Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention


Written by Staff on September 11, 2016 – 10:14 am -

Silent Resolve and the God Who Let Me Down

9/11 – Silent Resolve and the God Who Let Me Down


Stanley Rylon Hall, April 14, 1933—September 11, 2001.

SILENT RESOLVE AND THE GOD WHO LET ME DOWN (a 9/11 Story) by Susan Van Volkenburgh

Review by Vivian Belknap

Within her book, Silent Resolve and The God Who Let Me Down, Susan Van Volkenburgh shares her heart and bears her soul as she is taken on a journey she did not plan. On September 11, 2001 Susan’s world was forever changed as she and her family learned of the loss of her father, Stanley R. Hall, from the tragic events of 9/11. He was on board American Airlines flight 77, the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.
It’s apparent from the first page that Susan loves and reveres her father so much. This book is very well written; after 10 years of attempting to put into words the roller coaster ride of emotions she experienced, the reader will actually feel her grief and despair as she realizes her children will grow up without their grandfather, and she will never hear her dad’s bass voice singing in church again, and her dad will never grow old.
Susan’s honest questioning of her faith and the God who seemed to have let her down, turned His back on her, and became totally silent is helpful to all of us as we deal with tragedies in our own lives. She continually goes back to the Bible where she reads how Job dealt with his losses. And she quotes Proverbs 12:21, “…no harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble,” and Psalms 91:11, “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.” If that’s true, then Susan ponders, “How then did this happen? Where was God in all this?”
Susan comes to the realization that none of us have a right to demand anything from God. He’s not obligated to answer any of our questioning. She reminds us that our God is sovereign; Job 38:1-2, 4, 6-7.

“For the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” Psalms 37:23. Susan reminds all of us that since this scripture is truth, “therefore each step taken must pass before the sanction of God”, and “It is a strange comfort to know that nothing can befall you without God’s approval.” She reminds us of Romans 8:28 , “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Susan believes she would never have written about her father’s life had it not ended so tragically on 9/11, and she believes that some “good” has come from this tragedy. I believe her writing of Silent Resolve, and The God Who Let Me Down has brought healing to her; is there still an empty place in her heart and life? Yes of course, but she is stronger today and her faith has been renewed.
All of us have suffered grief during our lives, and because of God’s love and grace through those times we are able to comfort others as we’ve been comforted. There is much comfort in the words of Susan Van Volkenburgh. “Evil may have caused the day, but love ruled it.”

By Vivian Belknap, Director of Marketing for KKGM AM 1630

For more Gospel music news and features read the latest SGNScoops on the Scoops website. 

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Urgent Prayer Request for Vivian Belknap

Written by scoopsnews on May 16, 2016 – 7:31 am -

Vivian and Vonda Easley at Creekside

Vivian and Vonda Easley at Creekside

Please pray for our friend Vivian….

From Jerry:

Update on Vivian, last night she fell and broke 2 ribs, ambulance came and took her to the hospital. Due to the ongoing pain from her back along with the pain from the broke ribs she was admitted. I will have to follow up today to see where we are with the surgery that was scheduled for Thursday. Will post updates as the status changes, again thank each of you for your thoughts and prayers during this time. Jerry Belknap

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SGN Scoops’ Fast Five: The Matt Jones Group

Written by Staff on August 24, 2015 – 8:00 am -

Matt Jones Group

Matt Jones Group

The Matt Jones Group is a new duet on the Gospel music scene, hailing from the great state of Texas. Matt Jones and Lisa Dye have come from different Gospel music backgrounds to begin a new ministry together.

Vivian Belknap, writer for SGN Scoops, was at the Denton Gospelfest a few months back. Vivian had the privilege to hear this duo in one of their first

Matt Jones and Lisa Dye at the Denton Gospelfest.

Matt Jones and Lisa Dye at the Denton Gospelfest.

appearances together. Vivian wrote, “The concert began with Lisa Dye, a local singer from Grand Prairie Texas, the daughter of Glen Dye, who opened with ‘The Holy Hills of Heaven,’ and ‘This Ship Was Made to Sail.’ Then Matt Jones, a member of the King’s River trio from Ft. Worth, Texas, joined her on stage. Not only did they sing a duet, but he also did a fine job on the keyboard.”

We hope you enjoy this opportunity to get to know the Matt Jones Group!
SGN: Tell us about how The Matt Jones Group began in ministry?
MJG: Matt sang lead for a group KingsRiver for the last 10 years, and it was during that time that he studied the craft and learned as much as possible. As seasons of ministry change, Matt felt called to start his own group. He teamed up with good friend Lisa Dye to form The Matt Jones Group.
Matt Jones GroupSGN: We would love to hear a funny “road story.”
MJG: We were singing with a few other groups one evening and the group before us was singing and their emcee put his set list on top of our track machine. During a moment in their set he touched that paper and started about 10 different tracks at the same time. We thought the Lord was coming back!
SGN: Please share a little about each member.
MJG: Lisa Dye is carrying on a tradition of traveling and singing but is currently writing her own history in gospel music. She lives in Grand Prairie, TX with her two dogs, Abby and Maddi.

Matt Jones had a dream to sing gospel music and that dream came true in 2005 after graduating high school. He is now stepping out on faith and trusting God as he puts his very own group out on the road to sing gospel music and share the good news of Jesus. He lives in Aledo, TX.

SGN: If a church wanted to book you guys, how would they do that?
MJG: Go to www.themattjonesgroup.com There is a booking form on the home page and there is also a media page with references.
MJG is also on Instagram: http://instagram.com/themattjonesgroup
You can fine MJG on Facebook too!
matt jones group 2SGN: What are some future goals of The Matt Jones Group?
MJG: To broaden our ministry outside of the great state of Texas!
Thanks to Matt and Lisa for joining us for another SGN Scoops’ Fast Five!
We hope you take the opportunity to visit their website, check out their schedule and listen to the music of this fine duo.
For more information and news, visit the SGN Scoops’ Facebook page.

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Written by Staff on January 16, 2015 – 1:05 pm -

Church (3)

By Vivian Belknap

For the 2nd annual Denton Gospelfest, Southern Gospel Music promoter, David Ray, put together a very diverse show this year by bringing to the stage musicians from 13 to 81 years of age. The venue location was at Denton County Cowboy Church in Ponder, Texas. The Cowboy Churches are a growing Jesus-centered fellowship with emphasis on the “cowboy” style of worship. The dress is casual with cowboy hats and boots in evidence. Almost always there is a rodeo arena on the property and Denton County Cowboy Church is no exception. They have a large well-built arena adjacent to their worship center with an area for children to play Church (6)during a rodeo event or during services. The church is situated in a rural area, surrounded on all sides by pastures and woods. They have a horse trough, which serves as a baptistry, and the décor is pure western with horse saddles and hay bales being a part. Most of the Cowboy Churches favor Country Gospel music as well as Southern Gospel and the hymns. The leadership there was very welcoming and concessions were in abundance. Doesn’t get much better: great Southern and Country Gospel music and great Texas food!

Lisa Dye

Lisa Dye

The concert began with Lisa Dye, a local singer from Grand Prairie Texas, the daughter of Glen Dye, who opened with “The Holy Hills of Heaven,” and “This Ship Was Made to Sail.” Then Matt Jones, a member of the King’s River trio from Ft. Worth, Texas, joined her on stage. Not only did they sing a duet, but he also did a fine job on the keyboard.

David Ray kept us entertained between sets by telling stories of his childhood, growing up as a PK, (you know, a preacher’s kid.) I grew up as one, and oh, yes, we have stories!

rutledge (7)Next we were introduced to Reynold Rutledge and his magnificent instrument, a marimba. Are you familiar with a marimba? If not, it looks like a xylophone, but there is a difference between the two instruments. The xylophone has an octave range of 2 ½ to 4, and the marimba has a 3 to 5 octave range, and even higher for newer instruments. The marimba has a more mellow sound and is more suited to a solo rather than an ensemble set as Reynold so masterfully proves in his performances.

Reynold opened with “God On The Mountain,” filling the auditorium with his rich tenor voice. Even though he is 81 years young and has been playing and singing for 75 years, one would never know his age by looking at him or hearing him sing. He then played “Give Them All To Jesus,” with a great Latin feel, and ended it with “cha, cha, cha.” That put a smile on all our faces. rutledge (13)Next he sang “I Know Who Holds My Hand,” with fantastic lungpower; really he doesn’t need a microphone. Next on the marimba was “Gentle Shepherd,” and he gave this song the sound of being in the islands. We heard “Dwelling in Beulah Land,” and “This is Just What Heaven Means to Me,” and he started it with a yodel. That put another smile on our faces. His eclectic music brings much variety to the program.

The HootensThe great family harmony of The Hootens followed Reynold Rutledge. The Hootens are from Waskom, Texas. Where is Waskom, TX? It is on I-20 just a short distance from the Texas/Louisiana border. The trio consists of Ronnie, Donnie and Carli Hooten. In late 2012, Donnie was invited to sing at Open Range Fellowship Church in Greenwood, Louisiana. After some time, he invited his daughter, Carli, to sing with him. They thought it would be fun to put a little group together and since they had sung a few times in the past with Donnie’s Uncle Ronnie, they spoke with him about becoming a group. They agreed to be known as The Hootens and began to sing just about every Thursday night in front of 800 people at the Open Range Fellowship Church. Through this exposure, the group gained popularity in the area and began receiving invitations to sing at other churches. Read more »

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It’s Gonna Be A Great Day with Legacy 5

Written by Staff on June 18, 2014 – 11:06 am -

Legacy 5 with Big John Hall

Legacy 5 with Big John Hall

Legacy Five Quartet Concert Review

By Vivian Belknap 

Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas was the location for great southern gospel music featuring Legacy Five Quartet on May 31, 2014.   The first song they did was “Great Day,” followed by “Blood Washed Band,” Scott Fowler reaching back to his days with The Cathedral Quartet, and finished that set with “Feelin’ Fine.”

Legacy 5 In Concert

Legacy 5 In Concert

Scott Fowler said they were happy to be in Texas, and said to baritone Scott Howard, “there’s just something about Texas; you can eat barbeque outside of Texas…” and they looked at each other and said, “but it’s not Texas barbeque.”

Scott introduced their ‘monster bass’ singer, Matthew Fouch, 31 years old, and told him the older he gets the more monster bass he will become. Then Scott introduced Bob Wills and legendary bass singer Big John Hall who were in the audience, and told Matthew to not be nervous, even though John Hall was sitting on the front row. The next set of songs featured Matthew, and he said they specifically chose John Hall classics, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”, “How Big Is God” and “How Great Thou Art”, which were all included in the “Great Medley”, off their Great Day album.

Gus Gaches, tenor, was introduced from Santa Rosa, California, and it’s been reported that he owns a suit that matches his surfboard; a comment that the audience really loved. Gus was featured on “I Stand Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb.”

Trey Ivey, the piano player and youngest member of Legacy Five was introduced. Trey was conservatory educated and loves classical music. We were treated to a wonderful sonata, followed by “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” Both songs received rousing applause from the audience.

Scott then pulled out The Red Back Hymnal, turned to page 28, and they sang “A Grand and Glorious Feeling”, with piano accompaniment only.   “After Awhile” was the next song and was also accompanied with piano only. The sound was incredible and loved by the audience.

The next song selection off their latest album, Great Day, was “He Is To Me”, followed by “There’s Just Something About That Name”, and Scott asked the audience to sing along as we experienced a great time of worship. Scott said, “I’m going to be politically incorrect, but when we are around people who are not believers, we should ask the following questions: ‘Do you know anyone born under the circumstances in which Jesus was born?’ ‘Do you know anyone who lived a sinless life?’ ‘ Do you know anyone raised from the dead after three days?’” He opened the Bible to Luke 24 and began reading verse one through verse 12. The group followed this by singing “Christ Is Still the King,” receiving a standing ovation.

Legacy 5oneThe night was complete with, “What A Happy Day”, a medley of songs that includes, “What A Happy Day,” “Everybody Will Be Happy Over There,” “I’ll Live In Glory By and By,” “When We All Get To Heaven,” “I’ll Have a New Body,” and “Everybody’s Gonna Have A Wonderful Time Up There,” from their album, Great Day.

It was a fantastic way to end a wonderful concert of worship and laughter, with encouraging words from these songs about the New Life we as Christians see now by faith but one day we will see with our own eyes.

When Legacy Five is in your area, you will be so blessed to see them in person not only for their fantastic music, but their colorful personalities. Visit them at www.legacyfive.com.

For more concert reviews, see the latest edition of SGN Scoops digital magazine at http://www.sgnscoops.com/2014/06/14/june-2014-sgnscoops-magazine/


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Beyond The Ashes: Making You Want To Go To Heaven

Written by Staff on March 6, 2014 – 2:22 pm -

Beyond The Ashes

Beyond The Ashes



Roanoke, Texas

February 28, 2014

By Vivian Belknap

DSC_0963“These guys will make you want to go to Heaven,” exclaimed Bob Wills after hearing the first set of music presented by Beyond The Ashes at Dove Creek Café in Roanoke, Texas, February 28, 2014.  They began by singing “So Amazing,” a great song of praise that set into motion an atmosphere of worship.  Then Anthony Facello, the featured tenor and group owner led the crowd as they sang “Amazing Grace.”

“The Coming of the King,” a real toe-tapper featuring David Staton who was filling in as their lead singer really had the audience engaged. This was the first time David had performed with the group. And wow! His energy was contagious to everyone in the café.

We were blessed to hear “Oh Happy Day,” a very familiar song to southern gospel fans, again featuring David.  “Over for Good,” a song with a modern country feel and “God Is So Good,” featured the great tenor voice of Anthony. His range and control easily makes him one of the best tenor singers in Gospel music. DSC_0969

Anthony then introduced each group member: Casey Shepherd, baritone; Tyler Vestal, pianist and vocalist; David Staton, guest lead vocalist; Anthony Facello, tenor and emcee.  Their energy, both physical and spiritual, was on display with every song. It is very obvious these guys love our Lord and they have made it their mission to go and tell!

The first set was completed with David featured on “Every Knee Shall Bow,” also written by him and recorded by several other artists. Fabulous words: “Bow now, or bow then.”

DSC_0971Every song we heard mentioned Heaven, therefore the comment by Bob Wills at intermission was appropriate: “These guys will make you want to go to Heaven.”

They returned to sing “Glimpse of Your Glory,” another song written by David and “I Can’t Even Walk.” Of course the crowd was singing along on this one too. In fact Anthony had the audience singing often. So it really was a worship experience, not just a concert. Beyond The Ashes has a very unique way of capturing your attention, and holding it to the point that it seems to the listener it’s just you and them.

Another special treat was to hear the piano solo by 22-year-old Tyler Vestal. His talent rivals any pianist in gospel music. In my opinion, he even displayed traits of Howard Goodman, with his hands dancing on the keyboard.  DSC_0978

Beyond The Ashes ended the night by singing “Who Am I,” featuring Tyler, and “No Sin Greater Than Grace,” written by Anthony. This song drove home the strong Gospel message of the love and grace of our Father.

What did we, the audience take away from this concert? Assurance of God’s love, mercy and grace and that Heaven is very clearly in view for those of us who have been born again. There is no doubt that the ministry of Beyond The Ashes is focused on seeing the lost come to Jesus and to bring joy to the body of Christ through their uplifting music and dynamic energy and personalities.  When you have the opportunity to attend one of their concerts, I think you will also leave saying, “These guys will make you want to go to Heaven.”








Beyond The Ashes online: http://www.beyondtheashesonline.com/

Beyond The Ashes on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beyondtheashes



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