Fast Five with The Pacesetters

Tell us how and when the Pacesetters Ministry began…
The Pacesetters began in 1977 in Burleson Texas as the Redemption Singers Quartet. Under the
leadership of former owner, Jim Smith, they asked themselves what they wanted from this ministry
and decided they wanted to, “Set the Pace when it comes to standing for the Lord and His Word.
With that in mind, in 1980 the name changed to the Pacesetters Quartet. In 1997 during their 20
year, they decided to begin the task of retiring the ministry; in 1999 they original ministry retired.
Building on the legacy of Pacesetters founder Jim Smith, the Pacesetters Quartet presents gospel
music in the same spirit of integrity, excellence, and anointing. In 2013, The Pacesetters Quartet
were reformed by former member and new owner/manager Ron Higgins, in order for these talented
musicians to share their love for the Lord with others and to bring encouragement to the body of
Christ by sharing great gospel quartet music. This group has been blessed to have seen such a
tremendous outpouring of love, support, and encouragement as they have stepped out to be
obedient to God’s call.
When the group is on the road, what is you favorite
This may sound cliché, but on the road our favorite place to stop and eat is Cracker Barrel.
What is your favorite all-time Gospel singer? Why?
In 1988, right after joining the Pacesetters, I went to my first Gospel Quartet concert. On the show
that evening was Gold City with Tim Riley, Mike LeFevre, Ivan Parker and Brian Free. I must say that I
was blown away with Brian Free. He has the most unique and clear tenor voice of anyone I
know…only to be followed by Luciano Pavarotti, but he’s not a gospel singer. So my answer is Brian
It’s so hard for me to pick a favorite singer; there are so many in all genre of gospel music. But I have
always leaned to the blues style with a country flavor in my gospel music taste. Teddy Huffam and the Gems used to really turn it on; Charles Johnson and the Revivers had my hands raised to the Lord.
Jason Crabb’s sincere yet intense message pierces my heart, and last but never least is
Mike Bowling who epitomizes the soul-striking bluesy country gospel tones. I guess I would have to
Mark Lowry- someone who most would have brushed off and never given a chance. Bill Gaither saw
the potential that Mark had and said why not! I relate to Mark in a lot of ways, being someone with
little musical teaching, yet a natural ability and talent to do it, teachable, comedic and not scared to
show his personality and break the boundaries for onstage antics, but more importantly his apparent
love for God.
Share your testimony with us… (each member)
All of my life I knew inside that God had something for me to do…something special. As a child, I
attended Sunday school and Vacation Bible School; and even as a young child I was singing…my very
first solo at the age of 9 was “Rock-a My Soul,” an awesome spiritual. I knew who Jesus was, but I
didn’t know Him. At the age of twelve, with the sad droning organ music playing, I walked down a
long aisle and repeated the words I was instructed to say. I had an emotional experience, but not a
true change of heart.
I continued in music, instrumental and vocal, all throughout my school years, finally receiving a music
scholarship to Texas Wesleyan University. I really felt like I had made it. I was under contract with
many opera choruses, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Dallas to name a few, but still there was
something missing. In my early 20’s I became quite the life of the party. Of that I’m not proud. Praise
the Lord, in 1985, with a dear friend from the opera at my side, I repeated that prayer again…this
time with a true and repentant heart. I turned my life over to Jesus and was truly saved by His blood
and the grace of God the Father.
But, I allowed old thoughts and memories of certain happenings in my early teen years to come in
and steal my joy. I left my first love behind…I went back to the world and the lies it had. And even
though I was not serving the Lord, He never let go of me.
Now, to make a long story short, in 2004 He showed me the truth of His love, mercy and grace and
allowed me, a prodigal, to come back home. I can tell you it hasn’t been easy, but I know beyond a
shadow of a doubt, that my name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life!
When I was 8 years old – my Daddy’s hand upon my head – I asked Jesus into my heart. Therefore, I
would have said I have almost always been a Christian, but it was honestly many years later that the
heartfelt surrender came for me. I have always felt a special need to serve . The gift of muisc has
always been there and has allowed many door to open. My mama set the four-year-old me on stage
at church , I threw my head back and sang “Supper Time,” a hymn I really loved. I grew up with a
drug problem; a lot of Christian children had the same problem. We were drug to church everytime
the door was open!! My life has taken many turns; I feel that God has saved me for His use. I think
he knew my heart, even when I had fallen off the trail set for me in His word.
I’ve taken a wild bus ride in a tornado, had major heart surgery, major lung surgery, respiratory
problems, sinus and throat surgery, blood and iron problems, back surgery and many more minor
problems. I stand today claiming what my good, good God has done. He saved my life. I owe that
life to Him.
Now with the Pacesetters , God is allowing me once again to spread the gospel in song and word. I
claim the Blood and give Jesus all the credit for my health and opportunities.
I praise the Lord for my wife and best friend Myrna who puts up with me and gives me the love and
freedom to serve and to follow His path for me … to touch lives for Christ. As we travel and go
where God sends us, it is my prayer to be always in the will of God. Holy Spirit, you are always
My story starts at a fairly young age. I was born the youngest into a family of four to a single mom
who was trying to get her life together and get through college. We were not raised in church,
actually quite the opposite. I remember being so young and yet never getting in trouble for roaming
the streets of Lawton, Oklahoma. There are three times in my childhood that I knew even then
would be monumental in my future. The first was one day before my mom died, I was probably five
years old, I was playing outside alone when a big bus came by, looked like an old-school bus but
really it was a church bus, came down the road. It stopped in front of me, and the driver asked if I
was going, I remember looking down at the step, then staring down the length of the bus. Up to this
point I had never been to church, didn’t even know what it was. But, I remember thinking, ‘This will
change everything!’ A short time after that my mom and grandma were killed in a house fire. Which
put myself and my siblings in foster care. The 3rd and most important piece of this puzzle came
shortly after that. We were placed with a great aunt & uncle Sheila & Elmer Post. I remember maybe
the second or 3rd night we were there, my aunt coming into our room and showing us tracts and
telling us about Jesus. We bowed on our knees and asked God to forgive us our sin, my aunt led my
brother and I in the sinner’s prayer. I accepted Christ into my heart at that time. Even through all the
hurt, pain, rejection throughout these foster homes I knew God had something better planned for
me and my family. That is where my story truly began, the rest is still unwritten.
If our readers would like to book you or purchase
product, how can they do that?
That’s an easy answer on both…they just go to, or they can call me
direct, Ron Higgins at 817-721-5185.
What are some goals for you ministry in 2017?
We’re super excited at having opportunity to join with Chapel Valley Music Group, and our first
project with them will be coming out in the spring of 2017. Our goal with the project is to reach as
many folks as we can with the Gospel of Christ presented through music.
In 1994, I had the opportunity of traveling and ministering in Russia in the month of January. We’ve
been in contact with a brother at The King’s University here in Grapevine, Texas, for help in setting
up a mission trip to sing and minister in Moscow; keep us in prayer as this is a big goal.