Mississippi Quartet Convention: The Hospitality Event
[Purvis, MS, June 7-9, 2018] – Another year is in the history books for the annual Mississippi Quartet Convention, now in its 19th year. The annual event is held at the Lamar County Shelter Building in Purvis, Miss. This year, the Mississippi Quartet Convention (MSQC), invited over 35 Southern and Bluegrass gospel artists from the southeast, who shared their music and testimonies.
Thursday night, MSQC brought in Gold City Quartet from Gadsden, Ala., and saw a record crowd, as there were barely any empty seats in the house. Sound technician and advisory board member, Vance Green, who also owns Answered Prayer (a Southern Gospel group from Hattiesburg, Miss.) had this to say, “This year just seemed to be different. A real atmosphere of freedom.”I could not agree more.
“There was just something special about this year’s MSQC, ” said Alicia Estis of Rachael Gill and Redeemed. This was a feeling shared by everyone I talked to in attendance this year, especially the fans.
One of the new happenings this year was New Journey Radio broadcasting live from the event. I was involved in several group interviews. What a blessing it was to get to know the groups more on a personal level as they shared, from the interview
room, their hearts and their true call. It was a blessing to me and to the listeners all over the world. New Journey Radio is owned by Bobby Richardson and can be found on Facebook at newjourneyradio or on the internet at www.newjourneyradio.com
The next highlight for every group was the MSQCA Fan Awards show, hosted by husband and wife, Jason and Amy Oxenrider. These awards are given out each year and voted on by our ministry peers with secret ballot voting. It’s a ‘who’s who’ among MSQC artists. Awards are presented in almost every category imaginable. The most prestigious award of the evening is the “Award of Excellence”. This year, it was presented to our friend, Vance Green. There was not a dry eye in the house as the biography was read aloud portraying Vance’s life and ministry career. It was so special to all of the other ministries because Vance runs the sound at MSQC and his main goal is to make every group sound their best. He is a friend of all friends. He’s everyone’s favorite sound man.
As other awards were presented, acceptance speeches were given, one after another. A particular stand out was the acceptance speech from Mixed Group of the Year, Day Three. A simple plea for all ministries, volunteers and fans to not be distracted by the fame of awards and accolades given, but rather, keep your eyes on the main goal of ministry.
“Work in your field, tend to your sheep, and don’t get side-tracked by what others are doing in their
field,” exclaimed one of the artists.
Another good quote was from Penny Walters, Soprano of the Year, “I share this award with all of you, you all make me better.”
For a complete list of award winners, visit the MSQC facebook page.
Right after the award show, MSQC directors, Jason and Pam Oxenrider passed the microphone over to their mother, everyone’s hero, Mrs. Beverly Oxenrider. She brought many good points to life and challenged every group to leave renewed and on fire. But for me personally, she made a statement that really hit me where it hurt.
“I know, because I’m a senior, what it’s like to sit in the audience and be ignored and looked over.”
When she said those words, I looked deep inside of me and saw a man who is always looking busy at concerts and ignoring the people that travel to support us. I left there with a personal challenge to shake every hand and hug every neck. Thank you, Mrs. Bev, for ‘taking me out behind the woodshed,’ as the saying goes. After her few minutes of speaking, we were all wiping away tears. She is a treasure to us all.
The event ended with a homecoming type sing-a-long event featuring several of the artists
individually and the remaining artists in an artist circle choir. What a great time we had. One of the highlights of this particular event was near the end when Jason Oxenrider, MSQCA President, stepped up to the microphone to sing a rendition of, “I Must Tell Jesus.” I can’t remember seeing anyone still sitting in their chair, not worshiping Jesus Christ. What a wonderful message and delivery. It’s so awesome to know that we can really tell Jesus all of our problems and not only does He listen, He cares!
I remember as all of the groups were packing up product tables, the lights being torn down, sound equipment being dismantled, crowds scurrying to leave, I just calmed walked up to Jason and asked him, “Did you ever think, nineteen years ago, that the MSQC would turn into the event it has become?” His response was a huge smile on his face and watering eyes. He knew!
If you’ve never been to the Mississippi Quartet Convention, I urge you to attend. It’s the place to be in June. The MSQC is the hospitality event. For more information on the Mississippi Quartet Convention you can visit
www.msqca.com or look the event up on Facebook, at mississippi-quartet-convention.
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