July 11, 2014: A few hundred lucky people were in the presence of a gospel music legend. Mr. Michael English blessed our socks off in St. Joseph, Missouri as part of a series of upcoming concerts at Brookdale Presbyterian Church.
A local quartet, Soul Harvest, opened the concert with some great four-part harmony. Songs such as “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before,” “I Believe in a Hill Called Mt. Calvary,” and “The Lighthouse” fed our desire for the classic Southern Gospel songs of yesteryear. Their rendition of a favorite by the Hoppers, “Jerusalem,” brought the crowd to their feet. And I’m sure somewhere up above, George Younce and Glen Payne were singing along with Soul Harvest as they performed the acapella version of “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.” These guys were wonderful and I personally am looking forward to hearing them at the next exciting concert in this series on August 23!
Next, the incredibly talented Steve Ladd took the stage. What a privilege to hear this talented artist belt out tunes such as “Everlasting God,” “One More River To Cross,” “Through It All,” and “We Shall See the King.” He also sang one of my favorite songs previously recorded by Michael English, “That’s What Heaven Will Be Like.” Steve’s enthusiasm is contagious, and if he ever comes to your area, I would highly encourage you to get yourself to one of his concerts!
Michael English….what can I say. There are no words. He is an amazingly blessed vocalist and I don’t feel like that description even remotely does justice to his talent. He started off with “I Don’t Want To Get Adjusted,” “Waking Up The Dawn,” “Let’s Make A Baby King,” and “Great Day.” Steve joined him in singing a toe-tapping, hand-clapping crowd favorite, “I’ll Fly Away.”
Michael talked about his father who recently passed away, and sang “Go Rest High On That Mountain” in his honor. He then went into an acapella version of “What A Day That Will Be,” and I’m not sure there was a dry eye in the place. “Blessed Assurance,” “In Christ Alone,” “Molecule of Faith”….I know I’m missing some of the songs that were shared because I think we all were caught up in the moment. He ended the concert with what I like to call his “signature” song, “I Bowed On My Knees.”
Michael shared his heart and he shared his testimony; he’s been through trials that most of us cannot fathom. Yet, there he stood, still amazed by God’s grace, still loving his Master, still praising God for bringing him through each circumstance, still professing his faith and his reliance on God to take him through each day. Michael is a living, breathing picture of God’s grace. And Michael, if you are reading this, know that there are a bunch of people in this old town of St. Joseph, Missouri who love you, love your heart, and pray for you continually. You will always be welcomed back with open arms. What an impact this man has made on my life and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
Have you attended any of concerts that have been offered the past couple of years in St. Joseph, Missouri yet? If you have, you can testify to the blessing you received each and every time you walked through the door. If you haven’t, you’re missing out big time, to put it bluntly. For this next upcoming concert (and believe me, you will not want to miss it!) you can check the Brookdale Presbyterian Church’s website at www.brookdalechurch.com, and scroll down to News and Events. A very special thanks to Scott Peek, of Speek Ministries, for organizing and promoting these wonderful southern gospel concerts in Northwest Missouri.
Until next time, keep on keeping on!
By Sheri Witt
For more concert reviews and artist features, see the current SGN Scoops digital magazine on http://www.sgnscoops.com/