Beyond the Song by Jantina Baksteen
Today we go Beyond the Song with “Lord Send Me A Mountain” by the Porter Family. This was recently highlighted on the Strictly Southern Show with Vonda Armstrong. I caught up with Shawn Porter of the Porter Family to learn about their ministry. Thank you Shawn for joining this interview.
Jantina Baksteen: Can you introduce yourselves to the readers of SGNScoops?
Shawn Porter: We are The Porter Family from Waynesville, North Carolina. The group members are Shawn Porter (myself), along with my parents Will and Betty Porter. My daughter, Maddie, who is an amazing singer, is starting to take on more of an active role with the ministry with some appearances during our concerts when her busy schedule permits. We have been singing for over 20 years as we are now. We are with Chapel Valley on their Inspire Label.
Along with singing, I am the Full-time Associate Pastor of Dellwood Baptist Church in Maggie Valley, N.C., and my parents, Will and Betty, have been child care workers for the Baptist Children Homes of N.C. for over 30 years now, taking care of abused and neglected children. In October 2019, Will and Betty were invited to Little Rock, Arkansas, to receive the National Child Care Worker of the Year award, which is the highest award in their ministry of child care.
The Porter Family love working for the Lord and using their gifts to share the love of Christ to this lost and dying world. Our main goal, whether it’s standing behind a pulpit preaching the Gospel, ministering to children, or standing on a stage singing, is to share the love of God, and give hope of a perfect eternal home someday!
Along with everything else this family is doing, Shawn also hosts trips to The Holy Land every year. There is nothing that will change your ministry any more than walking where our Savior walked.
The Porter Family’s view of their busy lives in ministry is that we can never do enough to repay Christ for what He has done for us, so we are honored that He allows us to do what we do.
JB: I guess you basically grew up in Southern gospel music as your parents are Southern gospel artists as well?
SP: I grew up around SGM all my life. This family started singing back many many years ago as The Midkiff family, which is Betty’s family name. The group originally consisted of my mother Betty, Aunt Charlotte, and my grandmother Doyle Midkiff. Betty and Will married and then Will joined the group. They traveled for several years with this lineup. Being natives of West Virginia, they often say, “We’ve sung all over the hills and hollers of the wild and wonderful West Virginia!”
JB: I heard your song, “Lord Send Me A Mountain,” on the Strictly Southern Show with Vonda Armstrong. What a beautiful song! I believe that you, Shawn, are featured in this song. Can you share with us the message of this song?
SP: “Lord Send Me A Mountain,” is a song that will change your prayer life when you get a hold of the message. A lot of times we want to sit back and do nothing and ask God to do everything, when the truth is, we need to have enough faith to say “God, you send me a mountain; I’m ready for the climb.” Those mountains in our life are hard at times, steep, and long, but if we will have enough faith to strap our boot laces up and keep putting one foot in front of the other, God will help us get to the mountain peak. When we do, our strength in and through the Lord will be amazing.
JB: What does this song mean to you personally?
SP: This song has revolutionized the way I pray. Of course, I don’t like hardships, no one does, but this song has helped me to understand that I’m no longer afraid to face them. If we don’t like where we are in life, or the circumstance we find ourselves in, then get up and do something about it!
JB: The writer is none other than Shane Roark. How did this song come to you?
SP: Shane Roark is an amazing songwriter, and he, along with his brother Travis, and their mother Jetta, are some of our greatest friends in the world. Shane is also our producer as well. This family, and the whole Chapel Valley staff, has the best work ethic of any record company I have ever worked with. They truly put their artists first in every aspect. With that being said, when we went in the studio for pre-production of this album, I told Shane that I would love to have a big, meaningful ballad, which is something we have never recorded, mainly because we have always been known for leaning to the country side of things. Well, we had all the songs picked for the project, and I was very excited about it, but we still didn’t have that song, so as we finished up that day, Shane said, “I have a song that I wrote, and I’ll play it for you if you’re interested, but I’m telling you it’s a big one. Not just anybody can sing it, but I think you can.” So, of course, I wanted to hear it, so he began playing it on his keyboard and singing, and we had some church right there in the studio. The rest, as they say, is history.
JB: Where can we find the recorded version of this song?
SP: This song is on our new album entitled “Rise”.
JB: How is this song received by your audience?
SP: This song is resounding with people everywhere. I’ve had people tell me how they have struggled with sickness and other circumstances in their personal lives and almost given up, but this song has given them a renewed strength to keep moving forward and to keep climbing that mountain.
JB: Is there something more you’d like the readers to know?
SP: I would just like to thank you and SGNScoops for this opportunity, and for all you do for Southern gospel music. It takes all of us staying in our lane, working together, to make a Kingdom impact!
JB: Where can we find you on the web?
SP: You can find The Porter Family here: www.porterfamilymusic.com
Or contact us by phone at Office# (828)456-1009; Cell# (828)734-1528
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the Porter Family as they sing, “Lord Send Me a Mountain.”
Thank you Shawn Porter for sharing your ministry with SGNScoops. Blessings on your calling, reaching out to those who need to hear the gospel!
By Jantina Baksteen
Jantina Baksteen is a gospel music writer and regular contributor to SGNScoops magazine and website.
Jantina Baksteen – biography:
I live all the way overseas in the Netherlands. I’m married and I have three adult children.
I grew up in a Christian home and knew in my early years that I wanted to belong to Him. I surrendered my life to Christ was baptized one day before I turned 11 years old.
Somehow, the seed of loving gospel music was planted by the style of music my parents played at home. Around 2006/2007, I was listening to Gaither homecoming music that I found on the internet. The song, “Oh, What A Savior,” by Ernie Haase hit me with the so-called Southern gospel bug.
From there, I’ve been reading /studying all I can find. I found the digital SGNScoops Magazine.
As I was spending so much time reading and listening about this industry, I started praying for God to please give me a job in the Southern gospel industry. Sometimes, I commented to Lorraine Walker on her posts. How could she know the longing of my heart?
But last year she asked me if I wanted to do something for SGNScoops: the Wacky Wednesday posts online. Now I do the “Beyond the Song” article that really has my heart as I am reaching out to artists, asking about a current song and having a sneak peak behind the scenes.
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