Paul Belcher PromotionsÂ scheduled a concert that was sure to delight Southern Gospel fansÂ 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, â€œI Was There When It Happenedâ€ followed by â€œFishing Trip.â€ 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.Â â€œIt Is Wellâ€ wasÂ called out from the audience. TheÂ men wrapped theirÂ beautiful familyÂ 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 â€œI Have Decided To Follow Jesus, and then â€œGuess What Zacchaeus Found, â€œRoad Less Traveledâ€Â and challenged the audience to stand up for what is right by singing â€œThe Basics of Life.â€
Following Voices Won, the Chattanooga crowd welcomed The Old Paths to the stage. Fans clapped along as they sang â€œWedding Music.â€ The Old Paths kept the audience engaged as theyÂ stirred kindred spirits with their version of the familiar, â€œOh What A Savior.â€Â 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, thatâ€™s not a mis-print.Â 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).Â The Old Paths transitioned with a testimony from the fun moment to a much more serious tone as they sang â€œToo Far Goneâ€ and â€œEye of the Storm.â€
Americaâ€™s Favorite Family-The Hoppers added intensity to the atmosphere as they came on stage singing â€œYahweh.â€ Â Confronted by the powerful message of the song, the audience responded in worship.Â After â€œYahweh,â€ Kim Hopper gave a shout-out to a little boy, and sang his favorite Hopperâ€™s song.
Â 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! Â 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,Â Kim Hopper used every talent within to convince the audience that Godâ€™s grace will always be greater than our sin. Again, the audience responded with worship.
Â Mike Hopper show-cased hisÂ 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 Hopperâ€™s performance was when Connie Hopper testified that she had come too far to look back. Once theÂ familiar tuneÂ 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.Â
The Hoppers sang many fan-favorites including â€œSomethingâ€™s Happening,â€ prompting fans to their feet during the set, but as expected- â€œJerusalemâ€ was the most favorite song of all- hands down! The Hoppers gave an electrifying performance of â€œJerusalemâ€ as if the song was brand new. It was astounding, anointedÂ and most likely produced â€œGod-bumpsâ€ across the building.
Gold City finally took possession of the stage with zeal.Â The crowd responded with enthusiasm to â€œBy His Grace, For His Glory and â€œBread Upon The Water.â€ Many hands were lifted in praise and many southern accented “amens”Â rang out as Gold City sang â€œHeâ€™s Still On The Throne.â€Â
Daniel Riley shared his thoughts regarding the sovereignty of God.Â â€œGod is not logical. He does things we canâ€™t do.â€ Riley continued, â€œHow sad would it be if God was on the same level as we are?â€Â With a gentleÂ voice, but powerful conviction Riley continued to share: â€œThere are false prophets, false leaders in the last days, they are infiltrating churches.Â We have â€˜feel goodâ€™ churches. We love to sing in churches, but some wonâ€™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 itâ€™s time Godâ€™s people stand on those truths.â€ On a roll, RileyÂ went on to say: â€œEvery knee will bow; every tongue will confess Jesus Christ is Lord.Â Truth will stand when this world is on fire, the truth is marching on.â€Â Gold City then belted out, â€œHis Truth Is Marching Onâ€ 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 sangÂ a fewÂ songs each to finish the night.Â
Â Arm in arm and with a spring in their step,Â The Hoppers nearly sang the lights outÂ and theÂ roof offÂ with “Shoutin’ Time,” thenÂ Dean Hopper shared details about brother in law, Tony Greene’s homegoing.Â KimÂ followed Dean byÂ singing a tribute to her brother.Â It was tender moment as she sang through tears and sweetly whispered, â€œAll the Lord asks is for us to be faithfulâ€¦Well done, little brother, I love you,â€Â at the end of the song. Out of respect for Tony and admiration forÂ Kim, the crowd rose to their feet.
The fans left the auditorium encouraged by the promise of Christ’s return.Â Tim Riley had reminded the crowd of this promise, the need to be prepared for it,Â and sangÂ “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 VoicesÂ Won, The Old Paths, TheÂ Hoppers and Gold City for pouring the love of Christ into the hearts ofÂ the people in Chattanooga TN.
Story- Rhonda Frye, Photos- Eric Frye