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CHOICE MEDIA REPRESENTS THE PORT CITY QUARTET IN A MULTIMEDIA AGREEMENT

Written by Staff on September 28, 2019 – 10:22 am -

Port City QuartetEric Melton of Choice Media Group (formerly Choice Promotions and Management) will be representing The Port City Quartet of Wilmington North Carolina in a multimedia agreement effective immediately.

The Port City Quartet released their debut recording Run On with their debut single being the title cut from the project.  The follow up single, the J.D. Sumner classic “What A Morning” has received noteworthy response from radio and will debut on the Singing News and other industry charts for September. 

The group consists of Baritone and Group Founder Terry Carter, Tenor Rick Vance, Lead Vocalist Jonathan Thompson, Pianist Joe Lane and Bass Guitarist Garlan Drye.  

Eric Melton states “ I have been friends with Terry Carter for the last 30 years since I was a teenage Gospel Music Air Personality on the radio in Arkansas. During Terry’s tenure with The Anchormen, I became familiar with his singing while the program director for the first station I started with and later I worked with him at 2 of the recording labels in Gospel Music that I was employed at.  I have always appreciated his vocal ability but over the years I have come even more to appreciate his spiritual fervor and his Christian life that Terry exemplifies.”

“What A Morning” was released both by Choice Media and Daywind Music Group and Choice Media will continue to represent Port City in radio promotion, publicity, digital distribution and brand marketing.  You can contact The Dominion Agency to schedule this powerful quartet at your next event and they will deliver Quartet Music at it’s finest with an emphasis on spiritual revival. 

For more information find the group on their website HERE 

For more Gospel music features, read the latest SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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The Torchmen celebrate 50 years with guests, Greater Vision

Written by Staff on July 6, 2019 – 7:03 am -

Torchmen 50th Anniversary with Greater VisionThe Torchmen Quartet from Ontario, Canada, are celebrating 50 years in gospel music this year. Over the years they have made many friends and fans. Among these are gospel music artists, Greater Vision.

Greater Vision Adds New Vocalist

Greater Vision

Greater Vision will be appearing with the Torchmen Quartet on Sunday September 8th, 2019, for the Torchmen’s 50th Anniversary celebration concert.

Torchmen appeared recently at NQC. Photo by Paul Marker

Torchmen appeared recently at NQC.Photo by Paul Marker

This event will be held at Glenridge Bible Chapel, St. Catharines, Ontario, at 6:30 pm. The concert is free. An offering will be received during the evening.

Everyone is invited to help the Torchmen celebrate this incredible achievement. This event is being held as part of the Henley Christian Music Festival concert series.

For more information and directions go HERE.

About the Torchmen:

For 50 years the Torchmen have been celebrated as Canada’s Gospel Quartet. Members include Mike Moran, Jon Hisey, Sandy McGregor, and Jeff Tritton. They regularly travel across Canada and the United States, and have many awards and accolades to their credit. To visit them online go here.

About Greater Vision:

This male trio, consisting of Gerald Wolfe, Rodney Griffin, Chris Allman, and Jon Epley, is the most awarded trio in the United States. From Morristown, Tenn., Greater Vision was formed in 1990 and continues to perform over 160 concerts every year across America, Canada, and abroad. For more information go HERE.

Henley Christian Music Festival. Torchmen 50th Anniversary. Greater Vision)More About the Henley Christian Music Festival:

The Henley Christian Music Festival is a ministry of GBC, and is a year-round festival that brings the best in Southern Gospel music, and various genres of music to St. Catharines. The feature event is the Summer Series. This event runs from the last Sunday is June to the first Sunday in September and features a concert every Sunday night.  We will be serving BBQ at 5:30 on each night as well.  Every concert throughout the year starts at 6:30pm. There is no admission fee or tickets required for every event.  A free will offering is accepted. (From henleycmf.ca, July 6, 2019) For more information go HERE.

Read the June SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

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Listen To Todays Gospel Music HERE

 

 

 


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Carman releases “The Flag” with Southern Gospel Artists

Written by Staff on June 20, 2019 – 3:38 pm -

Carman. The FlagNashville, TN (June 19, 2019): Grammy-nominated and platinum-selling legend, Carman, has released a brand new single to radio. “The Flag” features several of Southern Gospel’s top artists including Ernie Haase, Joseph Habedank, Pat Barker, and Matt Felts. These four talented singers combine their dynamic vocals to provide a stellar quartet joining Carman for this patriotic tribute to America’s beloved Stars and Stripes. This passionate song, released just ahead of Independence Day, was written by Carman and has received standing ovations all over the county during his successful “Legacy Tour.”

“I grew up listening to Carman as a kid in the small town of Xenia, Ohio. I never dreamed that I would one day get to sing on his record. I want to thank him not only for this opportunity but for choosing Southern artists on this album. Carman is a true living legend and pioneer,” stated Joseph Habedank.

“The Flag” will be available for purchase soon through digital retailers everywhere and will be distributed to radio on Dream Big Promotions radio compilation. All radio programmers can receive a download of this exciting new song for immediate airplay by emailing Matt Felts at matt@mattfelts.com.

Carman. The FlagTo see when Carman’s Legacy Tour will be near you or to contact Carman’s office for booking information, go HERE.

Read the May SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

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Leslie McKay: Wake Up Call

Written by Staff on March 15, 2019 – 1:05 pm -

Leslie and Dennis McKay of McKay Project and M.A.C. Records

Leslie and Dennis McKay of McKay Project and M.A.C. Records

I imagine most of us are familiar with the term “wake up call.” If you are staying at a hotel, you may request a wake-up call at a certain time and a member of the staff will call your room to ensure that you wake up. Another definition of a wake-up call is something that happens to get your attention or to prompt you to change course, realize or recognize that you need to do things differently, or take stock of your life, etc.

Recently, we were staying at a hotel in Birmingham, Ala. After a long, but fun day of shopping we settled in for the night. The next morning was going to be an early one because we were heading back to Mississippi to be in church. We needed a good night’s rest. However, around 1:30 a.m. we were horrifically jarred from our sleep by the fire alarm going off in our room and the repetition of a woman’s voice telling us that a fire had been detected in the building and we needed to evacuate immediately.

We jumped up and after taking a few minutes to gain our senses, we threw on some clothes, grabbed blankets and headed out the door and down four flights of stairs. I would venture to say that very few people use the stairs in a high rise hotel or even pay attention to where the stairs come out of the hotel. When we emerged, we were in a basement parking garage and near what looked like a loading dock. We could hear the sound of fire trucks approaching. The hotel alarm was still blaring and the woman’s voice was repeating the message over and over to evacuate. We made it to the street level and saw other people like us that had dressed quickly, hair in a “hot mess”, and walking toward the front of the hotel. We followed.

You can imagine what was going through our minds…is it real or is it a prank? If it is real, what did we leave behind? If it is a prank, then I hope they catch who did this because it is not funny.

As we approached the front of the hotel, there was a group of people dressed in formal wear sitting leisurely in the front lobby. We noticed them earlier in the day. They were there to celebrate a wedding. Obviously, from their calm appearance, it was apparent that this was a false alarm and there wasn’t a fire in the building. Wow!

We entered the lobby of the hotel expecting someone to take charge and provide directions, but that didn’t happen. We expected to see firemen enter the building, but that didn’t happen either. After a few minutes, the alarm stopped and people were just standing around looking at each other wondering what to do next. When nothing happened, we went to the front desk where the clerk seemed to be doing business as usual (giving directions to the pizza delivery guy that had just arrived) and asked about returning to our rooms. “Oh yeah, there is no fire… you may go back to your rooms,” was his response. You can imagine that tempers were high. As sleepy people grumbled about the interruption, we entered the elevators and went back to our rooms to attempt to get a few hours of sleep before starting the day.

You may be wondering, “Where is she going with all of this?” or “What does this have to do with anything?”  As I returned to bed and began to try and calm my mind to go to sleep. I felt like the Spirit downloaded some info on the inside of me about that whole experience.

Everyone at some point in their life will experience a wake-up call of some kind.

You fill in the blank:
My “wake up call” happened when _________.

It can take a variety of forms. In 2018, my husband was in a restaurant when a car came through the glass wall and hit him (miraculously, he is okay). That is an example of an extreme “wake up call”. The wake-up call could be unwanted medical news, money trouble, job loss or change, a relationship going south, or any number of things. Sometimes a wake-up call is out of our control while other times we bring circumstances upon ourselves. I want to share some thoughts that I had after our recent hotel experience which I think relate to real life when it comes to a wake up call.

McKay Project

Leslie

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE WAKE-UP CALL HAPPENS?

1. Go With It – Move.  We realize what is happening, we take inventory, make the necessary adjustments and we keep moving. That night in the hotel room, we assessed what was happening, got up, got dressed and got out of the building.

In Acts 9 in the Bible, Saul was faced with a wake-up call when he was blinded on the road to Damascus and heard the voice of Jesus. Previously, Saul was a major persecutor of Christians and was on his way to Damascus to kill more Christians when he encountered Jesus. At that moment, Saul was confronted with who he was and who Jesus was. He immediately became willing to do what Jesus instructed him to do. Saul continued on the road to Damascus but the purpose for his trip was dramatically altered and his life was forever changed. Saul became Paul (Acts 13). His wake-up call produced an adjustment in his life that took immediate affect and he kept moving on for Jesus instead of against Him.

2. Stay in Chaos and Confusion. The wake-up call happens and we stay in a state of chaos and confusion; constantly scrambling and trying to keep our head above water.

My daughter and I laugh at my husband. He is a very deep sleeper and when he was jarred awake by the fire alarm he had no idea what was going on. For a few minutes, he was standing up, sitting down, standing up, sitting down, and scrambling just to get awake enough to process what was happening in the hotel room.

In the Bible, Jonah is an example where his wake-up call found him in a state of chaos and confusion that he brought on himself (and others). God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach repentance to the people. Jonah didn’t want to go so he ran the opposite direction. He made his own plan and boarded a boat heading for Tarshish.

Jonah’s actions affected more than just himself.  While out to sea, a monstrous storm came up and the crew was terribly afraid because they thought they were going to die. They called out to their gods and even threw their cargo overboard to lighten the ship. In spite of all that chaos, Jonah went below deck and fell asleep. Either that was some serious denial or he really didn’t yet understand the gravity of his situation. Eventually, the members of the crew decided to cast lots to see who was responsible for the awful storm and it fell on Jonah. They woke him up (another wake-up call) and asked him how in the world he could sleep and who he was and what he had done. He told them he was a Hebrew who followed the Lord God of heaven who made the sea and dry land. Jonah told them he was running from God.  The storm got worse and they asked Jonah what to do. He told them to throw him overboard because it was his fault. The crew didn’t want to throw him over and tried to row in spite of the storm but it grew wilder. Reluctantly, they threw Jonah over and the sea became calm.  As if that wasn’t enough, Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. In the belly of that fish, Jonah answered his wake-up call and repented and agreed to do what God asked. He went to Nineveh and preached to the people.

Sometimes we bring the circumstances for our wake-up call upon ourselves by the choices we make and many times those choices affect other people. In the story of Jonah, the crew was affected by his choices. They probably sacrificed valuable items when they threw their cargo overboard in an effort to fix the situation. Even after the crew knew they needed to throw Jonah overboard, they put it off and tried in their own power to row back to land.

Isn’t that sometimes how it is? Our world may be in chaos and everyone around us can see what is going on and they are trying to help us, but we have yet to wake up. It wasn’t until Jonah was alone in the belly of the great fish that he surrendered and decided to obey God. The fish spit him out and this time when God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, he went.

The point is not to stay in a state of chaos and confusion but recognize that God only wants the best for us and surrender to Him.

I Corinthians 14:33 tells us that “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…”

Philippians 4:7 reminds us that “the peace of God, which surpasses every thought will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

3. Do Nothing.  Perhaps the wake-up call produces a fear in us that we can’t overcome and we just stop living. We are paralyzed and too afraid to do anything. We gather our resources around us and hunker down like we are waiting out a storm that never ends. Maybe we even convince ourselves it isn’t real and if we ignore it then maybe it will go away. Remember, the wake-up call should act as a catalyst in many cases to get us to move forward or do something different.

That night in the hotel lobby, no one was gripped by fear and it was obvious that most thought it wasn’t real. We figured that if we just ignored the fire alarm and warnings they would eventually stop. Even the hotel staff continued to conduct business as usual.

In Numbers 13 and 14 in the Bible, the Israelites had left Egypt and escaped from Pharaoh and reached the border of Canaan. God told Moses to send 12 spies into the land of Canaan to scout out the land. It was the land that God promised to give to the Israelites. However, when the spies returned they were so afraid of the giants living in the land that they convinced the people not to move forward. Caleb and Joshua were the only ones of the twelve that believed God’s promise that they could take the land. God was not happy with the people of Israel because of their lack of faith and their complaining. He declared that none of the people over 20 years old would enter the land that he promised with the exception of Joshua and Caleb and their descendants. They wandered another 40 years in the wilderness. Their fear and decision to do nothing resulted in the delay of receiving or moving into the land that God had promised them.

When the wake-up call happens in our lives, it can be scary but we can’t let fear grip us and rule our lives. Fear is a liar and God is not about fear.

II Timothy 1:7 reminds us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and a sound mind.”

Psalms 27:1 tells us, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom should I be afraid?”

Leslie McKay

Leslie McKay

I believe wake-up calls are part of life. Some are more intense than others, but we have a choice as to how we respond. I believe God has a purpose and a plan for each of us and wants the best for us. When those wake-up calls happen in life, I want to challenge you to ask yourself, “What can I learn?” Then…get up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward. Your best days are ahead of you!

By Leslie McKay

Leslie McKay is a writer for SGNScoops Magazine and is also a member of McKay Project with her husband, Dennis. Together they are McKay Project and own M.A.C. Records. Find out more about Leslie McKay here.

 

For more Gospel Music news read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

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Beyond the Song: Living Faith talks about “I See Jesus”

Written by Staff on February 26, 2019 – 2:41 pm -

Living Faith

Living Faith

Jantina de Haan went Beyond the Song to ask Mark Byrd of Living Faith about the song “I See Jesus”

“The writers Debbie Davis and Bernadette Negus both had experienced a family member in their final hours here in this life, saying moments before taking their last breath, that they could see into Heaven and see loved ones that had passed before them,” shares Mark Byrd.

“I personally have witnessed the same thing as my grandmother passed from this life over 30 years ago.

“The song starts talking about Stephen when he was about to be stoned. The Heavens opened up and he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father.

“From the first time we sang (this song,) we’ve had people come to us with tear-filled eyes, telling us about witnessing the same accounts when their loved ones passed.

Living Faith CD "This is Why"

Living Faith CD “This is Why”

“I truly believe God gives us this gift to strengthen our faith as we watch our friends and family leave from this life and enter eternity.”

“I See Jesus” is from Living Faith’s latest album, “This is Why,” released through 3rd Avenue Sound Recording Studio. © Copyright – Living Faith. Release Date: June 29, 2018.

“With a beautiful blend of melodic bass, crisp lead, sweet tenor and spot-on baritone, Living Faith is bringing their brand of Southern gospel to many new audiences through their current radio release. If you haven’t yet heard their recent single, you will soon. “I See Jesus” is an incredible expression of faith and vision. ” –SGNScoops Fast Five on Living Faith HERE.

Living Faith is Mark Byrd, Rodney James, Nathan James, and Mary Mooney. For more information on Living Faith click HERE.

For more Gospel Music news read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download the latest SGNScoops Magazine PDF Here

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Listen To Today’s Gospel Music Here

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

 

 

 


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Beyond the Song: Steve Ladd shares “The Thing About A Valley”

Written by Staff on February 8, 2019 – 4:06 pm -

Steve Ladd sings The thing about a valley

Steve Ladd

Jantina de Haan looks Beyond the Song by asking Steve Ladd about “The Thing About A Valley:”

“Rodney Griffin sent me the song,” says Steve Ladd. “I fell in love with it immediately.”

What does the song mean to you personally?

“We all have mountaintop experiences, but we all go through valleys as well. I’ve had my fair share. This song reminds people that (if/when) you are as low as you can go, it keeps you looking up! That’s where our help comes from!”

Why did you include this song on your project?

Steve Ladd, Come Up Clean CD

Steve Ladd, Come Up Clean CD

“The song turned out great and I love the drive that the music has.”

The Thing About A Valley (Rodney Griffin). Released August 2018. © 2018 Sonlite Records. From the album “Come Up Clean,” on Sonlite Records.

About Steve Ladd
As early as five years old while growing up in Dayton, Ohio, Steve Ladd felt the call of God to minister through song. The son of an evangelist, the youngster would mature to become one of the most well-liked and respected group member for some of America’s most award-winning Christian music ensembles like Gold City and The Anchormen. Although still considered a young artist, Ladd has spent the last four years traveling extensively both domestically and internationally. Performing inspirational songs like “Preach the Word” has become a personal anthem of encouragement Ladd takes wherever he goes and he reports “God moves and lives that are broken and hurting are leaving changed and encouraged at my services.” Professionally, Ladd has been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, nominated for “New Artist of the Year,” has had five Top 40 Singles and on release day, and his latest album, No Excuses, No Regrets was in the Top 20 chart for iTunes Christian music. Steve, his wife, and two children are also ministry partners with Compassion International. While the beginning of an extraordinary journey started with his family, evolved into being an integral part of some of the most award-winning Christian ensembles, the last few years as a solo artist have proven the Lord’s faithfulness in his family, his ministry, and his life.

For more Gospel Music news read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download the latest SGNScoops Magazine PDF Here

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Listen To Today’s Gospel Music Here

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2019

 


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ANDREW BRUNET AND FRIENDS BECOMES NATIONALLY SYNDICATED

Written by Staff on January 30, 2019 – 10:29 am -

 

ANDREW BRUNET AND FRIENDS BECOMES NATIONALLY SYNDICATED

ANDREW BRUNET AND FRIENDS BECOMES NATIONALLY SYNDICATED

Rock Hill, S.C. (JANUARY 30, 2019) – Andrew Brunet and Friends is celebrating recent growth as the radio show now is a nationally syndicated show, reaching millions of listeners across the nation with the sound of Southern gospel music.

Our goal is to reach the lost and dying souls in the world with the message of hope and encouragement, to share that no matter what trial they face, Christ is with them and will supply their needs according to His riches in glory,” shared Andrew Brunet.

It all began in 2014 with a vision to share encouragement and to carry the light of Jesus in a lost and dying world.

ANDREW BRUNET AND FRIENDS BECOMES NATIONALLY SYNDICATEDAndrew said, “I started listening to gospel music by the Inspirations and the Gaither Homecoming Hour, among others, when I was 14 years old. I knew that this was the industry I wanted to become a part of. God put me in touch with a special friend in Alabama over at WZCT, Rejeana Leeth, who was willing to give this boy a shot at trying to spin the best of gospel music and the rest is history.”

Major artists such as Gordon Mote, Rodney Griffin of Greater Vision, Les Butler, Charlotte Ritchie, Bradley Walker and Buddy Liles have made appearances on the show, and there is a strong lineup of artists on the calendar for 2019.

Andrew Brunet and Karen Peck

Andrew Brunet and Karen Peck

Artists wishing to schedule an appearance can call Andrew Brunet directly at (803) 374-4069 or send an email to abrunetandfriends@gmail.com

Listeners can tune in Monday through Friday from 10am to Noon on www.bikertv.org to watch the broadcast live online or can tune in to the radio broadcasts listed below:

Saturdays: 7:00 a.m. (PST) – RacMan Christian Radio

Sundays: 10:00 a.m. (CST) – WLDX – The River; 1:00 p.m. (EST) – AM 760 WCIS; 4:00 p.m. (EST) – Notespire Radio; 7:00 p.m. (EST) – Star99 Radio

Mondays: 4:00 p.m. (EST) – Appalachian Gospel Radio

Wednesdays: 6:00 p.m. (EST) – RacMan Christian Radio; 8:00 p.m. (EST) – WBNI Radio

 

 

For more Gospel Music news Read the latest issue of the SGNScoops Magazine HERE.

Download SGNScoops Magazine PDF Here
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Listen To Today’s Gospel Music Here

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Southern Gospel Weekend To Be Featured On Andrew Brunet and Friends

Written by Staff on January 27, 2019 – 4:42 pm -

Southern Gospel Weekend 2019 to be featured on Andrew Brunet and Friends

Southern Gospel Weekend 2019 to be featured on Andrew Brunet and Friends

(January 27, 2019) — Andrew Brunet and Friends is honored to have the opportunity to spotlight Southern Gospel Weekend, on Jan. 29, 2019. Southern Gospel Weekend is an event that takes place in Oxford, Alabama on March 21 – 23. The show will feature special call-in interviews with Rob Patz, publisher of SGNScoops; the Connells, Clearvision Quartet, the Williamsons, McKay Project and many more.

Andrew Brunet, TV show host shares this: “You will definitely want to tune in as it will give great insight on what Southern Gospel Weekend is all about and give you a sneak peek on the artists that will be performing there. Special thanks to Rob Patz of SGN Scoops for giving us a chance to help promote such an awesome event.”

Andrew Brunet

Andrew Brunet

The episode will air on Tuesday evening, January 29th, 2019, from 7-9 PM on BikerTV.org, as well as Roku, on the BikerTV Channel.

To find out more information about Andrew Brunet and Friends, you can visit their Facebook page.

Find out more about Southern Gospel Weekend HERE.


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New Chapter For Common Bond Quartet

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on January 3, 2019 – 5:33 pm -

New Chapter For Common Bond Quartet

New Chapter For Common Bond Quartet

It’s a new year… and so begins a new chapter for Common Bond Quartet. In recent weeks, we’ve heard of the retirement of several southern gospel groups. At the same time, after nine years of singing with Common Bond we have received the resignation of our bass singer, Bryan Stevenson. Additionally, our baritone singer, Mike Bradshaw, who is also a charter member of Common Bond, has decided to reduce his commitments with us so he can spend more time with family– funny how a brush with cancer can cause you to re-evaluate what’s important to you. The road will never be the same as it was with these charter members, and we are forever grateful for the sacrifice of time and energy they have put into creating the ministry and sound for which Common Bond is known.

Fortunately, as seasons change… the old becomes new; and we can look forward to continuing to discover what God has in store for us! With that, Common Bond is pleased to announce that we are bringing on Bink Mooney as our new bass singer. Bink comes to us from Lawton, Oklahoma where he has most recently been singing with Forgiven Quartet who retired at the end of 2018.

Bink has been singing southern gospel music for most of his life–singing in youth camps, church services, camp meetings and revivals when he was young. In the early ‘80s, he sang bass for the Monitors Quartet (Nashville, TN). Later, he sang baritone with the Joyful Aires (Winfield, WV) and bass for Eventide (Sevierville, TN), Praise Inc. Ministries (Ft. Worth, TX) and the Pacesetters Quartet (Benbrook, Texas).

Bink has also served as Associate Pastor, Pastor or Worship Leader at Church of God congregations in Teays Valley, WV; Blackwell, OK; Welch, WV and Lawton, OK. While living in Blackwell, Oklahoma, he also attended Mid America Bible College in Oklahoma City.

In 1995, Bink joined the United States Armed Forces. He served until 1999 when he was medically retired following service related injuries. Bink currently lives in Lawton, Oklahoma with his wife, Tammy, and four adult children.

While Bink has a lot of experience singing with various southern gospel groups, what is most impressive to us is his heart for ministry. Rick Melton, owner/lead for Common Bond, has been friends with Bink (he still calls him “Binky”) since they were teenagers in youth camp many years ago. Rick knows his passion for ministry and reaching the lost. We are very excited about this new season for Common Bond, and look forward to you meeting Bink Mooney.

NOTE: We are currently taking applications for the baritone position, and hope to have an announcement regarding that position in coming weeks


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Rising star Erica Cookston talks to SGNScoops

Written by Staff on December 23, 2018 – 3:17 pm -

Erica Cookston

Erica Cookston

SGNScoops recently talked with Erica Cookston, a rising star who beautifully sings Southern and Country Gospel. She delivers songs with a clear, high emotional soprano that touches the heart. This young lady hails from Hollywood, Alabama. She was recognized at Gospel Fest through the 2018 Crimson Music Award for Social Media Artist of the Year. Erica is an accomplished instrumentalist and vocalist, traveling and singing gospel music while in her first year of college.

Scoops:  Why do you sing gospel music? 

Erica Cookston: I sing Southern Gospel and Country Gospel music because it is what I grew up listening to. I was raised watching the Gaither Homecomings, listening to the Gaither Gospel Hour, and watching groups such as the Crabb Family on TV. I have always loved this kind of music. I do like other types as well, such as the Contemporary, and Praise and Worship, but my heart lies in the kind that I am doing. I do love other kinds of music as well, but I want to be able to reach others through gospel music like the ‘gospel greats’ that paved the way for little people like me to share ministry. I come from a very faith-based family, and we just love the Lord. Many people in my family, such as my dad, have been preachers.

Erica Cookston at Gospel Fest

Erica Cookston at Gospel Fest

Scoops: Tell us how you came to do compilations with Guy Penrod and Gerald Crabb? Who else would be on your bucket list to sing with? Do you always want to be a soloist?

EC: I was working with Alisa Asbury at Sweet Southern Entertainment and had met Gerald Crabb. They decided to do this project, and I was just lucky to have been able to be a part of it. It is a crazy thing to be on a project with someone that you have always looked up to! The Guy Penrod compilation came about the same way, although I have never had the opportunity to meet him. I think that my number one person on the bucket list to sing with is Karen Peck. She performed at GospelFest 2018, where I had the opportunity to be in the choir on stage with her to sing alongside her. She has been the biggest inspiration in my life, and I listen to her music more often Erica Cookstonthan not. She has a lot to do with why I want to go the direction I am going. I love being a soloist, but I would love to have a group at some point as well. I think it would be a lot of fun.

Scoops: What are you studying at college?  And why did you decide to step out now as an artist…why not wait until you are done college? 

EC: I am a business major. I currently work in an office, B&B Reporting, as a pre-employment background researcher. I love the atmosphere of an office, and I think it is a good idea just to have a business degree at my disposal. I work 40 hours a week and am also currently taking 16 credit hours at school (so, 5 classes and a lab). I am usually gone every weekend singing. It is very difficult because of the busy schedule and little free time, but I absolutely love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have been singing since I was four years old, and I started doing more things as I first hit the teenage years, with all of the traveling. I am doing it now, more so, because I do believe that the Lord has called me to do so. I don’t think that anyone is too young to try to step out to share their passion. Many people my age are told by our society that it isn’t okay to do so, but I hope that maybe I can set an example to prove that this isn’t the case. I never expected to be where I am today, and it is all very surreal to me. I do know that it was all a God thing, though. He gets all of the credit, and I just am his vessel to go wherever I am called.

Erica CookstonScoops:  Why do you have a passion for non-profits (charities)? 

EC: Right now I am not working with any organization in particular – I am doing everything independently. I have always had a heart to help others, so I think it is just another one of my passions. I try to be available for anything. I do head up a charity each year in my local area, Scottsboro, where I host a benefit concert to raise money for food distribution. I use these funds to purchase canned food items and meat certificates which go to those in need in Jackson County, providing them with a Christmas meal that they might not originally have. All of the food is purchased locally. I love to volunteer to help out for different causes as well and always stayed pretty busy doing these types of events in high school. I think it is important to show that there is still good in this world, and that sometimes people want to help without expecting anything in return.

Erica CookstonScoops: What has the Lord been speaking to you about specifically in recent days?

EC: Recently, the Lord has just been telling me to be patient and trust in him, and that everything is happening for a reason; things will fall into place. Also, that I don’t need to be scared to step out of my comfort zone because he is with me.

Thanks so much to Erica Cookston for answering our questions! In our eyes, you are already a star as you share God’s love in what you say, and it is evidenced by your actions in helping others. All the best in your future.

You can find out more about Erica by going to her Facebook page, Instagram,  and Twitter.

Listen to Erica on Reverb Nation HERE.

 

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