the leading of the Holy Spirit in a different direction.

The Bowlings are not just an anointed southern gospel group, but they are a well-practiced team. They have a beautiful sound, great songs, wonderful stage presence, and an attitude of ministry and worship that is both genuine and humble.

We hope you will attend a Bowlings concert at a venue near you. For more information, visit http://www.bowlingsonline.com/ /


Written by Melissa Joy Wright

First Published by SGN Scoops digital magazine in August 2014

For current issues of SGN Scoops, visit http://www.sgnscoops.com/



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