Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Josh and Ashley Franks are Building the Kingdom

Written by Staff on April 2, 2020 – 1:03 pm -

2020 January SGNScoops.Jimmy Reno. Josh and Ashley

Josh and Ashley Franks

As Vonda Armstrong walked out of Sunday school class, the choir director informed her that her daughter, Ashley, would be singing that morning for the service. Ashley Franks was just four years old at the time. She sang, “Jesus Loves Me,” during the invitational, and it was apparent to those in attendance that her voice touched people that day.

“I knew God had a special purpose for her life,” recalls Vonda.

After that morning, Ashley knew singing was what she wanted to do with her life. Some things are by divine design and Ashley’s talents are no exception. She comes from a musically gifted family. Her grandparents played and sang bluegrass and her mother sings gospel music. Ashley’s soaring soprano is supremely showcased in the couple’s music, meshing well with her husband’s powerful range.

2020 January SGNScoops.Jimmy Reno. Josh and AshleyJosh Franks was born in Florence, Alabama, and he can’t remember life without music. Having musical talent on both sides of his family, it was something that was a part of him from the beginning. He would gather his stuffed animals as a boy and they served as his audience while he sang and preached to them. What he didn’t realize at the time was that he was being prepared for his ministry.

In 2006, Ashley attended the National Quartet Convention with her family to sing, and Josh Franks appeared on the same showcase.

2020 January SGNScoops.Jimmy Reno. Josh and Ashley“I remember thinking he had such a big voice inside such a small person,” she muses.

After they both returned to their homes, Josh and Ashley reconnected, and by the following February they were engaged. That December, they were married.

God had a purpose for their lives and it began unfolding. Just eight days after their wedding, Ashley and Josh recorded their first gospel album together. God began weaving together their ministry, guiding them like a tapestry where every thread was carefully laid in place. He has used their love of music to help reach others that were lost and hurting.

When reflecting on the songs they have recorded, Ashley says, “Oh my, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I don’t think I have a favorite, per se. Right now, a song from our latest album that has really been ministering to me is called, ‘Just As Blessed.’ It talks about how we are just as blessed in the bad seasons of our life as we are in the good ones. Such a great reminder that I think we all need.”

Josh began feeling led to minister on a deeper level and accepted the position of senior pastor at his home church.

2020 January SGNScoops.Jimmy Reno. Josh and Ashley

Ashley and Josh Franks, with their children, Priscilla and Eli

“Josh and I, both at separate times, heard God say that he wanted us to go home and work there. When we finally had the conversation, we knew that was our next step. We did not know how it would even happen. Josh has never been affiliated with any denomination. But all the pieces just sort of fell into place,” Ashley recalls.

“We started with around 12 people for our church attendance. It’s grown now into around 125 per service,” states the blonde beauty.

The couple continues to travel and sing in addition to their duties serving as senior pastor for Peoples Tabernacle Church in Savannah, Tennessee.

When Josh and Ashley reflect back on their ministry, there is something they desire for others to see.

SGNScoops Cover January 2020

January 2020 SGNScoops Magazine

Ashley shares, “For me, I would just want people to say that we were real. That we did not hide the ugly to keep up a good image…but that we gave Jesus even through tough times and that we gave everything we had, every time we had a chance.”

The calling on the lives of Josh and Ashley Franks is to assist in building the kingdom of Heaven. Like that carefully threaded tapestry, where each thread was divinely placed and held together by hundreds of other threads, their singing and preaching has touched others and brought them into the family of the Almighty. They are helping to build God’s kingdom, one soul at a time.

By Jimmy Reno

Find out more about Josh and Ashley Franks HERE

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in January 2020

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Lorraine Walker: the in-between month of March

Written by Staff on March 23, 2020 – 12:06 pm -

Spring. Flowers. Editor's Last Word. March 2020. Lorraine Walker2020 March SGNScoops Magazine – Editor’s Last Word by Lorraine Walker

March is here with warmer winds and brighter sunshine, and much-needed rain. It seems like every March is different, but most people just want spring to begin. We are looking forward to a new season here at SGNScoops. I think I speak for all of my northern friends when I say that we’ve had enough snow! But as these pictures indicate, March gives us an in-between month of flowers and snow, expectation and waiting.

March 202 SGN Scoops Magazine

March 2020 SGN Scoops Magazine

We are thrilled to bring March in like a lion as the saying goes, with a cover story on our friends the Browders who are celebrating 30 years of ministry. Thanks so much to Justin Gilmore who worked with me on this cover project. We so appreciate the authenticity of this family. 

We hope you have thoroughly read through each of the features. Canaan Cauffman, Exodus, Tanya Rose, Kenny Smith, and so many others. It was a pleasure to highlight Paul Heil on his 40th anniversary in radio ministry. Thanks as well to Dixie Phillips for introducing us to Sammy Ward, and Bill Dykes for introducing us to one of his favorite pastors, Dr. Keen. 

Be sure to check the back of the magazine to find out more about each of our contributors this month. Writers may change from month to month, but we always strive to give you the highest quality, and the best delivery of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks to Lyndsey Chandler, Rob Patz, Vonda Armstrong, Robert York, Jantina Baksteen, and Les Butler. Special thanks also goes to my proofreader and general right hand, Joan Walker. And we so appreciate the people who make everything beautiful: Stephanie Kelley, Staci Schwager, and Pete Schwager.

Since Easter doesn’t fall in March this year, the whole month seems to be waiting in expectation for the event. For those who celebrate Lent, or for any who may decide to commemorate this time of year in any special way, each day is a reminder of how much Jesus did for us. The days leading up to the cross, the events taking place as recorded in the Gospels, all of this happened as Jesus must have been in some way preparing himself for what lay ahead. And yet, he was fully present with every event. He knew that the horrible death was just around the corner, signaling the end to his earthly walk. But we never see where he is walking away from ministry or letting the shadow of what was ahead hang heavy over his heart. He was in between the wedding at Cana and the glorious Resurrection, yet he never dwelt on either, according to scripture. He told his disciples what would happen, but he never told them to leave him alone so he could wallow in self-pity.

Spring. Flowers. Snow. March 2020. Editor's Last Word. Lorraine WalkerMany of us are in between two events. Maybe we are between something very happy and yet we know there is something on the horizon, such as the death of a loved one. Perhaps you were in a good state of health, and now you are suffering, though you know at some point in the future you will be whole again. How are you handling this in between portions of life? Are you hiding, wallowing, or lashing out in anger? Or are you using this time to touch other people?

Lorraine Walker: So this is November with Thanksgiving and Christmas

Lorraine Walker

My prayer for you and myself, is that we use each day as a gift from God, and use the gifts that he has given to us, to bless others around us. Let’s not forget to pray for others. Let’s make each day count for him no matter where we are on our path to victory.

Editor’s note: This article was written prior to the onset of the Coronavirus in North America. Are you in isolation because of COVID-19? You too are in the “in-between,” forced to take time to stop and be aware of what is around you. Don’t waste the time: God wants to talk to you, to let you know that he is the source of all peace and hope, and to calm you with the truth of his love. Spend time with him and also pray for others during this time that they might know his peace.

By Lorraine Walker

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in March 2020

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Congratulations to The East Ridge Boys and The SGNScoops Bluegrass Top 20 – April 2020

Written by scoopsnews on March 16, 2020 – 7:43 pm -

 SGNScoops Bluegrass Top 20:

Congratulations to The East Ridge Boys for the Number 1 Song in Bluegrass for SGNScoops April 2020! Here’s the SGNScoops Bluegrass Top 20:

April 2020

1. Turkey Buzzard —  East Ridge Boys/Mansion
2. Which Thief Are You —  Bama Blu-Grace/Family Music Group
3. When He Speaks — The Britton Family/Independent
4. One Such As I — Eagle’s Wings/Independent
5. Place No Wreath — Balsam Range/ Crossroads
6. For A Moment Of Grace — Heaven’s Mountain Band/Family Music Group
7. Nothing At All — HighRoad/Billy Blue Records
8. Up All Night — Southern Raised/StowTown/Provident-Sony
9. A Brighter Day — Primitive Quartet/ Independent
10. The Back Of The Church — Jerry Salley/Billy Blue Records
11. Here and Now — Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers/Billy Blue Records
12. I’m Going To Heaven — Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver/Billy Blue Record
13. He Knows My Name — The Rochesters/UIA
14. How Can You Refuse Him Now — Rhonda Vincent/Rounder Records
15. The Great I Am -The Waymasters/Independent
16. I’m Not Who I Used To Be — Tonja Rose/Mansion
17. If You Want To — Journey Home/Independant
18. I Am Just A Pilgrim — The Appalachian Road Show/Billy Blue Records
19. A Mountain To Climb — The Churchmen/Mountain Fever Records
20. Near My Lord — The Fields Of Grace/Independent

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Andrew Ishee joins SGNScoops

Written by Staff on March 4, 2020 – 8:50 am -

Andrew Ishee

Andrew Ishee

SGNScoops Magazine publisher, Rob Patz, is thrilled to welcome gospel music artist and writer, Andrew Ishee, to his elite writing staff. Ishee is known by many gospel music fans as the talented pianist who has played for many top artists, including the Kingsmen Quartet.

“I’m proud of the momentum SGNScoops Magazine is giving to Southern gospel music,” says Ishee. “It’s my favorite music, and it has been the dream of my life to work in this field. My greatest friendships and relationships stem from gospel music, and I have wanted to share the stories of people I know and love. So it is exciting for me to announce that I’ll be writing a new article for SGNScoops called, ‘Before You Knew Them.’  I’ll share with you the back story of talented singers and musicians with one on one interviews. Plus, I’ll add my perspective as a life long lover of Gospel music and as an artist and studio musician. I feel like I’m coming home to gospel music and to writing.”
Andrew IsheeSGNScoops Magazine will host Ishee’s writing regularly. Publisher Patz says, “Andrew is a gospel music staple and a friend. I’m excited to have him join our team and I know our readers will enjoy his features.”
Be sure to read upcoming issues to fully enjoy the features and artists that Andrew Ishee brings to the audience of SGNScoops Magazine.
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SGNScoops Magazine: Remember making those Resolutions?

Written by Staff on February 29, 2020 – 3:00 pm -

Rob Patz and February SGNScoops 2020

Editor’s Last Word for February 2020 SGNScoops Magazine by Lorraine Walker

Thank you for reading the February, 2020, edition of SGNScoops Magazine. Whether you are looking at the online version, or the condensed print version, I do hope that you have enjoyed reading about some of my favorite people. What better way to celebrate February, the month of love, than to celebrate the artists that love their savior, his music, and his people? I need to bring your attention back to the story of Kirsten Alting, and make sure you have prayed for her today. 

I remember hearing Mark Trammell with the Cathedral Quartet years ago when I was only little, well maybe a little more than a baby, and then forming an acquaintance with him in his Gold City days. I have always regarded him as one of the most committed men of God in Southern gospel. His advice was always spot on. As is his dry sense of humor. I’ve kind of lost connection with him but I’m glad Justin Gilmore was able to connect with him and his men, to draw them to our attention again. 

Jeff and Sheri Easter and their family are some of the nicest people you will meet, and I so enjoyed Jennifer Campbell’s article about them and their love for each other and for Jesus. I have to say, it was a toss-up between the Easters and Mark for the cover story, as they were both timely. I hope you enjoyed both and were able to sense the love of God throughout those features.

Special thanks to Lynn Whitely for sharing the story of the Turn Around Church. It’s great to read such positive results for a church family when so many of the smaller ones are fading away. 

Dixie Phillips brought us the story of Kirsten Alting, and I knew this was something we all needed to read. Life is fleeting and we need to treasure it. To Kirsten and all who live with chronic, debilitating pain, I understand and urge you to look to Jesus for peace and strength.

I hope you enjoyed the rest of our artists: Fayth Lore, Jimmy Reno, Sammy Ward, and the uber talented Rhonda Vincent. Our writers are also some of the best, and we thank Lyndsey Chandler, Jantina Baksteen, Les Butler, Vonda Armstrong, and Rob Patz. Special thanks to my proofer and encourager, Joan Walker. Of course, you wouldn’t see any of this without our creative and design team, Staci and Pete Schwager, and Stephanie Kelley.

 

Lorraine Walker: So this is November with Thanksgiving and Christmas

Lorraine Walker

How are your resolutions going as we head into month number two of 2020? Are they touch-and-go like mine? Why is it so much easier to create bad habits than to create good ones? I think it may be because bad habits usually come with instant gratification. You eat chocolate, you get a burst of happy juice, also known as serotonin. However, this bad habit usually comes with delayed bad results, such as weight gain. 

Developing good habits is more difficult, I guess, because often the immediate result is discomfort or pain. You begin new exercises, your muscles become sore. Of course, there is the delayed gratification of a stronger body, happier heart, and perhaps weight loss. 

 

What about that new spiritual habit you are trying to form? More consistent prayer life, more in depth study of the Bible, or perhaps more regular church attendance? Does it interrupt your screen time or sofa time, or perhaps it disturbs some of your predetermined thoughts about God? However, does it also provide the immediate gratification of feeling closer to Jesus, more grounded in your belief, or developing a different outlook on the church family? Be watching for the delayed gratification too, which is experiencing a closer relationship with your Lord. A win-win for sure.

I do hope your habits are good ones to form. By this time next month, they may almost be ingrained in your lifestyle. March on, Christian soldier!

By Lorraine Walker, Editor SGNScoops Magazine

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The Whisnants: A Family Tradition

Written by Staff on February 22, 2020 – 2:43 pm -

Whisnants

The Whisnants

Imagine if you will, a teenage girl at a gospel sing in 1995. She’s sitting on the right side, the middle pew, in a little Pentecostal church located in a small town in northern Florida. She’s 17, and she wants to sing like them. She wants to be like them. They are her heroes at this point in her life.

She’s ecstatic when she gets to meet them briefly and speak to them, but deep down, never knows if she’ll ever be able to sing well enough to get where they are in gospel music.

WhisnantsNow, imagine that same girl 25 years later at a Southern gospel concert hearing that same group. She has witnessed them accomplish so many amazing things since that little town of Cottondale, Fla. However, no achievement will ever compare to the lives they’ve helped lead to the Kingdom of Heaven. This young woman, now a mom, is watching them on stage with tears. She sees a new dynamic on the stage that she didn’t notice as a teenager because she wasn’t a mom yet. That young girl was me, and that group was the Whisnants.

The Whisnants have an incredible legacy and tradition that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. Both Jeff and Susan were born with it in their blood. Their sons, Austin and Ethan, have something special that came from both sides of their family, which will carry on for many years to come.

In 1970, around the old upright piano in John and Betty Whisnant’s house, a family began singing in the Appalachian foothills of Morganton, North Carolina. The voices of children blended with their parents as the sound of a gospel song filled the house. From that time forward, they were known as the John Whisnant Family. Years passed as John, Betty, and their sons Jeff and John sang together, but as the family matured, change was on the horizon.

WhisnantsSusan started singing with her mother and father at the age of 12, and they were known as the Roland Dry Singers. She sang with them until she met Jeff when she was 20. 

“My daddy’s a pastor, so we did many revivals. There were a lot of Friday and Saturday night concerts and stuff like that. That’s how I met Jeff,” says Susan.

They were singing together in Whitesburg, South Carolina during their first meeting. 

“Our hearts did not mesh there. Jeff had his girlfriend there. My momma would elbow me and go, ‘Susan, you got to talk to him.’ I’d say, ‘Momma, he’s got his girlfriend here.’ I finally agreed, (and) on July 4th weekend of 1985 or 1986, Jeff and I went out for our first date, and then I knew he was it. I came home and I told Momma and Daddy that I was going to marry him. I told them there was only one problem. ‘He doesn’t know, and I don’t know how I’m going to convince him to marry me.’ Jeff didn’t have that peace (at first). I had always prayed for God to give me that peace, so I wouldn’t miss who God had for me. That’s how I started singing with the Whisnants. Jeff and I married in May of 1988,” Susan remembers.

The Whisnants signed their first record deal with Sunlight Records, in September of 1988. They went to the National Quartet Convention with Sunlight Records, and stayed with Sunlight Records until 1995. They then made a big move and started United Independent Artists (UIA). Their very first song was ‘I’ll Stand for the Lord’. It went to No. 7, and it was their very first Top 10 song. 

“God blessed us when we took that move. It was a total step of faith,” recalls Susan. 

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Rob Patz: My Vision for 2020

Written by Staff on February 22, 2020 – 6:05 am -

Rob Patz2020 February SGNScoops Publishers Point By Rob Patz

I was part of a radio interview recently and was asked by the DJ what my vision was for 2020. It took me a minute to really gather my thoughts, but I wanted to share with you much of what I saw as a vision for 2020, concerning SGNScoops Magazine and Coastal Events.

More than anything in 2020, I want to lead more people to Christ. I want them to know my personal Savior. I want them to realize that they’re not in this world alone, that the hurt that they’re going through, the worry they have, the loneliness they feel, can all be answered by one man; and they can be comforted in knowing that he has everything under control.

That’s the first thing. The second thing is I want to watch this industry grow. I want to be a part of that growth and I want to be a cheerleader for those artists that are looking to see their ministries expand. I believe we live in a time where our industry needs to look back to its roots, back to a time when the local church was very important. My desire is to introduce new people who are not in our current demographic to our music. I believe it can be a life-changing, encouraging music, and the words are truly the message of salvation.

Rob Patz and February SGNScoops 2020My third vision for 2020, is to see the growth of events nationwide in our industry. We are excited about Ohio and Michigan and Tupelo, Mississippi. We’re excited about events we haven’t even been able to talk to you about yet.

As we move into the second month of the new year, it is important that we realize that everything we do should be tied to what God has called us to do. I believe everyone of us has a mission and I strongly encourage you to pray and seek out what that mission is that God has for you to do this year. I also want to ask you at this time if you’re interested in volunteering to be part of our team for events or behind the scenes work with the magazine. I encourage you to email me rob@sgnscoops.com.

Southern Gospel Weekend 2020I look forward to seeing you next month in Oxford, Alabama, at Southern Gospel Weekend, March 19 – 21. We are going to have an incredible time. If you have not been to Oxford, Alabama, and you have not attended Southern Gospel Weekend, please make plans now to join us.

Until next time, this is the Publisher’s Point.

By Rob Patz

First published in SGNScoops Magazine February 2020

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Joseph Habedank lives in The Beauty of the Blood

Written by Staff on February 16, 2020 – 9:59 am -

Joseph Habedank lives in The Beauty of the BloodTough love, unexpected guest and faith in Christ set Joseph Habefank free from addiction

Joseph Habedank leans back, microphone in his right hand, left arm outstretched. He pours his entire soul into delivering the message he lives every day.

Heaven’s best takes all the scars

For the worst in all of us

That’s the glory of the cross

The wonder of His love

That’s the beauty of the blood!

They aren’t just words of beauty for one of Southern Gospel’s favorite soloists. They’re life. And he’s grateful beyond measure.

“Only God can take blood and make it pretty,” he says during a November concert at Stithton Baptist Church in Radcliff, Kentucky.

Joseph Habedank lives in The Beauty of the BloodJoseph Habedank knows that beauty of the blood. He knows it personally. Even his surname is a reminder of what God has done in his life. “My name in English is Habedank,” he says with a smile. “In German, ‘haben’ is ‘to have’ and ‘danke’ is thanks. So my name means ‘have thanks.’

It was fitting that a few weeks before Christmas 2018  he was with The Erwins as part of the Resurrection of Faith Tour which has been working since 2017. The name comes from the artists albums, Habedank’s “Resurrection” and The Erwins’ “Only Faith Can See,” which were current at the tour’s outset. 

At 33, Habedank is the oldest artist on the tour. The Erwins’ ages range from 18 to 26. Through November, they had played about 50 dates together and plan to continue the tour indefinitely. 

“I’m proud of (the tour). There is no one else in the entire world I would rather travel with than those kids,” Habedank says. 

But the Resurrection of Faith tour might be a metaphor for Joseph Habedank’s career. One of gospel music’s top stars before he was 20, Habedank hit the bottom before he was 30 but now tells his story, made possible by the beauty of Christ’s blood.

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Rob Patz: Because He Lives

Written by Staff on January 25, 2020 – 5:42 am -

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

Rob Patz. Picture courtesy of Penny Walters and Gloryland.

2020 January SGNScoops Publishers Point By Rob Patz

Welcome to the January Publisher’s Point. Can you believe it’s 2020? As I get older, it is amazing to me how time seems to move so much more quickly, and how we need to cherish the moments that we have.

Over this past year, I dealt a lot with mourning, as my family dealt with the sorrow of death. Now, I will tell you that, as a Christian, I have said many times, that even though someone in our life has passed away, we will have the joy of seeing them again. I can also tell you that in the last year, those words seemed to ring hollow inside of me as I missed seeing family members.

Recently, I have found comfort in a song that I’m sure we’ve all sung: “Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow.” If you really think about it, facing tomorrow isn’t always easy, but we know that because Christ died and rose for us – for you and for me – we can face tomorrow no matter what the struggle is.

Maybe you’re struggling with your health, or with finances, or with finding a job; just know that you – like me dealing with mourning – you can face tomorrow because Jesus is going to be there with you. Just think of how amazing God is! He is not only here right now, but he is also already in tomorrow! Nothing catches him by surprise. Nothing will take him off guard. He knows your steps.

Rob Patz celebrates his birthday Sept. 24My dad used to reassure me about how much God loved me as a child, when he would tell me that God knows the number of hairs on your head. He would sit me on his lap and he would tell me that if God cares enough about you to invest the time in counting the number of hairs on your head, then he cares about your daily life, and He cares about your joys and your sorrows.

In 2020, my theme song is going to be “Because He Lives.” Not only that “Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow,” but also, “Because He Lives,” I have the hope that I will see my family and friends again. “Because He Lives,” I know that he will take care of my finances, he will take care of my family, and he will take care of my job. “Because He Lives,” I do have hope for tomorrow.

I know that in most years past, I have spent the first Publisher’s Point talking about getting ready for the new year. But this year, it just feels different. This year, it feels like we need to talk about life, about what this year is going to hold for all of us. I know one thing: that “Because He Lives,” I can face tomorrow with joy, hope, and strength; that everything is going to be awesome.

Hey, I’d love to see you in Oxford, Alabama, March 19 – 21, 2020, for Southern Gospel Weekend. If you can’t make that, I would love to see you in Tupelo, Mississippi, April 23 – 25, 2020, for Gospel Music Expo.

SGNScoops Cover January 2020Also, watch the website for the opening of the Diamond Awards 2020. And let this be your special invitation to join us for Creekside 2020, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, October 25 – 29, 2020. For more information on any Coastal Events, email events@sgnscoops.com.

Read the latest Gospel Music News in SGNScoops Magazine online HERE

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SGNScoops DJ Spotlight on Sylvia Green of WVOB

Written by Staff on January 20, 2020 – 5:32 pm -

DJ Spotlight on Sylvia GreenDJ Spotlight on Sylvia Green

By Vonda Easley

WVOB 91.3 FM went on the air in December of 1988 with 2,500 watts of power. The studio is situated in the main Administration Building of Bethany Divinity College and Seminary.

 

WVOB offers Great Christian Programming, including the best and latest in today’s Southern gospel music, 24 hours a day. WVOB 91.3 FM is a listener-supported radio station and is the home of this month’s DJ Spotlight, the amazingly talented Sylvia Green. I quizzed Sylvia with five unique questions. Check out her answers and get to know her. You will be glad you did!

 

Vonda Armstrong: Sylvia, tell us about your current radio position. station, location, job, years on the job, and how you got started? 

Sylvia Green: Our station is Gospel 91-WVOB Dothan/Webb, Ala. We’re a 24 hour, seven days a week Southern gospel music station that covers parts of the tri-states area of Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Currently holding the position of Assistant Program Director, I’m proud to say I’ve been associated with this station since the first few months of 1992.

Keith Brady, from the group I sang with at the time (the Bradys) was working at WVOB part time when not on the road. When a sister station was opened in nearby Bonifay, Fla., due to my knowledge of gospel music, the management asked me to help spearhead the opening of WJED.  I had no prior on-air experience, but with great on-the-job training and help from up above, WJED became a vital station in that area for many years. When management decided to sell it a few years ago, they transferred me to Dothan’s WVOB where we soon started the “Coffee-Break with Keith and Sylvia,” which has become dear to my heart. We love sharing behind the scenes news in gospel music, jokes, trivia, and a whole list of other things, plus we have the “Word Game” each segment where listeners can win gift items.

 

VA: You are not only a DJ, but a singer, songwriter and an inspiration to many. Do you have a favorite song that you have written? Tell us about that song of one that is special to you and why?

SG: “Here I Am” which was recorded by the Hoppers would have to be my first choice. I was so honored that it became Song of the Year in 1990 and was Song of the Decade for the 90’s. But what means the most to me are the thousands of testimonies connected with this song that I’ve heard through the years. Each time I stop to think about the far reaching effects for the cause of Christ this song has had, I’m blown away yet again by the fact that God allowed this simple girl from lower Alabama to write it. Next year marks the 30th anniversary of “Here I Am” winning Song of the Year. I’m still getting testimonies of how it changes lives. To God be the glory, he far exceeded my goals and I’ll always be humbled by it.

 

DJ Spotlight on Sylvia GreenVA: Please share your testimony. 

SG: I became a Christian at the young age of six years old during a revival at the church my dad and mom pastored in Troy, Alabama. I guess some think that is too young, but I knew exactly what I was doing. My heart was touched, the tears flowed, and I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life. I’ve rededicated my life to him many times since then because none of us are perfect.  We all fail, we all mess up, we all stray a little from where we know we need to be in our walk with him. We break his heart, but his mercy and grace woos us back to him and I’m so thankful for that. Too many feel that because they’ve made a mistake, that God hates them. But nothing could be further from the truth, that’s what the cross was for. I’ve spent a lifetime in gospel music, whether through singing, songwriting, or on radio, sharing the good news of his love and forgiveness; I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 

 

VA: What is something you  look for from artists who send music to Gospel 91-WVOB? 

SG:  Our station has certain guidelines set up by management, that we as employees must adhere to when it comes to what is allowed to be played. One in particular is that it must be recognizable as a gospel song in lyric content. We are reminded that there are many good, positive songs, that may not necessarily fall under our guidelines. In the position I hold of being the person who approves or disapproves what gets to be added into rotation, this can sometimes be a hard task. Because I applaud great, positive lyric content, and because we always want to be relevant as music progresses in ways we can, as we maintain our original goal, I do my very best to make the distinctions needed so that management is pleased, God is glorified, and artists continue to send us great music! Having said that, listeners are facing some tough times, they struggle with things they never thought they’d have to face, so I love getting songs that point us to the source of our joy, our strength in times of trouble, and remind us that although what we are facing right now seems to have no answer, we have hope in a heavenly father who can bring miracles to pass!

 

VA: Do you have a bucket list? We’d love to hear about things you’ve checked off and what’s still there? 

SG: When I was young, the first time I saw Vestal Goodman sing, I wanted to sing. When she became “Queen of Gospel Music,” I immediately wanted (to be) that one day. That of course wasn’t meant to be. When I started writing, I dreamed one day of winning the “Song of the Year Award.” And, for some reason God saw fit for that little 14-year-old girl’s dream to come true.  Veering away from music a bit, I marked several things off my list, like, owning my own golf clubs and learning how to play, learning to shoot a target with a gun, learning to make old fashioned cat-head homemade biscuits, and learning to decorate cakes with roses. But there are some things on my bucket list I have not done. These include, going to Australia and Hawaii for vacation, and becoming a pilot. (Sylvia laughs.) How many would like to fly on a plane I was piloting?

 

Vonda Armstrong

Vonda Armstrong

Thank you Sylvia for sharing with us. I’d fly with you anywhere! Let’s go.

By Vonda Armstrong

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in June 2019

 

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