Paul Belcher Promotions scheduled a concert that was sure to delight Southern Gospel fans for Saturday August 13, 2011. Voices Won, The Old Paths, The Hoppers and Gold City Quartet graced the stage at the historical Memorial Auditorium and indeed delighted the fans in Chattanooga Tennessee.
Voices Won kicked off the night with confidence singing, “I Was There When It Happened” followed by “Fishing Trip.” The trio of brothers sang songs from each of their albums, but captured the heart of the audience when Jaron strapped on the guitar and opened the floor for requests. “It Is Well” was called out from the audience. The men wrapped their beautiful family harmony around the cherished lyrics of the hymn and ushered in the presence of the Lord. Before their set was over, Voices Won sang a touching rendition of “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus, and then “Guess What Zacchaeus Found, “Road Less Traveled” and challenged the audience to stand up for what is right by singing “The Basics of Life.”
Following Voices Won, the Chattanooga crowd welcomed The Old Paths to the stage. Fans clapped along as they sang “Wedding Music.” The Old Paths kept the audience engaged as they stirred kindred spirits with their version of the familiar, “Oh What A Savior.” The quartet showed that they can praise the Lord, but they also know how to have fun too. The funniest highlight of the evening was when tenor, Jeremy Peace switched parts with bass, Brandon Barry. No, that’s not a mis-print. The tenor sang bass and the bass sang tenor. Yes- the others joined right in there, but the crowd went wild as Jeremy slid to the basement while Brandon stretched to the rafters (vocally speaking- of course). The Old Paths transitioned with a testimony from the fun moment to a much more serious tone as they sang “Too Far Gone” and “Eye of the Storm.”
America’s Favorite Family-The Hoppers added intensity to the atmosphere as they came on stage singing “Yahweh.” Confronted by the powerful message of the song, the audience responded in worship. After “Yahweh,” Kim Hopper gave a shout-out to a little boy, and sang his favorite Hopper’s song.
Claude Hopper with his quick wit quickly brought humor back into the building claiming he lived so far back in the day he used to play a kerosene guitar! Get it? KEROSENE guitar! There were 2 groups of laughers- the ones that got the joke right away, and the ones that had to process it, but everyone laughed!
As a master lyric interpreter, Kim Hopper used every talent within to convince the audience that God’s grace will always be greater than our sin. Again, the audience responded with worship.
Mike Hopper show-cased his expertise on the drums and also sang with the group proving his vocal talents throughout the set. There is no doubt, there is an ocean of talent within the family- but they have a special way of captivating the audience with a sweet sincerity. Perhaps the most touching part of the Hopper’s performance was when Connie Hopper testified that she had come too far to look back. Once the familiar tune was over, she led the group into singing the last few lines slowly over and over again allowing the message to sink deeply into the hearts of the people.
The Hoppers sang many fan-favorites including “Something’s Happening,” prompting fans to their feet during the set, but as expected- “Jerusalem” was the most favorite song of all- hands down! The Hoppers gave an electrifying performance of “Jerusalem” as if the song was brand new. It was astounding, anointed and most likely produced “God-bumps” across the building.
Gold City finally took possession of the stage with zeal. The crowd responded with enthusiasm to “By His Grace, For His Glory and “Bread Upon The Water.” Many hands were lifted in praise and many southern accented “amens” rang out as Gold City sang “He’s Still On The Throne.”
Daniel Riley shared his thoughts regarding the sovereignty of God. “God is not logical. He does things we can’t do.” Riley continued, “How sad would it be if God was on the same level as we are?” With a gentle voice, but powerful conviction Riley continued to share: “There are false prophets, false leaders in the last days, they are infiltrating churches. We have ‘feel good’ churches. We love to sing in churches, but some won’t let us or other groups in because our songs talk about the blood, about repentance, the cross and redemption. They say, some people might get offended. As long as I have breath I will sing songs about the blood, about the cross and it’s time God’s people stand on those truths.” On a roll, Riley went on to say: “Every knee will bow; every tongue will confess Jesus Christ is Lord. Truth will stand when this world is on fire, the truth is marching on.” Gold City then belted out, “His Truth Is Marching On” resulting in a standing ovation.
Eager fans raced to the hallway to greet the groups during a brief intermission, then returned to the auditorium for the conclusion of the concert. Each group sang a few songs each to finish the night.
Arm in arm and with a spring in their step, The Hoppers nearly sang the lights out and the roof off with “Shoutin’ Time,” then Dean Hopper shared details about brother in law, Tony Greene’s homegoing. Kim followed Dean by singing a tribute to her brother. It was tender moment as she sang through tears and sweetly whispered, “All the Lord asks is for us to be faithful…Well done, little brother, I love you,” at the end of the song. Out of respect for Tony and admiration for Kim, the crowd rose to their feet.
The fans left the auditorium encouraged by the promise of Christ’s return. Tim Riley had reminded the crowd of this promise, the need to be prepared for it, and sang “Midnight Cry,” concluding the evening in the most fitting way.
Thank you to Paul Belcher Promotions for providing SGNScoops admission to great night of Southern Gospel Music and Ministry and thank you to Voices Won, The Old Paths, The Hoppers and Gold City for pouring the love of Christ into the hearts of the people in Chattanooga TN.
Story- Rhonda Frye, Photos- Eric Frye