Shane and Denise Jeter

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Creekside Gospel Music Convention

October 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on October 18, 2018 – 4:31 am -

October 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

October 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

Welcome to the 2018 Creekside edition of SGNScoops Magazine. We are glad that you have taken the time to stop by our page and read this issue. There are so many great features on artists you know and love.Russ Taff is our cover artist and Craig Harris went in-depth to give us the story behind the story that is going to be shown across the country in the new movie, “I Still Believe.” This film will be released nationwide on Oct.30 by Fathom Events. Taff shares how the movie came to be and real events on which it is based.
Arthur Rice of the Kingdom Heirs is featured as the Jerry Goff SGNScoops Magazine Lifetime Achievement award winner at Creekside Gospel Music Convention, on Oct. 29. Be sure to join all of Rice’s friends and family at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. for all of the festivities. Justin Gilmore talks to Rice about what this honor means to him.
Also featured are Canaan Coffman, Brian Free and Assurance, B.J. Pons, Kelsi Robertson-Harrigill of Flatt Lonesome, the Pathfinders and much more. David Staton talks about the normally hushed subject of artists and money, Vonda Easley’s DJ Spotlight is on Kyle Dowden, as well as the Christian Country Top 40 and the Gospel music Top 100.
Special congratulations to our hard-working advertising and social media guru, Vonda Easley as she enters into marriage with Jack Armstrong, III, on Oct. 21, at Savannah, Tenn. God bless you both in your new life together.
We hope to see all of our artists and SGNScoops family at Creekside in Pigeon Forge, from Oct. 28 – Nov. 1. Come see why we say #wearefamily.

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Inner Views of The Bontragers: A Bluegrass family making music together

Written by Staff on September 21, 2018 – 1:02 pm -

Inner Views of The Bontragers: A Bluegrass family making music together

The Bontragers: A Bluegrass family making music together

We are pleased to present the first feature by SGNScoops Magazine writer, Cheryl Smith, as she presents the “Inner Views of the Bontragers.” We are thrilled to have Cheryl as part of the SGNScoops writing team. She enjoys Bluegrass and Appalachian music and brings a fresh look at gospel music from the mountains. 

Inner Views of The Bontragers: A Bluegrass family making music togetherIt is always such a blessing to come across families who are living for God together, and who are following him and his plan for their lives as a large family unit. When there is bluegrass music involved, it is an even bigger blessing. I am so grateful to be able to share the Inner Views of one such family with you, the Bontragers.


Cheryl: Please tell us about yourselves and your family.
Marlin and Becky Bontrager: Our parents taught us the value of hard work and strong family ties. We raised our family on a farm in rural Kalona, Iowa. We farm half of the year and travel singing and sharing God’s Word the other half.

Inner Views of The Bontragers: A Bluegrass family making music togetherCheryl:  How and when did the two of you meet?
Becky:  We casually met at a Bible school in Arkansas, then again with some mutual friends a year later, and once more at a conference in Ohio six months later. Total, we had spent probably three hours together, mostly with other friends, but through all this, God put it on Marlin’s heart to go out on a date with me. So about two years after our first meeting, he came to Cincinnati (where I was working at a daycare) to take me out on a date.The rest is history…

Cheryl:  Will you each kindly share with us about your personal Christian testimony?  
Marlin: We both were raised in Christian homes. I was rebellious for my growing up years. I came to Christ at a revival meeting a few months before my 20th birthday.

Inner Views of The Bontragers: A Bluegrass family making music togetherBecky: I asked God to save me when I was about 14. More recently, I have realized that God’s salvation is free and complete without any help from me. My part is simply trusting him for salvation and then joyfully serving/obeying him every day of my life. It is always the work of the Holy Spirit that draws a person to Christ, but our parents, the church, and a loving home were all instrumental in bringing us to salvation. Surrendering one’s life to Jesus Christ changes everything–it has affected our thoughts about birth control, how we raise our children, our finances, the way we spend our time, etc.

Cheryl:  Please share with us about your children and how God is working in and through their lives.  
Marlin and Becky: God has blessed us with 10 children. Each of them has asked God to save his or her soul. We have no greater joy than to see them walking in truth as they faithfully serve God in various ways. Four of them are now married, but the other six are still at home.

Inner Views of The Bontragers: A Bluegrass family making music togetherCheryl:  What is your favorite part of having a large family?
Marlin and Becky: A strong family is an incredible witness in a broken society. There are countless benefits to having a large family, but I will only list a few. A large family can complete a large work project very quickly. Family businesses are more easy to run with family members living in the same household. We have the same schedule, can discuss schedule and work while we eat family meals, we take vacations together. We also can have a party without inviting anyone else to join us but when we do hospitality, and we do it a lot both on the road and at home, the preparation and work is shared.


Cheryl:  What is your advice to parents who want to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
Marlin and Becky:  Parents must build their homes on God’s Word (Psalm 127.) Home discipleship is vitally important in raising and equipping our children. Deuteronomy 6 commands parents to teach their children as they “walk by the way, lie down, and rise up.” Parents must also be willing to be different and to make hard choices in order to shepherd their families. Discernment is a must. Teach your children to love God, to love his Word, and to love those around them.

Inner Views of The Bontragers: A Bluegrass family making music togetherCheryl:  How long have you been singing as a family, and how did God lead you to start this ministry?
Marlin and Becky: We have been traveling and singing for 13 years. We began when we were invited to participate in a Prison Crusade in South Carolina. After that first year, we did a few concerts at churches, and the ministry grew from there.

Cheryl:  Will each of you share about a dark time in your life and how the grace of God sustained you and saw you through such difficulty?
Becky:  For me personally, road life has some big challenges, the biggest being insomnia which seems to intensify when I get to bed late, eat certain foods, and am under stress, all of which seems to happen during concerts on the road. God’s grace, again, as in His divine influence on my life and it’s reflections in my life, has given me the strength to be joyful, to remember my words when singing most of the time, and to minister to others no matter how little sleep I get. I remember one lady who said, “It must be hard to live on the bus.” Those kind, understanding words ministered healing and encouragement to my heart. There have also been many acts of kindness along the way–a basket of homemade lotions, etc.
Marlin: My father passed away when I was 18. Although I was an adult at the time, I think that has given me a greater compassion for the fatherless. And while I know death is final, I know there are many men who are living without fathers in the U.S. and I think that would be harder. Letters or text messages I have gotten from brothers or sisters in Christ (that) have encouraged me, have (also) encouraged me to do likewise.

Cheryl:  What is the best marital advice you have ever received?
Marlin and Becky:  An elderly couple at one of our concerts said: “Follow the Owner’s Manual,” the Bible, to have a good marriage. We also have learned a lot from the “Love and Respect” DVD series as well as many other books. We took each of our married children through the “Love and Respect” series before they got married.

Inner Views of The Bontragers: A Bluegrass family making music togetherCheryl:  How can we pray for you?
Marlin and Becky:  You can pray that we would continue to serve God in humility and faithfully follow no matter where He leads us.

A big thank you to Marlin and Becky for sharing their Inner Views here. Find out more at bontragerfamilysingers.com

First published on Homespun Devotions by Cheryl Smith. This feature has been condensed. For the full interview, read homespundevotions.com/2018/04/the-inner-views-of-marlin-becky.html

This feature was first published in the SGNScoops Magazine in June 2018.

Cheryl Smith, author of the Inner Views

Cheryl Smith, author of the Inner Views

More on Cheryl Smith….

Cheryl Smith describes herself as a “passionate disciple and follower of Jesus Christ.” She says: “I am married to the sweetest, most patient man for over 30 years…Mama to one miracle son God sent to us after 12.5 years of infertility…Homeschool Teacher who learns way more than I ever teach.I love to spend time with my husband and son in the mountains, sing and play Bluegrass music, and write. I am so thankful for your visit and hope you will visit my blogs: homespundevotions.com/ and biblicalminimalism.com/ It is my goal to encourage you in your walk with Jesus and to inspire you to let go of this world for the sake of a higher call.  It is His call that I hope you hear. So compelling, so intense, so far above anything this world has to offer. It is the call His disciples heard as they went about a normal, ordinary day, fishing. It is a call they could not refuse. A call that caused them to drop everything they had and walk away from life as they knew it, without a backward glance. Can you hear it? Are you listening?”

Read the September issue of SGNScoops Magazine HERE
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September 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on September 20, 2018 – 3:45 pm -

September 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

September 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

It’s September and time to celebrate! At SGNScoops Magazine we are celebrating many anniversaries this month. Join us as we live it up with Les Butler, recounting the ways his 40 years in Southern gospel have been made memorable.

September marks 25 years for Rob Patz and nine years for SGNScoops and we look at how you, our friends and fans, have enriched our lives.
We hope you enjoy this issue which also celebrates the songs of William Lee Golden and the Oak Ridge Boys by John Herndon, and Kody Erwin of the popular young family group, the Erwins, by Erin Stevens.  Discover the Diplomats, the Envoys, and Paul Wilson with the Blind Pig and the Acorn.
All this and so much more! Read SGNScoops again for the first time and hear the love of Jesus Christ echoing in our pages. Thank you for being a part of our lives.
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Rob Patz asks, “How do we know when we get THERE?”

Written by Staff on July 24, 2018 – 9:03 am -

Running to the finish line: How do we know when we get there?

Running to the finish line: Rob Patz asks, “How do we know when we get THERE?”

SGNScoops Magazine’s Publisher’s Point for July 2018 by Rob Patz

Last month, we talked about “You can’t get there from here,” and if you missed it, go back and read last month’s Publisher’s Point. This month, we’re going to talk about: “How do we know when we get there?”

So many people in life are striving for something. They want to be the best. Don’t get me wrong, I think we should do our best and give our best to God, but that doesn’t mean you are always going to be successful, that you’re always going to be first. Sometimes, we have to come to the conclusion that we’re here, but this is the point that God wants us. That for this moment in time, this is the exact place that God wants us to be.

I know for people like me, it’s never easy to stop and settle down for a minute. We’re always doing something.  

I had a friend of mine call me on a Saturday and he asked me what I was doing and I said I was working. He said, “It’s Saturday.” I said, “Well, it still has to get done.” So, I understand how hard it is sometimes to accept this place.

Now, that doesn’t mean that we can’t strive to the next location, or to the next promotion, but I think God – now, more than ever – expects us to be content in this current place. I’ve been dealing with that a lot lately.

The apostle Paul talks about running the race. My guess is that when he was describing this race in the timeframe of his reference, it was probably a marathon. If you’ve ever watched a marathon on TV, you know it’s not a short process. It’s over two hours, even if you’re an excellent runner, so you have to set your pace. It’s a decision you have to make, that even though it doesn’t seem like you’re going to finish right away, you are still going to finish.

 

Rob Patz running the race

Rob Patz running the race

A lot of people get discouraged around the mid part of the marathon, that’s why a lot of them drop out. But as Christians, we need to continue to strive, continue to press on toward the mark that God has set.

I was thinking of this today, that when I use the analogy about a marathon, even though I’ve never been a marathon runner, I can see myself in that last 200 yards, because that’s probably about as far as I could run without passing out. I could put myself in that 200 yards, where you see your family, you see the crowd around you, you hear them cheering for you and you know all the work that you’ve put in to the other 25-plus miles is now paying off.

You are just about where you need to be, just about home, but in that last 200 yards, rushing through your mind is everything that you worked on; all the training that has come to that point, all of the heartache, all of the sweat, all of the hard work, all of the discipline, to get you to that point. That’s what’s going through your head.

 

Now you see the finish line and you know that you have run as hard as you could, given it everything you have. I’d love in our scenario for you to be number one, but the reality is, there is not always that finish. Sometimes you’ll be 56th, but you still accomplish something great. You have stuck it through to the end.

Whether you’re a Christian or a Christian working in ministry, let me encourage you today. Continue on the race. It is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Believe that what God says is going to come true in your life, no matter if it’s this minute, or at the 13-mile mark, or the 25-mile mark.

 

July 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

July 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

God is with you. He is going to take care of you today and undergird you with his strength.

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

By Rob Patz. First published in SGNScoops Magazine in July 2018.

Read the full SGNScoops Magazine July 2018 HERE

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Christian Country Top 40 SGNScoops For August 2018

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on July 19, 2018 – 8:55 am -

SGNScoops Christian Country Top 40

SGNScoops Christian Country Top 40

Christian Country Top 40 SGNScoops For August 2018

 

 

1. Hunter May – Number One Fan
2. Reed Brothers – Holding On
3. Mike Leichner – Don’t Bring The Country Out In Me
4. Sonshine Road – When Grandpa Sang How Great Thou Art
5. Terry Davis – Braggin’ On Jesus
6. Lisa Daggs – Wonderful
7. Tonja Rose – When The Mountain Can’t Be Moved
8. Chuck Hancock – One Pair Of Hands
9. Tina Wakefield – Over And Over
10. Christian Davis – Every Scar
11. Trademark – Tell Me That’s Not God
12. John Penney – In God’s Hands
13. Charlie Griffin – Rise And Shine
14. Mercy Mountain Boys – Better Way Of Livin’
15. Michael Knight – You Can Have It All
16. Brent Harrison – This Side Of Sunday
17. Trinity Wennerstrom – Shine Big, Shine Bright
18. Kolt Barber – Send The Rain
19. Gunner Carr – Take My Hand
20. Bloodbought – Gospel Plow
21. Justin Richardson – This Is Me
22. Ava Kasich – Speak The Word
23. Joy Roberts – Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus
24. The Kendricks – I Could Be Leaving Right Now
25. Lindsay Huggins – Not In This House
26. Answered Prayer – When He Says Arise
27. Mary Fay Jackson – No One Compares To You Lord
28. Tony Alan Bates – Numbered
29. Heather Van Derren – Come To The Table
30. Caleb Howard – Live Like That
31. Shellem Cline – This Thing Called Life
32. Peter Christie – Two Ways To Sunday
33. Amy Richardson – Sweet Whispers
34. Jamie Lynn Flanakin – Oh, My God
35. Heath Knox – Face To Face
36. Wade Phillips – Big Time Memories
37. Ronnie Horton – Call On Jesus
38. David Gresham -Remember The Soldier
39. Appointed 2 – When Grandma Prayed
40. Bruce Hedrick – I’ll Take It From Here

Read the full SGNScoops Magazine July 2018 HERE

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July 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on July 17, 2018 – 12:08 pm -

July 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

July 2018 SGNScoops Magazine

It’s July and we are thrilled to present the latest issue of SGNScoops Magazine with encouraging and challenging features for your summer reading pleasure.

Join us as we experience the pain of losing a spouse as heard through the heart of Libbi Perry Stuffle. We also learn about songwriting through Mark Mathes, and keeping the beat for Jason Crabb, through Neiman Davis.
Our wonderful writers also take a look at Christian country with Chris Golden and Bluegrass gospel with Sounds Like Reign.
All of this, plus radio charts, monthly columns, the DJ Spotlight, Randall’s CD reviews, and more.
Be sure to read about our contributors in the back of issue, as these people are the heart and soul of SGNScoops Magazine. The Life of this organization is Jesus Christ. If you don’t know Him deep down inside your heart, email me at lorraine@sgnscoops.com.
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Instruments of Peace: A Look at the Sharps

Written by Staff on July 10, 2018 – 7:05 am -

Instruments of Peace: A Look at the Sharps

Instruments of Peace: A Look at the Sharps

The first line of the Prayer of St. Francis says, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”

 

This prayer is the mission statement and title of the latest project from the family group, the Sharps. Hailing from Fort Payne, Ala., these men of faith are dedicated to spreading the gospel through song.

 

The Sharps

The Sharps

Andy Sharp and his son, Ben, lead the group as co-owners, carrying on the the legacy of Joel Sharp, the founder of the quartet.

 

“The Sharps is a family-based group that started in 1984 by Joel Sharp,” Ben shares. “Joel, having sung with gospel groups as early as the 50s, formed the Sharps that consisted of him, Andy and Janice Sharp, and Karen Sharp Twilley and her husband LaDon.

“Ben, son of Andy and Janice, was born and raised traveling with the group, and Mike (Leath) stepped in to fill in for Joel due to his illness and has continued on with the group after the passing of Joel Sharp.”

 

The SharpsThe current lineup features the lead vocals of Mike Leath, the soaring tenor of Andy Sharp (son of Joel), and rounding out the trio, Ben Sharp’s smooth baritone. For the past three years, Tony Lewis served as the bass vocalist, but he recently resigned.

 

Andy Sharp is the only original member still with the group. Leath was hand-picked by Joel Sharp to fill in for him during his illness. He has now been with the quartet for 11 years. Ben Sharp grew up traveling with the group and has played piano, drums and served many other roles as well.

 

The group has experienced great success over their 30-plus years. They have recorded more than 20 projects, have been honored with several awards, and several (of their) songs have charted on national gospel music charts. Andy Sharp has been honored with a lifetime achievement award in 2016 for his 30 years in Southern gospel music. The group’s unique sound was inspired by the Florida Boys of 1962, Glen Payne, Brian Free, Arthur Rice, and of course, Joel Sharp.

 

This group, steeped in Southern gospel tradition, shines on their latest CD release, “Instrument of Peace.”

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Selena Day: What do you fear?

Written by Staff on July 8, 2018 – 1:03 pm -

Selena Day: What do you fear?

Selena Day: What do you fear?

Day by Day: Fear is…

I wrote these first two words when I was beginning this article and I stopped and just looked at them.  Fear is…

What is fear to you?  

Selena Day: What do you fear?

Selena Day

Many years ago, when the Internet was in its infancy, I remember those childlike quizzes that popped up from time to time.  There would always be one question asking what you were most afraid of.

I hated to sound super religious, but the scripture: “He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of might, power and a sound mind…(2 Tim.1:7)” would spring up to my mind. As believers, we are called to live differently. We need to preach to ourselves that we do not live a life controlled by fear, but by the love our God has for us.  

If I said that I am not afraid, I would be lying. I am like any other person; I have those things that freak me out or scare me, but I choose not to focus on fear.  

Chuck and I have traveled to over 37 countries. Most of those were Third World countries where we stood out as older, white, fluffy Americans, which to them equates to “Rich American.” I have been afraid only once or twice, and those few times were never life-threatening, just an unease that I heeded to.

People sometimes ask me, “Aren’t you afraid leaving the country with our world in the shape it is in?”  

I hope that I have a healthy amount of fear, we need this to survive in our world, but I choose not to focus on my fear but on the king of this world, my King.  

Who is the king of your world?  

I’ll never forget one of my first journeys overseas to Thailand. I had been out of the country before, but only to first-world, English-speaking countries. As the time drew near to go, I felt fear creeping into my heart, and with that fear came dread. I didn’t want to go, I couldn’t leave my children. So many doubts and fears.  

One day while chatting with God, or more accurately, one day while I was worrying during my prayers, God asked me a question: “Selena, am I not the God of the universe?”  

“Why yes, Lord. I know you are!”

“Do you ever worry this much when you are packing up to go on your trips across the U.S.A.? There are more car accidents per year than airplane crashes. Terrorism can hit you in the U.S.A. Something can happen to your children in your backyard. You trust me with these familiar things. Can you not trust me with the unfamiliar as well?”

Selena Day and Chuck Day

Selena and Chuck Day

That conversation with God changed my heart and I decided to focus more on Him and what He was saying to me than focusing on my fear and the ‘what if’s’ of traveling overseas. I wish I could say that peace came over me and, bam, I was magically cured, but it didn’t happen that way. It has been a faith walk.  

Our first few times overseas I never left Chuck’s side. I made him stand right beside me.  I never strayed from where I couldn’t reach out and touch him.

We discovered these wonderful night markets that we both loved to walk through, discovering so many beautiful handcrafted items. Though, like most couples, we liked to linger over different things; so those first few trips I enjoyed my time, though I never enjoyed them like I did when the fear finally left and I trusted God in the same way I trusted him in the good ole’ USA. I could then wander off and discover the items that I loved and Chuck could go and buy me a little treat without me knowing it.  

Leaving my comfort zone has taught me to really listen to the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit. It has taught me how to discern the difference between caution and fear. Traveling and overcoming my fears taught me who I am in this world and not just how my culture defines me. It has helped me see where and in whom my strength lies.

 

Learning to overcome fear is an ongoing process that we face in our lives and if we turn from our focus of the fear, towards the one that holds the very universe in his hands we will truly become ‘more than conquerors.’ We will become the kings and priests that he longs for us to be, ruling and reigning in this world instead of reacting to the circumstances that fall into our path.

Fear is…

What fear is holding you hostage today? I encourage you to turn towards our redeemer and ask him to redeem your heart and help you to have the courage to overcome, so that you can rise up as a conqueror and become all that God has designed you to be.  

By Selena Day. First published by SGNScoops Magazine in May 2018.

Selena Day is a motivational speaker and is available to speak at your conference or event. She can be contacted by e-mailing selenaday@me.com, by visiting www.queenliving.org, or at www.facebook.com/queenismsbyselenaday.  

Read the June 2018 SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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The Allen Family welcome new member

Written by Staff on June 27, 2018 – 2:37 pm -

Danielle Allen with the entire Allen Family

The Allen Family

It’s time to congratulate the Allen Family and welcome their newest member!

Gospel music group, the Allen Family, makes their home in Branson, Missouri. Band members include Todd and Michelle, Caleb and Steffanie, Gabrielle, Joshua, Jared, Danielle, Abigail, Zachariah, and Christian.

The Allen Family posted on Facebook today about a sweet new arrival:

We are pleased to announce the birth of Cecile Danielle Chartier to Robin and Gabrielle Chartier!

Born June 24, 2018. 8 pounds 1 ounce and 21” long.

Congratulations from all of the SGNScoops family to Robin and Gabrielle!

Catch up with the Allen Family on Facebook here.

Cecile Danielle Chartier born to Robin and Gabrielle Chartier of the Allen Family

Cecile Danielle Chartier born to Robin and Gabrielle Chartier of the Allen Family

About the Family:
Since 1996, The Allen Family has traveled internationally. The group was launched onto the Gospel music scene with a first place finish in the 2000 National Quartet Convention Talent Search. Since then, the group has had three nominations for Singing News New Mixed Group Of The Year and multiple appearances on the Southern Gospel Top 80 radio charts. Todd, Michelle, Joshua, Jared, Danielle, Abigail, Zachariah, and Christian live in their bus 365 days a year and fill over 275 engagements each year. In October of 2014, their original television pilot, Home Sweet Bus, premiered on TLC. The show is based on their unique lifestyle and follows their travels as they share the Gospel in song.

Erin Stevens of SGNScoops Magazine featured Danielle of the Allen Family recently here.

Read the June 2018 SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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A Younger Perspective on Danielle Allen of the Allen Family

Written by Staff on June 18, 2018 – 1:32 pm -

Danielle Allen with the entire Allen Family

Danielle Allen with the entire Allen Family

A word from author Erin Stevens about Danielle Allen of the Allen Family …

I am delighted to introduce a face you may recognize and a humble heart that deserves a spotlight all her own. My friend and roommate – while serving in Uganda, Africa – Danielle Allen of the Allen Family is my special guest this month. Traveling on a bus with seven other people is not for the faint of heart, but this is a special girl with a profound call of ministry on her life. Now it’s her turn to take a solo. Let’s listen in …

 

Erin Stevens: Beginning with some Allen history 101 – for those that may not know the story of the early days, share with the readers where and when your parents met and how they began their ministry.

 

Danielle Allen: My parents met in Hattiesburg, Miss., at William Carey College. When they first met, they didn’t like each other at all. My dad was a country boy from Louisiana, and my mom was a city girl from Florida. They were both in the music department. With some clever matchmaking, they were thrown together with a trumpet and soprano duet. The rest is history. They were married seven years before they began this ministry. My dad was the pastor at a church in Michigan when he began to sense God was calling them into full-time evangelistic ministry. He was afraid to tell this to my mom. When he finally told her what he believed God was calling them to, she admitted she had been sensing the same thing and had been afraid to tell him. They sold their house, bought a motorhome, and hit the road with my four older siblings. I joined the scene a year later. 

 

Danielle Allen of the Allen Family

Danielle Allen of the Allen Family

Stevens: Is there a place of ministry that you go to on a regular basis that is memorable to you personally? If so, what is the story behind it?

 

Allen: One of my favorite places to minister is Freedom Mission in Louisiana. We have been a part of their yearly bible conference for as long as I can remember. Freedom Mission is a ministry for recovering addicts. Throughout the years of being there, I have witnessed the power of God transform lives, I have been inspired by those who have given their lives to His service, and every year, I leave encouraged and strengthened to continue my own ministry.  

 

Stevens: Is there a hobby outside of your music ministry you enjoy that the readers might find intriguing? 

 

Allen: I love to sew. My interest in sewing began a few years ago when I had an idea for a cosmetic bag that was white on the outside and bright and colorful on the inside. It carries the message that real beauty comes from within. I have sold these bags across the country. My sewing skills are still young, but I would like to eventually design unique, modest clothing. I believe we can point people to God even with the type of clothing we choose to wear. I would love to demonstrate that belief with clothing specifically designed to honor God. 

 

Stevens: Is there a book you are currently reading or recently have read that has impacted your life?

 

Allen: I recently finished reading, “If I Perish,” an autobiography on the life of Esther Ahn Kim. She was a Korean Christian who spent six years in a Japanese prison during World War II because of her faith. As an American, I am protected from the type of persecution she suffered. While this is a great blessing, it also comes with its disadvantages. I have never experienced the power and grace of God the way Esther Ahn Kim did. Though her trials were great, her God was greater. 

 

Stevens: Is there a scripture you consider to be your life verse?

 

Allen: One of my favorites is Psalm 61:2 … “From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” A life of ministry can be crazy and stressful. I love this verse, because it reminds me that when I am overwhelmed with the pressures of life, God is my Solid Rock. I can cry out to Him no matter where I am, and He will lead me to Himself.  

 

Danielle Allen and the Allen Family

The Allen Family in concert

Stevens: Since I’ve had the privilege to travel to Uganda with your family and share your heart for this country, I’d love for the readers to better understand what your role is behind the scenes in this missions outreach. Also, describe what this ministry means to you personally.

 

Allen: The mission work in Uganda is literally at the heart of everything we do. I am deeply passionate about ministering to teenagers and young adults. Last summer, while in Uganda, I was privileged to lead, with my brother, a leadership conference for young adults where I taught several young women how to be leaders in their generation. I am also very involved in a program we started called the Straightway Education Project to protect girls from trafficking. Ugandan girls are very much at risk for trafficking. By enabling teenage girls to stay in school, the Straightway Education Project protects them from that risk. Additionally, I am the accountant for our ministry. I know that sounds boring, but it is essential to the efficiency and integrity of the ministry. I am blessed that God has given me the opportunity to be involved in His work. He truly is an awesome God.

 

April 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

April 2017 SGNScoops Magazine

Closing thoughts from Erin Stevens…

I told you that reaching people and shining the light of Christ is at the center of everything she does. You never know what corner of the world you were meant to reach. Wherever God has called you, I urge you to live the life He gave you as vivaciously and passionately as Danielle Allen endeavors to live hers. May we be challenged to answer the call. “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

 

And that’s my take on it.

Until next month, Scoops fans.

Connect with Erin on Twitter at @photosforkeeps and on Instagram at @photos_for_keeps.

By Erin Stevens. First published in April 2018 by SGNScoops Magazine. Erin Stevens is a regular contributor to SGNScoops Magazine.

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